November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
McCabe Lakes / Eastern Yosemite
Display Avatars Sort By:
Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
McCabe Lakes / Eastern Yosemite on 08/12/2013 19:50:01 MDT Print View

David W. and I headed up to Tuolumne Mdw. the other day in hopes of getting a permit for Young Lakes with plans to go XC to Roosevelt and maybe bag Mt. Conness from the West side. A couple weeks prior the quota was full so we held out hope for a walk up but alas, no luck. Rather than plan-b something that either of us had already done, we decided to explore somewhere new and tried McCabe Lakes via Saddlebag Lake.

The weather was nice, 70's/20's, no bugs, clear skies, lots of stars and meteors.

The rock scramble over McCabe Pass was a good one. For those at Trinity Alps trip a couple years ago that did that scramble, think higher, steeper, and with more ledges and loose crap.

We stayed at Upper McCabe and day hiked to the middle and lower lakes. The scenery was great.

Followed it up with another nice evening with beers (Sierra Nevada Torpedo and Russian River Damnation), stars, and meteors.

We found our way out the next day via a different route than we came down, neither of which were the recommended routes to take, but there's always more than one way. Good stuff to get the lungs and heart pumping. I've not been the most active this year and I could feel it a bit.

All in all a short but fine trip. I think my lungs finally caught up by the last day. I feel ready to get out there a bit more, but I don't know if my schedule will permit, unfortunately. Here are a few photos...

2013-08_5877  web.jpg

2013-08_5865  web.jpg

2013-08_5887  web.jpg

2013-08_5896  pano  web.jpg

2013-08_5898  web.jpg

2013-08_5930  web.jpg

2013-08_5966  web.jpg

We destroyed a fire ring and in the process found some old trash to pack out. Canned bacon anyone??

Full trip report here with more photos. The shelter pictured is an Ultamid 2. HMG sent me one to check out. I'm up to speed on the chatter about it and I'll be posting some thoughts on it later this week.

David T
(DaveT) - F
McCabe Lakes on 08/12/2013 20:46:46 MDT Print View

Nice quick trip to beautiful country! Good one!

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: McCabe Lakes / Eastern Yosemite on 08/12/2013 20:53:07 MDT Print View

Love the east side. Picture perfect weather. So glad you moved closer Jacob. Could mean more trips for both of us.

David W.
(Davidpcvsamoa) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
Re: McCabe Lakes / Eastern Yosemite on 08/12/2013 22:29:55 MDT Print View

Thanks for writing up the excellent report and photos. That was an ideal weekend trip for me. Thanks for the great company!

Cascade Lake

Upper McCabe Lake

Descending to Upper McCabe

Resting after the climb back the next morning


Edited by Davidpcvsamoa on 08/12/2013 22:35:18 MDT.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: 20 lakes basin on 08/12/2013 23:22:39 MDT Print View

Cool trip guys. Ellen and I must have just missed you - we were in Tuolumne last weekend and climbed the north ridge of North Peak which is just south of Secret Pass where you guys crossed over to Upper McCabe Lake. One of my favorite trips which I have done a bunch of times now is to loop around Conness via Upper McCabe->Roosevelt Lake->Young Lakes->Skelton Lakes->Gaylor Lakes->Spuller Lake->back to Saddlebag. Conness is a fun climb too via the east ridge. Twenty Lakes Basin in general is just a fantastic area. Did you indulge in the water taxi across Saddlebag Lake? :)

North Ridge, North Peak

Upper McCabe Meadow, from September 29th 2012

Marc Eldridge
(meld) - MLife

Locale: The here and now.
Re: "McCabe Lakes / Eastern Yosemite" on 08/12/2013 23:33:52 MDT Print View

Nice looking country and great pics. Looks like you had a great time.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Re: 20 lakes basin on 08/12/2013 23:40:42 MDT Print View

Hey Andrew. Yeah we were down there while you guys were on the rock. Small world! Your loop sounds great. We were kicking around the possabilities out there.

Oh, and we skipped the taxi this time. I did take it with my kids n wife the last time.

Edited by JacobD on 08/12/2013 23:42:27 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: McCabe Lakes on 08/12/2013 23:46:52 MDT Print View

The standard trip starts from Saddlebag Lake, goes up to Steelhead Lake, crosses up and over the crest and down to Upper McCabe Lake for the first day. For the second day, you go south over a pass which has been named "Don't Be a Smart Pass" which brings you down to Roosevelt Lake. You head south and southeast, contour at the 10,000 foot level, and camp the second night at one of the Young Lakes. On the third day, you cross up through Ragged Peak Pass, optionally climb the peak, and then continue all the way south down the standard trail to the T.M. stables. Then hitchhike back to Saddlebag Lake to retrieve the car.


Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: McCabe Lakes on 08/13/2013 17:25:10 MDT Print View

Nice report guys.....I too have done the same trip. Some of my favorite areas of the Sierra. 20 Lakes Basin is a gem and a half too!