Saddlebag Lake
Current Real-Time snowpack information go here

Saddlebag Lake is an area just east of the Tioga Pass entrance.  This lake lies at the 10,000 foot elevation and features a tremendous 5-mile trail with some of the most astounding scenery in the whole park.  This trail cannot be recommended enough.  It's very easy and children will do very well.

As you exit (or approach) the east gate, you'll pass the Tioga Resort on your left and just beyond is the 2 mile dirt road to the lake.  The sign will guide you.

There is also a walk-in campground along this road, one of the best I have ever seen.



Yosemite Rangers are cracking down on speeders!

While driving in YNP, be aware that LEOs are being hardcore about speed limits, especially in Tuolumne Meadows.  I saw more LE vehicles this past weekend (7/14/07) than ever before.  They were pulling people left and right.  I got nailed myself for doing 60 in a 45 in a remote area between TM and Tioga Pass, and although I only got a warning, it was a sobering reminder they are serious.  DRIVE THE SPEED LIMIT and do not go over.  They are using radar in places they never used to monitor before.  No matter how late, early, remote or whatever, watch your speed.

The reason for this crackdown is 8 bears have been killed by speeders so far this year.  In Tuolumne Meadows, 2 bears were killed in the first week of Tioga Road opening.



The resort, which is really only a small grill and cash register for the ferry.  But they do have barbecues every now and then.

The campground lies behind the resort.


Just one of the many spellbinding vistas you can see along the easy 5-mile trail.






Again, the trail is very easy.


The south end of Steelhead Lake; there are no steelhead in this lake, so don't get excited...


But there are small trout, mostly native Rainbows and Goldens

Copy of Tuolmap.jpg (82331 bytes) Click on the image for a map of Tuolumne Meadows


How the weather can change
Snow at Tuolumne Meadows in late September, 2004

by Bill

It was my pleasure to drive along The Tioga Road on Monday, Sept. 20, 2004. Perhaps Maw Nature was feeling her oats because she unleashed snow in the Tioga Lake and Tuolumne Meadows area. I thought it was too early, but not her!

When I got to Tioga Lake it really began to come down ... enough to put a white dusting on the road and ground and that only added to the accumulation in some places already there. Up to an inch here and there. I saw a guy standing up to his ankles in Tioga Lake having his picture taken. He was dressed in a warm coat. There were a number of picnickers around the Tioga Lake area who were not bothered in the least by the snow. Hearty individuals!

The thing about this storm was it came and went. It would snow for five minutes, then the sun would come out and the sky would turn bright blue. It seemed the temperature would go up ten or fifteen degrees. Then, more snow. This continued as I drove along Tenaya Lake, past Olmstead Point and all the way to Tuolumne Meadows. I stopped at the visitor center at Tuolumne Meadows and bought a pair of bright blue thermal underwear. I was beautiful with those undies under my khaki shorts. Then it was off to the Soda Springs trail to do the hike I had planned. I was in and out of snow three times during that hr. hike.

After the Soda Springs walk I went to the grill at Tuolumne Meadows for a burger and a hot cup of coffee. Still Snowing!

Shortly before I headed over to the Lee Vining entrance for some pictures of Mount Dana it stopped snowing but I was in and out of it several times driving to the park gate.

The snow melted almost as soon as it hit the ground, but it really came down several times. It was beautiful! I have never seen snow at Yosemite so it was a new experience. While I was up on Tioga Road it snowed and rained in the valley so I am told. "They" say it was quite a storm. From my viewpoint that storm came over Lembert Dome, over ME and went right down Tioga Canyon to the valley. I know that when I got to my cabin at House Keeping Camp later that day the roads in the valley were wet and there was some snow here and there still on the ground.

That night I froze! As I said I was in Housekeeping. No heat and all I had was a sleeping bag. I'm told it went down to 37 degrees. Oh well, I flew close to two thousand miles to be in Yosemite and was not about to let a little cold and snow spoil it for me.

As the week progressed the days and nights became warmer. I left the valley on Friday morning and the temperature was in the upper 70s.