Monday, November 30

Moonlight Falls - Eastern Sierra Nevada Mts

Like all classic weekend trips into the Sierras, this one started in the car well before dawn on Saturday. Connecting onto the 395 north from the 14 we were finally getting somewhere. After a quick breakfast, backcountry permits were obtained from a very quirky ranger & we were off towards our trailhead.

With two days to explore we opted to check out Moonlight Falls in the upper portion of the Sabrina Basin. Gearing up near the trailhead, with one downfall, there is no overnight parking near the actual start. So moving the car back a ways down the road... we began our actual start.

Around the lake was very nice, with the climb beginning more in earnest on the other side. Slowly through well cut switchbacks we climbed to really nice views above Lake Sabrina. The granite was exceptionally abundant it seemed in this area with large slabs that allowed for great viewing (resting!) platforms.

After some time we made it up to Blue Lake. Crossing the outlet stream the views open up very nicely along the northern perimeter. We stopped for a break & couldn't stop smiling with all the wonderful landscape around. Gathering our things we left many of the day hikers behind & headed for Dingleberry Lake. 

The trail wound up & around several hillsides & through massive boulders fields. Some really neat shelf systems. Near the next lake the trail drops down off the granite ridges & follows close to Dingleberry. We roamed the area for a camp spot & found one after the long river crossing. 

We still had a few miles to the waterfall, but that would be for the morning. Relaxing & taking in the sunset are the normal evening backpacking activities & we do them well. Dinner was made followed with a long session of filtering water under the pink & purple clouds.

The next morning we set out with small day packs & cameras to get up close & personal with some cold flowing water. Within an hour or so of hiking the trail crosses into the upper portions of Sabrina Basin & the mountains just get bigger & bigger. The open landscape is surrounded by granite spires everywhere. Far in the distance we can see the waterfall from the trail. 

We start cross country to the falls & are there in no time. A smooth sheet of water flows over the second tier, while a short burst of the creek splashes over the top of the first tier. We both walk around taking photos from all sides & even climbed up onto the top portion. Really quite bigger from up above I felt. 

It was a bit before noon & there was some clouds beginning to fill upper reaches of the canyon. Nothing too threatening at the moment, but building into some precipitation. We made our way back down to our camp near Dingleberry with ease. 

Without much haste we packed out things & enjoyed the last bit of time before walking back down to the car. The large rock granite sections from the previous day were just as impressive to me on our second trip through. Near the end of the trail we could feel the drops of rain starting to lightly fall from the sky.

A bit of thunder could be heard in the high country as we enjoyed a cold beer from the trunk of the car. Another fantastic trip into the Sierra with a new basin explored. Would highly recommend this as a perfect short trip into the Mountains. There is so much more to see in the Sabrina area, with a great access trail, it'll most certainly be a return trip.

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