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Big Pine Lakes, Lake Sabrina, Little Lakes?

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Big Pine Lakes, Lake Sabrina, Little Lakes?

Postby Scouter9 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:21 pm

I'm seeking advice from you more experienced hikers, and I've been surfing the site all afternoon. Here's the deal: beginner backpacking, minimal miles, fishing. So, here's what I'm looking to learn about and get some reviews for:

--Big Pine Lakes: TH out of Palisade, hike to Second Lake; Second Lake to Sixth; Sixth around seven to Fifth, Fifth Lake to Palisade. What do you think?

--Little Lakes Valley: TH out of Mosquito Flat, but which route and which lakes?

--Lake Sabrina basin: TH out of Lake Sabrina, head toward Hungry Packer, but ??

I need "taster" treks for younger Scouts and haven't been on the trails listed above for over 40 years... I don't remember anything useful. We'll do 3-4 days on trail, bracketed by campground/acclimate/drive days.



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Re: Big Pine Lakes, Lake Sabrina, Little Lakes?

Postby kpeter » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:46 pm

Hi Scouter,

I've been to all those places but have no direct fishing knowledge.

Last summer I did the Palisades. Spectacular. We made it to 5th lake with a hard first day. 2nd lake is quite reasonable. 4th and 5th have good camping. 4th is a green meadowy lake with nice ridgetop camping above it with a great view. 5th is a glacial blue lake with spectacular cliffs. 6th lake has a nice vista if you camp at the outlet end but I did not find the lake itself that interesting. Be sure to take a side trip to the Palisades glacier. See trip report here:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9842&hilit=palisades

My personal favorite beginning destination, though, is the Sabrina Basin. I like camping at Dingleberry, usually on the granite above it on the inlet stream. Moonlight Lake and the falls just below are spectacular. Dayhikes to Baboon, Midnight, Hungry Packer, and even Blue Heaven are very doable. Sunset and Echo Lakes are major challenges for beginners, but can be done if you take your time. A wonderful little locked-in basin with plenty to explore for a few days. Only place I have been back to several times.
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Re: Big Pine Lakes, Lake Sabrina, Little Lakes?

Postby larry1 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:58 am

A good "starter" hike would be Mosquito Flat TH to Chickenfoot Lake, Treasure Lakes, Gem Lakes. Easy fishing for brookies in many of these lakes, a well defined and maintained trail and a variety of lakes to explore. I have not done any overnighters in this area but using the search feature and a Topo map would provide options. Reminder...TH @ 10,400 ft, altitude will be a factor to consider. Also, Treasure Lakes are a short distance off trail.
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Re: Big Pine Lakes, Lake Sabrina, Little Lakes?

Postby maverick » Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:26 pm

Would recommend Little Lakes Valley for young scouts with no experience at all. The
trail is very easy so if their are any problems or emergencies you can get back to traihead
(Mosquito Flats) quickly. There are numerous lakes dotting the valley floor like
Chickenfoot and especially Hidden and Little Lakes that offer great views and some
solitude. A day hike up to Mono Pass would be great, the trail up has grand views of
Little Lakes Valley, and visiting Rudy Lake on the way up is fun too. Gem Lakes at the
other end of the valley would make for a fun hike.
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Re: Big Pine Lakes, Lake Sabrina, Little Lakes?

Postby mkbgdns » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:31 pm

go for easier, rather than harder. make 'em wish they had more, rather than wishing they hadn't gone.
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Re: Big Pine Lakes, Lake Sabrina, Little Lakes?

Postby Scouter9 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:32 am

Excellent input, folks. Thank you!

By the time my newbie crew will hit the Sierra, they'll have several ten-mile dayhikes, a 20 miler and two short backpacking trips (one of them is 10mi downhill on the PCT) under their belts. I am all about short miles and time to fish, and this has rubbed-off on the fellas. What a difference from the "90-miles in six days" years!
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Re: Big Pine Lakes, Lake Sabrina, Little Lakes?

Postby danielsan12 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:20 pm

The fishing in Little Lakes Valley is very good and the hike is definitely the easiest out of the three. Very level and easy to follow trail. Perfect start for the youngsters.
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