Saddlebag Lake and 20 Lakes Basin

Carol and I, along with Steve and KT and Maddy and Ali, hiked the spectacular, high-elevation, 20 Lakes Basin Loop just east of Yosemite National Park. The loop is around five miles long with little elevation gain, passing numerous lakes along the trail. We went clockwise around the loop, then subsequently learned that anti-clockwise is a better way to go. The trail isn’t marked, so some light orienteering is required.

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Carol along the shore of Shamrock Lake. Snow-fed lakes dot the landscape.
Carol along the shore of Shamrock Lake. Snow-fed lakes dot the landscape.
The trail hovered a little above 10,000' its entire length.
The trail hovered a little above 10,000′ its entire length.

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Grotesque snow sculptures (Jeez, did I just say that?) with Helen Lake in the background.
Grotesque snow sculptures (Jeez, did I just say that?) with Helen Lake in the background.
Inside a snow cave over a creekbed. Water dripped from the ceiling - there were fewer drops near the wall.
Ali, Maddy and KT inside a snow cave over a creekbed. Water dripped from the ceiling – there were fewer drops near the wall.

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Cooling the post-hike tootsies in the lake while waiting for the water taxi.
Cooling the post-hike tootsies in the lake while waiting for the water taxi.
Gravity kicks in.
Gravity kicks in.

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