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Moonlight Lake Trail

Easy

Trail

0.4 mile 0.6 kilometer point to point
Easy

Elevation

Ascent: 105' 32 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 11,066' 3,373 m
Low: 10,961' 3,341 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Lee Watts

A short, easy hike to a beautiful lake with great views along the way.

Lee Watts

Features Commonly Backpacked · Lake · Views · Waterfall

Wilderness permits are required. They can be obtained on line at recreation.gov/permits. The trail entrance is JM17. There are daily quotas.

Description

The Moonlight Lake Trail is a short, easy trail that branches off of the Sabrina Basin Trail (31E01) before Sailor Lake and about 3/4ths of a mile below Hungry Packer Lake Trail (31E01C) . I do not remember seeing a sign, and I found the trail hard to follow. But the whole area is mostly smooth, gently slopping granite, so you can more or less go any way that you want.

I recommend taking a detour past the southeast end of Sailor Lake. There is a classic Sierra view across Sailor Lake towards Mt. Haeckel. It is also well-worth taking a little detour to see the falls on the creek just below Moonlight Lake.

Each lake in the surrounding area is spectacular by itself and Moonlight Lake is no exception. The only problem I found was that it is more open than the other lakes and there was a cold wind blowing down the canyon coming from Echo Lake.

I did not go there, but it is possible to continue off trail up to Echo Lake, which sits in a steep bowl surrounded by spires, small glaciers and granite cliffs. However, the last part is a steep scramble.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#8

in Bishop Basin

#10094

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  4.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#8

in Bishop Basin

#1,101

in California

#10,094

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20 Views Last Month
1,025 Since May 5, 2017
Easy

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Photos

Looking across Middle Fork Basin towards Piute Crags (orange) with Topsy Turvy Lake in the distance.
Apr 22, 2017 near Big Pine, CA
Falls cascade below Moonlight Lake.
Apr 22, 2017 near Big Pine, CA
Sunset at Moonlight Lake
Mar 17, 2018 near Big Pine, CA
Moonlight Lake sits at the feet of towering granite cliffs.
May 5, 2017 near Big Pine, CA

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