Overview: A Gateway to the Evolution RegionThis trailhead (elevation 9,128 feet) is the starting point for several cross-country routes into the Evolution region and the 8 Evolution peaks. The Evolution region covers the Sierra Crest from Bishop Pass to Piute Pass. Darwin Col, Haeckel Col and Wallace Col are fairly direct routes into this region.
The trailhead is just below the dam for Lake Sabrina. The trail traverses above Lake Sabrina’s east shore past a junction leading to George Lake and on to Blue Lake where the trail branches. The south branch goes to Donkey Lake. The other branch goes west past Dingleberry Lake to a fork where the branch to the right goes to Midnight Lake and the left to Hungry Packer Lake. South of Hungry Packer Lake is Echo Lake virtually at the foot of Clyde Spires and Mt. Wallace.
Driving DirectionsFrom Interstate 395 in Bishop, take Highway 168 west approximately 19 miles to the trailhead. The trailhead is on the left side of the road just before you come to the large parking area next to Lake Sabrina. Note that there is no overnight parking in the vicinity of the trailhead. If you are going on an overnight trip, you will have to park your vehicle about ½ mile back from the trailhead.
Red TapeWilderness permits are required for overnight camping anywhere accessible from this trailhead. There is a wilderness permit quota in effect between May 1 and November 1 by which 60% of the permit quota is allocated to advance reservations ($5.00 per person) and 40% is made available gratis on a walk-in, first-come-first-served basis. See the link below to the Inyo National Forest website for current information. You can also visit or call the main permit office regarding permits:
Inyo National Forest Wilderness Permit Office
873 North Main Street
Bishop, CA 93514
Reservation Line: 760.873-2483
Permit Fax Line: 760.873-2484
Wilderness Information: 760.873-2485
When to VisitThe main climbing and hiking season is from May to October. In most years, the winter months provide a lot of snow requiring snowshoes for approaches and crampons and ice axe for many routes.
Other InformationTrailhead Amenities
At the trailhead itself, there are no amenities whatsoever. Back down the road about a mile is the developed Sabrina Campground. Overnight campsites are currently a stiff $19. This is cheaper than a motel but costlier than throwing the sleeping bag beside the car along the road.
Weather and Road Conditions
For current weather conditions, check the for the Bishop area National Weather Service or the Sierra Weather Page
For road conditions specifically, check with
CALTRANS or call 1-800.427-ROAD.