Saddlebag Lake Resort, CA Will NOT Open This Summer Due to Deep Snow & Damage

Miles Clark | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Saddlebag Lake Resort, CA on July 2nd, 2017. image: saddlebag lake resort

This zone is where I did my first ever true mountaineering.  This is where I learned the mountains.

I love this place.  True love.

Very sad to see that the Saddlebag Lake Resort on Saddlebag Lake just off Tioga Pass just outside of Yosemite National Park, CA won’t open this year but its tough to complain about “too much snow”.

Saddlebag Lake Resort, CA on July 2nd, 2017. image: saddlebag lake resort

This resort lies at the top of one of the highest road in California at 10,087′ and allows access to some incredible climbing, mountaineering, and skiing on Mt. Conness, North Peak, and many many more stunning, white granite peaks.

The $7 boat ride across the Saddlebag Lake has saved me many a time when I’d overdone it in the mountains and just couldn’t fathom walking the last 2 miles along the lake in flat, monotonous, rocky terrain.  I always kept a $20 in my pack on these mountaineering trips…

“It is with a heavy heart that we say – we will not be opening the General Store and Cafe at Saddlebag Lake this year. There is too much snow damage and we are working to see how quickly we can repair the damage. Until further notice, the Water Taxi and Boat Rentals will not be operating as well. We are sorry for not being able to take care of our friends and SBL family this season! We will keep you updated. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.” – Saddlebag Lake Resort, July 21st, 2017

Saddlebag Lake Resort, CA on July 2nd, 2017. image: saddlebag lake resort

The History of Saddlebag Lake Resort:

* Saddlebag Lake sits on the Eastern side of the Sierra Nevada’s and rests at 10,087 ft. In 1919, the Southern Sierra Power Company built the dam and even today, uses the water from Saddlebag Lake to generate power in Lee Vining. The water then flows to Mono Lake or it is diverted to the L.A. Aqueduct System.

    * In the early 1900’s, the first cabin was built at Saddlebag and was used as a trapper cabin for the area. Since that time, the original cabin has been refurbished and modernized by several owners.  
Saddlebag Lake Resort, CA on July 21st, 2017. image: saddlebag lake resort


  * The Saddlebag Lake Cafe and General Store was built in 1947. Its features include a fireplace made from local rocks such as: tungsten, black and red obsidian, crystal, and quartz. It also displays a high ceiling which was hand burnt to give its unique look.
    * In the Twenty-Lakes basin north of Saddlebag Lake, there was a tungsten mine actively mined by the Hess family of Lee Vining. The mine was closed in 1962.
    * One of the cabins used as living quarters is presently used as a forest service wilderness ranger headquarters. The windows and siding from two of the mine buildings were incorporated into the resort storage building. If you are standing at the lower Conness Lake looking toward Wasco Lake, you can still see the remnants of the water flume that furnished water for the mine in the canyon.  
Saddlebag Lake Resort, CA on July 21st, 2017. image: saddlebag lake resort

   * Sawmill Canyon, the canyon seen coming up the Saddlebag Road, was home to a sawmill which furnished lumber for Bennettville. Currently, the Carnigie Institute uses the canyon for a high altitude plant and shrub research and experiment station.
   * Saddlebag Lake Resort has had its share of making Sierra history. Originally built by the Gardisky family in the 1900’s, the resort was later owned by the Berglund family, who sold it to the Grover’s in 1960. The Grover’s’ operated the concession for 26 years. In 1986, they semi-retired and sold the resort to Don and Lois Stennerson, who ran the business until 1997. Saddlebag Lake Resort is currently owned by Richard and Carmen Ernst of Modesto, California. 
Map of Saddlebag Lake Resort, CA.

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