SD - Eastern Sierras Campout, Hikes, and intermediate 5 Lakes Backpacking Retreat

  • Sun, August 18, 2024
  • 3:00 PM
  • Sun, August 25, 2024
  • Bishop Park Group Campsite - Inyo National Forest
  • 21


  • Select this ticket if you intend to be one of the 5 backpackers staying the full length of the trip
  • Select this ticket if you only intend toe camp the first 3 days and then return home.
  • Select this option for camping in your RV at Four Jeffrey campground. There will be no parking spaces available at the other group camp site.


SDGO – Eastern Sierras Campout and Hikes 

and 5 Lakes Backpacking Retreat (Intermediate) 

August 18-21 Campout, August 21-25 Backpack 

Total Distance: 15miles  Elevation Gain: 2,800ft Route Type: Out and Back 

If you’ve longed for space and time to soak in the unfathomable beauty of a place and love to wander and explore and bask in the majesty of wilderness without having to pack up and move camp and hike every day, this trip is for you! 

Note: Serious considerations and Requirements Before Registration:  

  • The basecamp reservations allow for 8 cars or SUVs (no RVs at the group campsite) with up to 25 people tent camping at the beautiful group campsite. 

  • Each participant must carpool with at least one other participant and coordinate travel plans and driving expenses. Participants with roomier vehicles should please consider adding an additional person.

  • Can share a tent or bring separate tents. 

  • The backpack portion of the trip is limited to 6 backpackers. Those who are not going on the backpack must check out by noon on Wednesday.  

  • Commit to the full trip – no early departures except in emergency. 

  • Must have at least basic backpacking experience. 

  • Must have some equipment (some items may be loaned by SDGO).  

  • Your pack should not exceed 35 lbs. & will be weighed at start. 

  • Must pack a bear canister that contains all food and toiletries. 

  • Must be in good physical condition able to carry a 35 lbs. uphill at a moderate pace for 4 miles at elevations from 9,000-11,000 feet. 

  • The Intermediate rating of the backpack is based on distance traveled from vehicles, terrain, elevation, elevation gain, and expected weather. 

  • Will rotate carrying group equipment such as the first aid kit. 

  • After registration, please expect an email from the trip leader, Steve Fitzgerald ( to discuss this trip and make sure it is right for you. 

3-Night Group Campout with Day Hike and Boating 

We will enjoy the first three nights at Bishop Park Group Campground, which is “one of the most popular facilities in the Bishop Creek area.” Bishop Park, in the Inyo National Forest, extends along the North Fork of Bishop Creek at 8,300 ft. elevation. It is shaded by aspens, cottonwoods, and Jeffrey and lodgepole pines. Its level, dirt-surfaced, tent-only campsites border Bishop creek. Two bear-proof food storage lockers are provided, as are flush toilets and drinking water. No electric hookups are available, and RVs are not allowed.  

Tent sites back onto the creek, allowing anglers to fish from the comfort of their campsite. The stocked stream contains rainbow, brown, brook and Alpers trout. Similar fishing opportunities can be found just upstream in Intake Lake II. 

  • Wednesday, August 21 - Car campers break camp and head home by noon. Six backpackers continuing will park and hike from Sabrina Lake trailhead. If there are campers that wish to stay longer a nearby option is Four Jeffrey Campground just 2.5 miles away. One third of the sites are reservable but the rest are first-come first-served.

3-Night RV Campout with Day Hike and Boating 

There are 2 RV camper spots available in the Four Jeffrey Campground. Campers opting for this reservation should take note that there will not be available parking at the Bishop group campground. RV campers are welcome to all the same activities as tent campers but may need to arrange for someone to transport them from one campground to the other if they are interested in partaking in group meals.

4-Night Backpacking Retreat 

Every aspect of this trip route is stunning!! It is intentionally designed with two rest days to chill and soak in the majesty of the high sierras in between, while visiting and exploring at least 6 different lakes. 

  • Wednesday, August 21 - Backpack group breaks camp, drives to Sabrina Lake trailhead and parks, then hikes to the far end of Blue Lake and set up camp for 2 nights. 

  • Thursday, August 22, chill day at Blue Lake, optional low key short hike(s) to explore Donkey Lake, Emerald Lakeand/or others. 

  • Friday, August 23, break camp and hike to Hungry Packer Lake and set up camp.

  • Saturday, August 24, hike to and explore nearby Midnight and Moonlight Lakes

  • Sunday, August 25, break camp, hike back down to Sabrina Lake parking lot, drive home 

Weather: Expect warm days and chilly (low-mid 40s) evenings and mornings. Dressing in layers is the best way to manage the possible range of temperatures. Precipitation is always a possibility, so rain gear is mandatory. Last year mosquitos at Treasure Lake (not basecamp) nearly ruined our trip – bring adequate protection. 

Bring: 10 Essentials for the campout and hike. Steve will send registered backpackers a list of required and recommended gear for the 4-night backpack. 

Cost: $30 for Camper Only, $40 for Camper/Backpacker. When capacity is reached, a waiting list will be in effect. Cancel by August 4 to receive a refund. $80 for RV spot. RV campers will need to arrange for someone to pick them up and bring them to the Bishop group campsite or will need to walk the 2.5 miles from the RV campground

Other considerations: As with any backcountry experience, this one is "Leave no Trace" - our trash comes out with us, including toilet paper, and excrement is buried and covered far away from water sources. Active bear area - mandatory use of either bear cannisters or hanging food sacks. 

Directions:370 miles, 6+ hours from San Diego. Take 15 to 215 to 395 N to Bishop. In Bishop, turn left on S Lake Rd (CA 168) and follow it 15 miles to Bishop Park group site in Inyo National Forest, and turn LEFT into the entrance. 

Trip Leader: Please contact Steve Fitzgerald at 323-252-1066 or at 

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