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20 Lakes Basin Loop Trail

Intermediate
 4.7 (12)

An easy stunning trail with majestic mountain views and lakes at every turn. The most difficult part is the altitude.


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Map Key

4.2

Miles

6.7

KM

Point to Point

10,350' 3,155 m

High

10,124' 3,086 m

Low

479' 146 m

Up

480' 146 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

17%

Max Grade (9°)

Dogs Unknown

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly The easy, wide trail makes for a great family hike with a small investment in effort leading to a large pay out in views.

Trail closes in late September or at the first snow.

Description

Take one of the ferries from Saddlebag Lake Resort for $13/adult roundtrip. The ferries generally run every hour July - September. You need to reserve your return time, but if you miss the ferry, you can take a later one... if there is one. This trail starts at about 10,100 ft and climbs to about 10,300 ft, but every step is worth it. North Peak dominates the skyline to the West with streams and lakes at every turn. After exiting the boat, take a very short jaunt up the banks of the lake and start the trail clockwise to view the first lakes to your left.

Smaller paths wander off to each lake if you choose, or you can just stroll along the wide dirt path. The trail begins the return at Lake Helen about 3 miles. The second part of the trail or "return" is much steeper out of Helen lake to Steelhead lake. The path runs up and down meadows but does not include the scenery of the western side of the trail. There is a steeper decline back to the boat dock (about 300 feet) and if you just want to see beautiful lakes this path is not as satisfying.

Contacts

Shared By:

Heidi Hoover

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 12 votes

#493

Overall
  4.7 from 12 votes
5 Star
75%
4 Star
17%
3 Star
8%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#63

in California

#493

Overall
27 Views Last Month
3,847 Since Apr 25, 2016
Intermediate

22%
0%
56%
11%
11%
0%

Photos

North Peak over Steelhead Lake
Aug 1, 2020 near Bridgeport, CA
North Peak
Aug 1, 2020 near Bridgeport, CA
Odell Lake
Aug 1, 2020 near Bridgeport, CA
This is the trail as it approaches Black Mountain.
Jul 3, 2017 near Bridgeport, CA
Approaching the shore of Helen Lake.
Jun 8, 2017 near Bridgeport, CA
The cool blue waters of Shamrock Lake.
Jun 7, 2017 near Bridgeport, CA

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Check-Ins

Jul 25, 2020
Ed Miller
2-night backpacking trip around Saddlebag Lake and 20 Lakes Basin with a day trip to Conness Lakes.
Jul 21, 2020
Yu Chen Hou
Jul 19, 2020
Yu Chen Hou
Lots of water to filter from
Aug 15, 2018
Rob Luskey
Jul 20, 2018
philip lz
Jun 21, 2018
Cristi P
12.2mi
Sep 30, 2017
ThuyVy Nguyen
Sep 28, 2017
Rita O.