Trail: no name
From closed road to Blue Lake 5.17 miles with 2978ft ascending and 1127ft descending.
From Blue Lake to Dingleberry Lake 5.05 miles with 1274ft ascending and 1269ft descending
Min elevation for the two days: 8513ft
Max elevation for the two day: 10681ft
Directions: From 395 drive to Bishop, CA and turn onto W Line St/Rt 168 toward Aspendell and Lake Sabrina. The road closes in November at the south end of Aspendell adding about 2 miles to the hike
Parking: In the winter you can park overnight at the road closed sign. When the road is open you can park near Lake Sabrina
Permit: A backpackers permit is required for overnight stays. In the winter no overnight permit is required.
Map: Bishop Pass North Lake-South Lake Loop
Hike in from Parking lot to Blue Lake and day hike from Blue Lake to Dingleberry Lake
Day hike from Blue Lake to Dingleberry Lake
Originally I planned for a Piute Pass trip but I didn't know the road to the trail would be closed creating another 5+ miles to the first part of the trip. So we decided to change plans and head out to Lake Sabrina and Blue Lake. We have a 3 day weekend Nov 23-25 and I wanted to make the most of it. We had fresh snow the previous 2 days in the higher elevations. We still have some residual weather from the storm with 20-30mph winds on the hike in as well as lite snow. The weather did not stick around as expected and we had gorgeous sunny days Saturday and Sunday. Great vista views on the way up to Blue Lake!
Day 1. We park at the closed road sign just after passing Aspendell. Not enough snow in the lower elevations with this early snow storm for snowshoeing yet! Dry pavement leads the way to Lake Sabrina and the trail head.
At 1.5 miles we cross the Middle Fork Bishop Creek
Another 1/4 mi down the road the trail kiosk is easily seen from the road on the left.
Lake Sabrina is a long lake created by damming the middle fork of Bishop Creek for hydraulic power plants.
Lake Sabrina is 15.1 square miles
The trail follows the lake
The trail crosses a few streams and with the freezing temperatures lately made for beautiful ice formations
At 3.19 mile George Lake sign with the trail back-tracking up the slope.
Just after the George Lake turn off starts the switchbacks up the mountain toward Blue Lake.
The view down onto Lake Sabrina is quite amazing.
The wind picked up as we neared the 10,000ft level to the WHAT DID YOU SAY? level. By the time we made it to Blue Lake the sun had set. One other person had hiked up earlier in the day so we followed his foot steps. Once we arrived at Blue Lake we found a small pocket between the rocks to setup the tent where we were protected from the winds.
Day 2 The next morning we wake up to a gorgeous sunny day; no wind at all despite the weather forecasting continued 20-30mph winds. The picture is Blue Lake with the morning mountain reflection
Blue Lake looking toward the north
Blue Lake looking toward the east
Panoramic view of Blue Lake
We plan a day hike toward the other glacier lakes hoping to get to either Midnight Lake or Hungry Packer Lake depending on time. No more foot steps to follow as we enter the untouched snowy landscape.
We use the GPS and map to find and follow the trail as it winds through un-named pockets of water. The snow is mid-shin deep with snow drifts to just below our knees.
We slowly make our way to Dinglberry Lake where we stop for lunch. We discuss our options to continue to Midnight Lake - another mile one way but it is already 2pm and the sun sets about 4:30pm.
We decide to hike to lake level and look around. On the far end of Dingleberry Lake I found the stream that feeds it .... still unfrozen where the water moves.
A view of the mountains from Dingleberry Lake toward the direction of Midnight Lake
Panoramic view of Dingleberry Lake and surrounding area
Looking up at the mountains around us
One last look at the mountain ranges before we turn our backs and move away from them
We head back toward Blue Lake leaving the trail to Midnight Lake untouched. We want to get back to camp before dark today.
Along the way we notice this long icicle so stop to check it out
The sun continues to move and we get these great moments of alpine glow
Owens Valley and the Inyo Mountain range
Returning to camp we tried to correct where we erred on our navigating going to Dingleberry Lake. Sometimes it was just simply not looking at the GPS and terrain often enough and of course the trail was covered in snow. Here – we went down toward the right, but the trail took a 90deg left and up the side of the mounting. The trail is our return tracks.
We make it back in time for the sun set to hit Blue Lake. This little pocket is on the north side of the lake as it converges into a stream.
Bye Bye sun....
I return from taking pictures to find Neil getting hot chocolate and dinner started - Oh Boy!
Day 3 The next morning we watch the sun rise over Blue Lake creating a sundog rainbow off the ice crystals in the air
Good morning Sunshine!
After watching the sun rise we break camp and start heading down to the car. We get to see some of the views we missed hiking in the dark on the way up
Switchbacks that do not show up on my GPS - technology is not perfect! I was annoyed on the hike in because I was expecting to hit a flatter area instead was in a gully.
On the hike in there were lots of clouds. Today we can see the mountains that were obscured before.
The views are quite magnificent!
The same view as the first day with a lot more sunshine!
As we continue to drop in elevation we reach Sabrina Lake and look back up at the mountains
We're back on the road.....Glissading down yellow lines doesn't work for Neil so it"s thumbs up for a ride? ....
Looking over the side of the road the town of Aspendell is giving horse rides.... soon it will be a sleigh
We arrive to the car mid-day. Heading up to Blue Lake was a great plan B. We'll see Piute Pass another time. Cheers!