We left San Diego last night, leaving our house around 7:30 and arriving in Bishop, CA at 1:15 am. We spent the night in a very economy motel, the Elms Motel. (Motto: “Quiet, Clean, & Reasonable!” I don’t make this stuff up.) Posh accommodations compared with the wilderness, of course (ooh, flushing toilets!).
We left the motel and made a quick stop at Big K to get a tiny bottle of contact solution, then went to the Inyo National Forest Ranger Station to get our backcountry permits. It was surprisingly easy. We also grabbed an information sheet for the trailhead, which turned out handy because it listed the altitudes for the places we were hiking.
Then we drove out of Bishop at around 9:00 am, taking 168 West into the Sierras. This seemed nutty to us, since Hwy 168 leaves my parents hometown of Clovis going east into the Sierras, but of course the two do not connect. It’s kinda hard to build a freeway over 13,000-foot peaks.
Instead, on the eastern side, Hwy 168 West dead-ends into Lake Sabrina, at an altitude of 9,125 feet. This is where our hike was to begin. We got there around 9:30 am. The designated parking area for backpackers is about 0.5 mi down the road from the lake. We parked and got out of our car and it was chilly! I had been pondering whether or not to bring my jacket, and this made the decision easy. The sun had not yet come up over the hill we were parked next to, and it was not at all warm yet.