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Saddlebag Camping

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Saddlebag Camping

Postby dsfj40 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:49 pm

Wanted to take my Family for 2 nights near Saddlebag in 2 weeks. Height of vacation time i know. Any one have any ideas if we would be able to find a spot to car camp around there this time of year? Or is it just crazy busy around there right now?
Thanks, Dave



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Re: Saddlebag Camping

Postby rlown » Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:56 pm

what have you looked at so far in terms of calling and trying to make reservations? EDIT: they don't take reservations, but you can take their boat across the lake with your camping gear and set up on the North end. Still camping; no fires.

Like these guys: http://www.saddlebaglakeresort.com/

There are campsites there to the south of saddlebag, but the prior question still stands. Those campsites are first come first served. We generally stay at these campsities our first night outside the park. They are nice spots and the lakes have fish.
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Re: Saddlebag Camping

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:52 pm

There is a NO CAMPING ZONE at the north end of Saddlebag - you have to pack in past Greenstone. Which isn't far, but not conducive to having 15 lb tents.

We went up last Thursday and the campground was full since Tuesday - and the host is really really rude and no help at all. Fortunately, I know that there are many small campgrounds and found a site in one of the grounds along Lee Vining Creek. I suggest checking at Ellery and Junction, then heading down the pass to Poole Rd and visiting Aspen and Big Bend which are quite large. None of the grounds on the east side of the pass take reservations except for two or three in the June Lakes Loop.

While midweek gives you a higher probability of sites, there were vacancies - a couple of friends came in Saturday afternoon and grabbed an open site no problem.

There is currently FYI a lot of forest fires going along Tioga Pass, and the road between the Valley and Crane Flat/Tioga Rd is closed. It may be that 120 over the pass closes soon as well - the smoke is thick and horrible. We were going to Mt Dana and drove right by when we found out about the closure. It took us forever to get back to Fresno via 120 to Modesto/Merced (there is a shortcut to Merced via J59). I won't be going back to Yosemite for a little while... The east side was gorgeous, so routing over 108 will be great if they quickly clear the major HAZMAT action north of Lee Vining on 395 (a truck full of gasoline wrecked and the road closed). Check the CalTrans site or call your destination prior to leaving to have updates on road conditions.
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Re: Saddlebag Camping

Postby rlown » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:09 pm

AT,

Do you mean the area around the Hall Natural Area reserve or are you talking about some other restriction on the far end of the lake?

Love to see a map as the FS site appears to be dead right now.

Nice update about the fires. Gonna be a LOT more.
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Re: Saddlebag Camping

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:24 pm

From the FS website:

Just east of Yosemite National Park, Saddlebag Lake is popular for day hikes, fishing and backpacking. A loop trail goes around the lake for fishing and hiking. There is also a water taxi from the marina at the Saddlebag Lake Resort that goes to the far end of the lake. Trails extend into what is commonly called the 20 Lakes Basin. Backpackers must go past the end of Saddlebag Lake, to Greenstone Lake or farther into the 20 lakes basin area in order to stay overnight. Camping around Saddlebag Lake is limited to the campground near the resort.

The haze of smoke from the fires extended to past the Tioga Gate and completely obscured the peaks - it looks like a bad time to have asthma.

Another option, for campers with a backpacking habit, is to backpack the mile to Gardisky - outside the wilderness area, no permits needed, no fires allowed, be extremely LNT please - it's a beautiful place, looks untouched.
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Re: Saddlebag Camping

Postby austex » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:28 am

The haze of smoke from the fires extended to past the Tioga Gate and completely obscured the peaks - it looks like a bad time to have asthma.
@AT Just checked http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/5/..What Fire? Nothing in the Tioga area as of now.
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Saddlebag Camping

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:07 am

The fire closing Big Oak Flat Road and all the little fires we saw along Tioga Road - the smoke drifted east in such a cloud that all peaks from Dana to Cathedral were in a haze or obscured. The smoke also was apparent for miles as we left the park on 120, tho not as thick.

While driving east at night, we saw small fires here and there between the road and the north rim. There were 'management fire do not report' signs in pull outs.
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Re: Saddlebag Camping

Postby jessegooddog » Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:24 am

There is an unmarked walk in campground on the north side of Tioga Road at the 9000 foot elevation sign. Large pull out/parking area across the road. It's about 1/8 mile in along the trail that follows the creek, at least half a dozen sites with picnic tables. Abundant variety of wildflowers along the creek.
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Re: Saddlebag Camping

Postby dsfj40 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:54 pm

That sounds amazing. We will give it a shot. There seems to be enough options that it is worth trying. Thanks for all the help and I will report back with results!
Dave
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