Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Twenty Lakes Basin Hike

I had never done this hike before and was determined to do it before I got too old. It's located just outside the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park.

You can cut 3 miles off an otherwise 8.5 mile hike by taking a water taxi to the upper end of Saddlebag Lake. Sign me up!

I meant to do the left side of the loop and then turn around, because it was supposed to be the easiest and most scenic. But why are the lakes on the wrong side of the trail?

Uh-oh! I think this is the hard part I had heard about. I'm on the right side of the loop, and that's Lake Helen down there. Yes, this is the trail!

On the way down the rocky canyon, this creature was having dinner. Anybody know what it is? It looked like a gigantic mouse.

Walking on rocks all the way from Odell Lake to the upper side of Lake Helen was a challenge.

But eventually the trail leveled out, and Shamrock Lake came into view.

This lake is just beautiful, with several islands and peninsulas in it.

I was seeing a lot of this plant. I don't know what it is, but it looks kind of pretty close up -

But with the sun behind it, it turns bright red!

Up and over the next hill, and suddenly, there was Steelhead Lake.

The trail got easier here, because it used to be an old mining road.

Three lakes in one picture! Does it get any better? An unnamed small lake in front of Greenstone Lake, with Saddlebag Lake in the back. If you look closely, you can see the water taxi on it's way.

Wow, that was great! Definitely goes on my list of favorite hikes!


  1. Wow! Beautiful. I would need a hiking stick to help me on that rocky trail. Looks like the weather was great.

    You are living the life many of us can only dream about. Good for you!

  2. What a nice hike. I think the animal you were looking at was a Pika, also called a rock rabbit.
    I love you posts.

  3. Im so jealous lol I would love to be able to get out and hike a trail like that with all that beautiful scenery. The pictures are just breathtaking thank you so much for sharing and Im glad you got to take your hike :o) I have no idea what kind of critter that is but it did look like a big ole rat, but a bit cuter lol

  4. I agree with Shoeless. I believe the critter is a Pika. Wonderful pictures. I can see why it was a favorite hike.

    Roy Helton

  5. Great hike, and I'd definitely have my walking stick along! Did you get to take the water taxi back? I think that would be the way to do it. Hike and then ride back. :)

  6. You're slipping! No pictures of rusty stuff! Just beautiful pictures of all those lakes. What happended? ;c)

  7. Pretty, pretty, pretty. It's on my list now that you've checked it all out. Maybe it would have been better the other direction as far as difficulty.

  8. What a great hike! If you like that, then you'd just love a hike on the Joh Muir Trail. It's also near Yosemite -- which is absolutely fantastic in its own right.

    I'm envious!

  9. Thanks for the animal identification - I knew someone would know what it was.

    You can take the water taxi both ways (which I did) or only one way. Each way saves 1 1/2 miles.

    If you're going to do the whole loop, the way I did it is best, because you get the hard part over with when you aren't so tired.

  10. That's what I call "a hike with high entertainment value" ... lots of beautiful scenery to enjoy along the way.

  11. Oh, that hike looked so beautiful. Gorgeous scenery. We are so jealous!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Kevin and Ruth

  12. What is the altitude of the trail?

  13. The trail starts out at 10,000 feet, but only rises a few hundred feet. And I forgot to say that the water taxi ends today.

  14. That was definitely a worthwhile hike. What beautiful scenery. That thing looked like a cute hairy fat mouse.

  15. SO very gald you did something you HAD on your list of things you wanted to do...doesnt that make you feel wonderful inside? What a spectacular spot to hike--just splendid-and I agree its a Pika, the rounded ears makes me think so anyways! Good idea to take the water taxi, I bet that part was fun too!!!

  16. Great photos - I loved the three lake picture. Looks like you got a beautiful day for your hike. Must have felt good.

  17. Keep on providing these photos and places to go. I've got them on my list, thanks to your input and stunning photos.


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