Even so, the trail had well-constructed steps that ascended the granite. The chart above will give you some idea on what to expect. There are opportunities to camp at every lake, with plenty of spots featuring man-made fire rings. Trash Collection: No trash collection at the trailhead in the off-season. The longest stretch between lakes is ~4 miles, so two liters of carrying capacity is plenty. The Emigrant Wilderness is the Yosemite backcountry’s underappreciated cousin. We spent one night on an exposed, rocky lakeside and were rewarded with stellar sunset views, but suffered chillier temperatures. Archives • Backpacking • Camping • Carson Iceberg Wilderness • Emigrant Wilderness • Hoover Wilderenss • Mokelumne Wilderness • News and Events • Route 108 - Sonora • Route 4 • Snowshoeing • Summer REC • Summer recreation Sonora Pass and Ebbett's Pass Open For Summer Season Emigrant Wilderness is an area located North of Yosemite. How much do you usually like to hike in a day, in terms of miles or elevation? I picked up my Emigrant Wilderness permit at the Summit Ranger Station right after it opened at 8:30 am. I still had almost 11 miles to the car, so I conjured an ibuprofen and acetaminophen cocktail to get me going. I normally hike long days, 15-25 miles, so I thought the first day was fairly easy. The weather forecast for the trip showed clear skies. Camping and Permits: Permits are required from April 1 to Nov. 30 for any overnight travel in the Emigrant Wilderness. Until then, the trail had been well-maintained. 3-day spectacular Emigrant Wilderness backpacking loop. This means camping at least 200 feet from water, 100 feet from established trails, and away from fragile terrain such as meadows. I passed through some of the most impressive granite landscapes of the whole trip. The routes … Instead, I headed South, toward Huckleberry Lake, passing Blackbird and Maxwell Lakes. Highest Elevation: 9200 ft. Park: Stanislaus National Forest (California, USA) Trail(s): Huckleberry Trail, Lunch Meadow Trail. I think Gem and Jewelry lakes would also have made good campsites. I had time for one last weekend trip to the Sierra before winter. The Colorado Trail is a 485-mile point-to-point backpacking route in Colorado. Camping, there would be a wet and cold ordeal. Want this map for offline use? Inflammations should take longer than that to develop, I thought. I planned for a short first day, stopping either at Jewelry Lake or Deer Lake. This moderately trafficked backpacking trail is about 15.5 miles round trip. The terrain is about a 60/40 mix of trail and cross-country. However, because we went during the COVID pandemic, we filled out our permit online. I ate dinner, watching the sunset reflect off the calm lake. You'll need a permit for this loop so make sure to stop by the Summit District Ranger Station in Pinecrest to pick yours up. It’s possible to hike this trail in the winter with traction, but be sure to check the national forest road conditions and be prepared for winter conditions. Explore the most popular trails in my list Emigrant Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. There’s none in the wilderness or Crabtree Road. Deer Lake was a bit more shallow/marshy at least in one end. You can also take the short spur to Bear Lake, on the junction directly after Camp Lake. Mileage: 9 miles. I rigged my Tenkara rod and picked a size 16 bead head nymph with a pink hotspot. The trail passed through a pleasant pine forest. By Katie Kommer, hiked this route in 2020. The elevation profile is comparable for both options. It was still near freezing when I started my backpacking trip. Day One: Crabtree Trailhead to Camp Lake, 3 miles Day Two: Camp Lake to Grouse Lake, 12.5 milesDay Three: Grouse Lake to Crabtree Trailhead, 4 miles. This is blue hour along Kennedy Creek in the spectacular Emigrant Wilderness. The Emigrant Wilderness Loop is a 19.5-mile loop located in Stanislaus National Forest, California, that can be hiked in 1-3 days. I decided to sleep under the stars without the tarp. Headed to Crabtree Trail, and took the trail to Camp Lake. This takes you north of Yosemite National Park in Stanislaus National Forest. Our trek through the Emigrant Wilderness offers an ideal location to learn backpacking basics while enjoying the scenic lakes and creeks that abound in this area. The Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail is a 48-mile end-to-end trail in New England that can be accomplished in three-to-four days. Explorer les randonnées sac-à-dos les plus populaires en Emigrant Wilderness avec des cartes de sentiers et des indications routières préparées à la main ainsi que des avis détaillés et des photos de randonneurs, de campeurs et d'amoureux de la nature comme vous. Good to know. It felt like plantar fasciitis but had appeared suddenly. We hiked the loop in early October and only encountered a handful of other hikers over three days. We’re now on an emigrant trail from the Gold Rush era, one of those that was promoted by someone as a faster route to the gold fields, but was most notable for the quantity of broken wagons and dead animals along the trail. This backpack trip will travel through Emigrant Wilderness and just north of the Yosemite National Park boundary. Emigrant Wilderness is in Stanislaus National Forest, North of Yosemite. The fly dropped outside the cliff and sank. Katie is a freelance writer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Daytime temperatures were in the low 60s and nighttime lows int the 20s. Located just north of Yosemite National Park, the Emigrant Wilderness in the Stanislaus National Forest offers an incredible array of natural environments and terrain. Emigrant Lake was much larger than any of the lakes I visited the day before. Food storage: Bear canisters are not required in Stanislaus National Forest, but are highly recommended. I didn’t see any signs of fish, so I continued hiking to Buck Lakes. I packed away my rod and continued along the lakeshore. Get a discount on Gaia Premium here. Landmarks: Relief Reservoir. They greeted me with a surprised “hello, human!” Clearly, they hadn’t seen others in a while either. Large boulders, epic rock formations, pine trees as far as the eyes can see, and plentiful lakes make this loop a serene escape from California’s busy cities. The Pacific Crest Trail pretty much goes around the East edge of Emigrant Wilderness. The evening was chilly, but I stayed warm by my campfire. Though the weather will be extremely pleasant in the summer, bugs will be out in full force. From Modesto, take the 120 toward Yosemite and merge onto the 108 toward Sonora. There are excellent views of the surrounding area on this section of the trail, after a mile or so. I pulled out the barbless hook, snapped a quick picture, and released it. Off the 108, turn right onto Crabtree Road and 10 miles down the road is the parking lot and overnight campsite for this trailhead. The two times I’ve done this loop the crowds were extremely thin, so we never had to search for campsites. This trip is wonderful for beginners, and was actually my first backpacking trip many blisters ago back in 2015. A few of the lakes are a bit swampy, and you will want to wade out into the water to collect away from the mud. Backpacking Emigrant Wilderness. Any nice spots to camp prior (Camp Lake or other?)? The trail consisted of loose rocks ranging from the size of a grape to a football. At this point, it had been over two full days since I’d seen another person, and over a day since I’d even seen a footprint. I kept going. The fall months are much cooler and provide less water, but there won’t be any bugs. During your hike, you will have about a 1500 foot elevation gain. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time! See more ideas about pct trail, john muir trail, wilderness. Read here for information on when visiting bear country. But the path that paralleled East Fork Cherry seemed to double as a riverbed during spring. The last 2 miles of the road was unpaved, but passable with a car. The next night, we hid in a well-covered dirt site next to a smaller lake and woke up with zero condensation. At the time, I didn’t think much of it as the pain subsided in minutes. Smoky Mountains National Park Loop, NC / TN. Stock: This area is heavy with horse activity. Immediately I noticed that something wasn’t right. 15-25 miles a day is in the super human category! You didn’t report much on your fishing adventures. The Gem Lake Loop is located in Emigrant Wilderness, which borders Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park, and offers incredible views, smaller crowds, and diverse terrain. This page covers all necessary alerts for the area, and from there information about permits, closures, fire bans, etc., can be found. From the south, the wilderness is accessible from Cherry Lake, along the border with Yosemite National Park. The trail is primarily used for hiking and backpacking and is best used from August until September. We planned this trip because fire closures canceled other plans, yet this national forest remained open. So yes, we did go skinny-dipping. I stood and watched the lake for a few minutes. Our trip from Kennedy Meadows Pack Station to Hetch Hetchy described in the Backpacking Plan below and the following … I gave it a few quick jigs and boom–the trout slammed the fly. But the impact was forceful enough to cause a big bruise and my foot to swell up. We will arrive in the afternoon to explore Pinecrest, pick up our permit and do a short warm-up hike. Expand++ . Crabtree Road is not paved, but 2WD cars are just fine. Thus, the Emigrant Wilderness combines the blacks, reds, and grays of basaltic and pumice stone with glacially polished granite vistas. I found a cliff overlooking the lake with a fire ring and a sheltered spot for my sleeping pad. My water bottle had frozen overnight, but I slept warm. By the time I got to the top of the ridge separating Buck Lakes and Emigrant Lake, it was once again warm enough that I could ditch my fleece. I returned to do this loop again in 2020, and it felt just as special even after hundreds of backpacking miles under my belt. Elevation: +3000ft. Route finding: There are a lot of trails in the area, so be sure to carry a GPS map. This trip is located in the Emigrant Wilderness on the Stanislas National Forest. At Huckleberry Lake, I left the main trail and headed up towards Letora Lake. The last miles of the trail passed through an old burn area. 7 miles roundtrip with a 500 foot elevation gain. It’s the perfect amount of physical challenge mixed with stunning California beauty. There are 11 moderate trails in Emigrant Wilderness ranging from 5.1 to 29 miles and from 6,558 to 10,324 feet above sea level. The trail followed the edge of a large meadow on the Northside of Upper Buck Lake. When she’s not guzzling instant coffee in the backcountry, you can find her down the ski slopes or using inappropriate language around children at the climbing gym. The descent to Huckleberry Lake was painful. The rocky shore dropped deep into the lake and offered trout places to hide. Ending Point: Granite Dome Lakes. This ~20-mile loop can quickly become 30 miles if you forget to start your loop back. Waste MUST be packed out from November to May. I didn’t try fishing there on that trip, will need to do it next time I’m out there. Emigrant Wilderness - granite dome lakes << Hiking In Emigrant Summary Granite Dome Hike >> Stats to Reach Lakes. Emigrant Wilderness Loop Trail is a 19.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Pinecrest, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. These are typically self-serve, free, and unlimited at any Stanislaus National Forest ranger station. Large boulders, epic rock formations, pine trees as far as the eyes can see, and plentiful lakes make this loop a serene escape from California’s busy cities. There are pros and cons to each month of the hiking season in Stanislaus National Forest. I recommend this trip for a leisurely escape into the wilderness, as opposed to a trip where mileage is the goal. Just as quickly as it had appeared, it vanished into the dark. Check here to see if you can apply for an online permit. The temperature had gone from freezing to summer in the hour I had been on the trail. I was getting to the limit of how far I could walk on my foot. Only later did I remember that I had hit the outside of my foot against a sharp rock. I enjoyed this route, but don’t see any reason why counterclockwise would be any less enjoyable. Thinking about going early October. From there, I had another 15 minutes to the Crabtree Trailhead. The nearest town is Pinecrest, a popular destination for both summer and winter tourists. Hike this trail? I also hiked to Deer Lake in one day but that was 20 years ago and I was super weary when I got there. Two weeks after my last trip to Emigrant Wilderness I went back for another overnight backpacking trip, this time with Granite Dome in my sights. There are many opportunities to extend the loop or go slightly off-trail to different lakes, so we were grateful for our easy itinerary. Backpacking at Chewing Gum Lake, Emigrant Wilderness. The Emigrant Wilderness is one of the best-kept secrets of the High Sierra. My last trip there was a blanket of snow over the mountains but in the time since almost all of it had melted, only remaining in … Deer Lake has great rainbow fishing. The water is plentiful, although you do want to make sure you have multiple filtering options. But it’s much less crowded than its neighbor to the South, offering more solitude for backpacking. Our hike started at Gianelli Cabin trail head, then to Deer Lake, then Emigrant Lake, then Buck Lake, then Bear Lake. Huge berms and ridges were cut through the roadbed (reports-comments-questions?). Fortunately, the other end of the lake was much more suitable for camping. Hence its current wilderness status. Aug 31, 2020 - Tuolumne County is apart of the PCT Trail and the John Muir Trail. From short overnight fast-packing getaways to a week-long trek with a loaded pack, the 113,000-acre Emigrant Wilderness may not be as popular as Yosemite, but it is definitely worth the trip. I stopped at Camp Lake to fill up on water and layer down. The last time I was in a four-wheeler climbing up the road into the Leavitt Lakes basin (Maybe late 1990s, Tyler and Chris?) Stanislaus National Forest Backcountry Permit. The Crabtree Trailhead is about three hours from California’s Bay Area. I cannot recommend this trip enough for beginner backpackers. This trail is most crowded in the summer, as there are also many day hikes from the trailhead. It was way too big for me to eat, especially right after breakfast. A ranger that I met on the trail the day before said that he’d heard anglers catch 25-inch trouts there. This part of the Sierra, the Emigrant Wilderness, which lines the northern border of Yosemite, is renowned for its many lakes and endless granite basins, domes, and volcanic peaks. BPR editor Hugh Owen started backpacking in the 1970s with a massive external-frame pack, heavy boots, and an 8-pound tent. It can easily be completed in a three-day weekend, including travel time. Backpackers hiking into this area will find fish aplenty, not to mention fine campsites where they can start a fire and grill their catch. The trout leaped into the air several times before accepting its fate. We’ll cover 25 miles of moderate terrain, with two layover days, which will allow time for learning wilderness skills and natural history, exploring the area on day hikes, relaxing, and simply enjoying the great outdoors. The longest climb is less than a mile, and covers roughly 700 feet of elevation gain in that time. The night was wind-still, and there wasn’t a cloud in sight. Every step I took on my left foot resulted in a stabbing pain near my heel. Most of the 11 miles were downhill. That was all we needed to decide to go on a 5-day pre-Christmas snowshoeing trip. It is perfect for an AT shake-down hike or a weekend getaway. Only 2.6 miles, with a net gain in elevation of about 500 feet (although you climb almost 1000 and drop back by Cell Reception: Don’t expect any. My 12-foot rod bent as the line whizzed through the water. Emigrant Wilderness Backpacking Trip August 16 - 25, 2019 Bob and Jennifer: 9 Nights, 10 Days, 22.6 Miles Backpacking, 50 Miles Day Hiking See Favorite Photos/Videos, Day by Day Narrative and Photos, Emigrant Wilderness Map, Equipment/Food/Supply Notes. This is my video for incredible West Cherry Creek Falls, in the Emigrant Wilderness, Stanislaus National Forest, California Waterfalls. There are a few rocky sections, where the path is lined with small rocks across slabs of granite. This trail is well-blazed and mostly dirt. We've got a good collection of resources below. Thanks for sharing. Starting Point: Kennedy Meadows. We took this loop clockwise, heading in the direction of Camp Lake on the first day. Suddenly, I saw a big trout come up for a bite. the road was pretty screwed-up down low. In the spring there will be more options to collect flowing water, but I would not hike this loop without a backup water filtration source. You need to be in good physical condition to handle the daily rigors of cross-country hiking. Also, in October we saw only a handful of other people on trail. Hi, just talked to a friend who says trying to reach Buck Lake on day one is really ambitious. That being said, the water is plentiful and you’ll never have to carry more than two liters. Like Yosemite, it has towering granite mountains and spectacular alpine lakes. For ramblings, rants, and the occasional dose of inspirational musing follow her on Instagram or her blog Small Towns to Summits. In fact, I hadn’t seen a single fresh human track on the trail since Emigrant Lake. Dogs are also able to use this trail. It was the first weekend in November last year, ← How to plan an ultralight backpacking trip, San Francisco Bay Area overnight bikepacking trip →. https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/california/emigrant-wilderness/backpacking Mileage is very individual. Camping is allowed anywhere LNT guidelines are followed. Campsites spread across entire lake. More on this later. However, fires aren’t always allowed. ABOVE: The Milky Way unfurls over the heart of Emigrant Wilderness and the Sierra Nevada — a stargazer’s paradise. Check here to see if you can apply for an online permit. It looked like the trail didn’t get much traffic. The area is dominated by glaciated landscape, granite and lava capped mountains, as well as many lakes and meadows. Even so, I wanted to push a bit further so I could walk back to my car the following day. I found a campsite on the cliffs overlooking the lake a little ways off the trail. In the morning, my foot was feeling worse. I also planned to do some off-trail exploration in the high country. Because of that, I brought 2 sleeping pads and my 10-degree sleeping bag. Overnight parking is allowed, and pit toilets are available here. Maybe someday soon she’ll start posting there again, you’ll just have to follow to find out. But it’s much less crowded than its neighbor to the South, offering more solitude for backpacking. Beautiful location, great day hikes and back country camping We drove an hour from Sonora, CA to enter the Emigrant Wilderness, part of Stanislaus National Forest. It can easily be completed in a three-day weekend, including travel time. The hike begins just past the parking lot and the general store. It also offers alternate routes across Emigrant Wilderness for hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail. Like Yosemite, it has towering granite mountains and spectacular alpine lakes. For any of the following Favorite photos, click on the image to bring up the full resolution, uncropped version. What was your experience? Drive carefully on Crabtree Road, and look out for horse poop on the trail. The actual trail enters the Emigrant Wilderness at the end of the meadow. Day 2: Emigrant Lake, Maxwell Lake, Huckleberry Lake, Letora Lake, Cow Meadow Lake, Wood Lake.Day 3: Buck Meadow, Grouse Lake, Pine Valley, Crabtree Trailhead. I planned a 3-night trip to Emigrant Wilderness to fish Emigrant Lake and some smaller lakes. After I camped next to one of these lakes back in 2015, I was completely hooked. Favorite Photos/Videos. Campfires are prohibited in the Mokelumne Wilderness above 8000 feet and within ¼ mile of the high water line (3949 feet) at Salt Springs Reservoir. There were a lot of fallen trees that had thankfully been cleared off the trail. The views over Huckleberry Lake were some of the most impressive of the trip so far. Wearing both a fleece and gloves, I started climbing. I woke up as the sun began to illuminate the mountains. Five miles from the trailhead, I ran into a group of hikers. A small stream that flowed through the field had frozen overnight. Emigrant Wilderness is in Stanislaus National Forest, North of Yosemite. The Emigrant Wilderness is the Yosemite backcountry’s underappreciated cousin. Campfires are prohibited in the Emigrant Wilderness above 9000 feet and within one-half mile of Emigrant Lake to protect sensitive whitebark pine forests and to allow recovery of areas historically depleted of firewood. Thursday, December 17 brought some fresh snow to the Sierra and the weather forecast for Pinecrest near Emigrant Wilderness looked bright and sunny for every single day of the 10-day forecast. However, if you’re planning on hiking this on a summer weekend I recommend getting to camp in the early afternoon. Towering granite peaks surrounded Upper Buck Lake. Closest Major City: Modesto, California (three hours). There are wonderful campsites at nearly every lake on this loop. views hiking forest nature-trips wild-flowers wildlife birding camping backpacking lake walking dogs river trail-running dogs-leash Start at Crabtree Trailhead.Day 1: Camp Lake, Piute Lake, Gem Lake, Jewelry Lake, Deer Lake, Buck Lakes. Just north of Yosemite National Park area, it is at the junction of the volcanic formations characteristic of the Sierra to the north and the granite mountains found farther south. Water: Bring a trusty water filter, and backup filtration tablets. Hiking in Stanislaus National Forest: If this past year taught us anything, it’s to do your research before you go. Gaps in the trees offered occasional glimpses of granite cliffs and the views ahead. The weather station was at 7,200 ft, so I needed to prepare for 4-8 degrees colder at the elevation I would be at. It was the last few weeks of trout season, so I also wanted to bring my fly fishing gear. In addition, I brought down pants and wool socks to stay warm in camp. Wilderness Permits are required and can be picked up at the Summit Ranger Station in Pinecrest, California. The Emigrant is most easily accessible from Hwy 108, with many visitors entering from near Pinecrest Lake or Kennedy Meadows. It’s part of the Stanislaus National Forest and spans about 15 miles in width and 25 miles in length. I planned to camp at Wood Lake. Length 19.5 miElevation gain 3172 ftRoute type Loop In late spring/early summer there will likely still be snow on the grow; however, the streams will be flowing with water (and who doesn’t love snowcapped views?). Submit your trip report here, What You Need to Know About the New Sleeping Pad R-Values, Hugh’s 40-Year Journey to Lightweight Backpacking, Just a Few Insanely Talented Backpacking Artists, Gear Makers, and Designers, Route is between 6,500 and 7,500 feet of elevation, Short uphill and downhill sections, no long climbs, A few rocky patches, but mostly dirt trail, Loop starts and ends in a free, large parking lot with pit toilets, Free, self-serve permits available at ranger stations. Tuolumne County is a backpacker's paradise. Be sure to bring sun protection despite the season, as there are long, exposed sections across granite before the trail ducks back into the forest. I had to abandon my plan to keep hiking up North Fork Cherry Creek toward the upper Emigrant Lakes. We will be hiking most days with full packs over rough terrain. This page is set up to support those backpacking efforts, as well as exploring alternative routes across the Emigrant Wilderness for Tahoe to Yosemite Trail hikers. Emigrant Wilderness/Yosemite Backpacking Trip September 3 - 13, 2014 Bob and Jennifer: 10 Nights, 11 Days, 45 Miles Backpacking, 30 Miles Day Hiking - Favorite Photos See Favorite Photos, Day by Day Narrative and Photos, Dinner Recipes, Equipment Comments, Route and Elevation Profile. My main concern was to stay warm at night. The trail is dotted with lakes and streams, offering frequent water sources and campsites. Some of the extra weight could be offset by not bringing a tent as there wouldn’t be any mosquitoes this late, and there was no rain forecast either. What time of year did you go? We will “car” camp or rent rooms for the night. The last climb up to the trailhead offered a new landscape of volcanic rock and bright-yellow aspen. 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emigrant wilderness backpacking 2021