“This trail crosses meadows and smooth rocks, has sweeping open views, and leads to beautiful lakes.”
— Lee Watts
River/Creek · Views · Waterfall
Wilderness permits are required. They can be booked online
. The trail entrance is JM17. There are daily quotas.
This short trail branches eastward off the Sabrina Basin Trail (31E01)
. During the first 200 yards, look back at granite cliffs that form the east side of Mt. Darwin. To the northeast, the trail overlooks Topsy Turvy Lake, which is a glacial tarn among a jumble of giant talus blocks which stick up above the water in many places.
The trail passes on the west side of Sailor Lake and a short distance beyond reaches Hungry Packer Lake, a large lake in a granite basin below the huge pyramidal spire on the ridge from Mt. Haeckel. If you climb up the rocks a little, you can see the incredible blue often found in glacier fed lakes.
The Moonlight Lake Trail
starts just below Sailor Lake. I found the trail hard to follow, but the area consists of easy slopes of smooth granite, so you can mostly go whichever way you want. From the east side of Sailor Lake, there is a picture perfect view across the lake towards the granite spire east of Mt Haeckel. As you continue up the trail, there are great views behind you looking across the Middle Fork Basin towards the orange ridge of Piute Crags. If you run a little to the east, there is a beautiful waterfall on the stream coming out of Moonlight Lake.
Moonlight Lake is beautiful, but it is exposed to cold winds coming down the canyon from Echo Lake. From Moonlight, you could do an off-trail scramble up to Echo Lake, which sits below Clyde Spires and several snowfields.