The trail to Savage Lakes passes through mostly conifer forest the entire length of the hike. Neither the USGS map nor the Trails Illustrated accurately represent what this trail does however. Those maps make it appear that the trail takes a very straight-line track to the lakes. In reality, the lower half of this trail proceeds up a series of about a dozen broad switchbacks, each of which leads you away from the creek that drains the lakes and then brings you back within earshot before switchbacking again. These add considerably to the overall distance, hence we measure it as being about 2 miles as the trail sign indicates. We have tried to represent these switchbacks on our CalTopo map but what we have drawn probably does not come close to following the actual track. This lower half of the trail is where the majority of the elevation gain occurs and where the trail is the rockiest. Once the switchbacks relent, so does the angle of ascent and the trail mellows out as it follows closer to the unnamed creek.
Once you arrive at the first Savage lake, there are two main areas for camping away from the lake shore, in the trees on the north side of the lake. A trail also continues to the upper lake, which cannot be seen from below. The trail heads along the north, then east shore of the lake, gains some elevation and comes to a fork. The right fork will lead you over to the upper lake where there are additional camp spots. Both lakes are mostly surrounded by forest, but there are still some nice views. Both contain trout.
For peakbaggers, Savage Peak is a lower-ranked 13er close by that can be accessed from these lakes by a fairly difficult bushwhack above the lakes. There are also several mid-height 12ers at the head of the valley and on the ridge north of the lakes that are all easy Class 2 hiking.
There are primitive campsites on the north side of the lower lake and some more sites are available at the upper lake.