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Packsaddle Lake Route

Intermediate/Difficult
 5.0 (1)

Not difficult off-route run to spectacular Packsaddle Lake which sits directly below the Matthes Glaciers.


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Map Key

1.8

Miles

2.9

KM

92%

Runnable

10,662' 3,250 m

High

10,413' 3,174 m

Low

125' 38 m

Up

261' 80 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

20%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fishing · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Wilderness permits are required with daily quotas. The Piute Pass Trail is very popular. Normally a percentage of permits are reserved as walk-in permits, but these are not available in 2020 because of Covid-19.

Need to Know

The lake is above 10,000 feet, so no campfires are allowed.

Description

Packsaddle Lake is the most spectacular lake in the area, yet it is little visited because there is no trail to it. The irony is that the probable reason for no trail is that it is easy to reach without one. From the Golden Trout trail directly below, it is less that a mile and only 300 feet higher. It is also possible to contour over to the lake from a point on the Golden Trout Trail that is at about the same elevation. The only difficult part of the run is getting across Piute Creek. This is an easy wade in mid-season, but it might be very difficult during the snow melt.

I have mapped a route with two legs, for visiting the lake while going up or down the canyon. If you are coming up the Golden Trout Trail you can easily see the wide low spot in the canyon slopes. There is a point where the trail passes very near the creek directly below this. Cross the creek and head up the slopes trying to stick to the grassy areas.

If you are coming from Golden Trout Lake, about 0.7 miles below the branch trail to the lake, the Golden Trout Trail passes near Piute Creek, just below 10,600 feet. Across the creek is a grassy area. From there try to contour over to the lake through open areas without going up or down very much.

Via either leg, you'll cross a wide, almost level, grassy area for last 0.3 mile to the lake. Once there, you'll probably have the lake all for yourself.

Contacts

Shared By:

Lee Watts

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#8

in Bishop

#3135

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#8

in Bishop

#319

in California

#3,135

Overall
7 Views Last Month
45 Since Jul 30, 2020
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Packsaddle Lake and Matthes Glaciers. As everywhere, the glaciers have gotten a lot smaller over the last 50 years.
Jul 31, 2020 near West Bi…, CA

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