Best Time of the Year to Hike: All summer; whenever Tioga Road is open (closed most time of the year due to snow accumulation ). Early of summer season, high water, wet meadows, and deep snow may make the hike difficult. We hiked this trail July 5th, 2013. There were less know because the past winter was one of the driest winter the Sierras had.
Trailhead: Saddlebag Lake, east of Yosemite National Park, in the Hoover Wilderness Area.
option 1: 8 miles from Saddlebag Lake Resort area.
option 2: take a water taxi to the upper end of Saddlebag Lake across the resort, the main loop is about 5.5 miles.
option 3: take water taxi to the upper end of Saddlebag Lake across the resort, take the trail on the left side of the loop for a 3-mile easy (very gentle slope here and very well defined trail) out and back hike to Steelhead lake.
Change in Elevation for the complete loop: 400 ft (but it all depends since there are some trails that could go higher for more exploring )
We decided to follow #2 ( complete 5.5 mile loop hike in counterclockwise direction), then, add more miles to explore some parts of Lundy Canyon ( #3). However, by the time we reached Lundy Canyon, the very strong chilly wind stopped us from continuing further Lundy Canyon, we went back to the main loop for a more FUN hike.