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Moonlight Lake Trail

Easy
 4.0 (1)

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


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Map Key

0.4

Miles

0.6

KM

91%

Runnable

11,066' 3,373 m

High

10,961' 3,341 m

Low

105' 32 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

9%

Max Grade (5°)

Dogs Unknown

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Lee Watts

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#9

in Bishop Basin

#13267

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#9

in Bishop Basin

#1,388

in California

#13,267

Overall
147 Views Last Month
2,202 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
Moonlight Lake
Jul 10, 2020 near Big Pine, CA

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