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Mount Whitney Portal waterfalls and Alabama Hills

Saddlebag Lake, near Tioga Pass

This lake can be found on the eastern side of Tioga Pass, off route 120, which is itself within Yosemite National Park.  The lake is actually made up of two lakes, which have been raised via a dam to support Lee Vining, a small town on Mono Lake.  The lakes provide electrical power due to the incredible drop in altitude over a very short distance.  The lake drains into the Lee Vining river, which feeds Mono Lake.

Access to the lake is from route 120, via a mostly dirt road a few miles outside of the Tioga Pass entrance to Yosemite.  A small ferry runs from the south end of the lake to the north end, and a wonderful little restaurant provides home-cooked food at the south end.

Our trip started around 2 PM, and we hiked north of the lake until the last ferry at around 6:30 PM.  Since the lake is at 11,000 feet, hiking is not a good idea unless you have acclimated to high altitude.  We had been staying at Twin Lakes for a week, at around 7500 feet, which made the transition to 11,000 feet bearable.

Unfortunately, as I rushed down to meet the ferry, I accidentally opened the camera back, ruining the best shots of the lakes.  Somehow, my camera bag strap got caught in a way that triggered the back to open.  I was sick about this loss for days...  I guess we will just have to go back!

Click on the thumbnail images below to see a larger version of the image.

Panorama SL1:  Saddlebag Lake Trio

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Copyright (c) 2003 by Eric C. Anderson
All Rights Reserved

The third lake in the background is Saddlebag lake.  The two lakes in the foreground have no name that I know of - they are lakes that form during the spring, and dry up by end of summer.  This image was captured with a series of landscape images, and stitched with PowerStitch.  The image is over 8100 x 1900 pixels, or nearly 45 MB in size.  When viewed full size, or on a large print, you can discover five people hiking or standing by the middle lake.

Panorama SL2:  Saddlebag Lake Twin

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Copyright (c) 2003 by Eric C. Anderson
All Rights Reserved

This is another view of the middle lake from the trio panorama above.  Saddlebag lake is not visible, but it is over the near hill on the far left of the lake.  The hiking path in the foreground gives a sense of adventure to this image.  This image is over 6900 x 2000 pixels or 40 MB in size, and was captured using landscape images, and stitched with PowerStitch.

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