Our History

Did you know...       

* 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.                   
  * 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.  
   * 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.