I enjoyed this route, but donât see any reason why counterclockwise would be any less enjoyable. There arenât any excruciatingly long climbs, and the weather is pleasant well past August. Overview This is a difficult loop trail to No Camping in Emigrant Wilderness. Stock: This area is heavy with horse activity. The fall months are much cooler and provide less water, but there wonât be any bugs. Inflammations should take longer than that to develop, I thought. This means camping at least 200 feet from water, 100 feet from established trails, and away from fragile terrain such as meadows. What was your experience? Day 3: Buck Meadow, Grouse Lake, Pine Valley, Crabtree Trailhead. Enjoy the … 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. The evening was chilly, but I stayed warm by my campfire. The weather forecast for the trip showed clear skies. I woke up as the sun began to illuminate the mountains. Emigrant Wilderness and Northwest Yosemite: Covers Emigrant Wilderness and the Adjacent Backcountry of Yosemite National Park with Map by Ben Schifrin (2004-02-03) 4.2 out of 5 stars 13. It looked like the trail didn’t get much traffic. This trip is wonderful for beginners, and was actually my first backpacking trip many blisters ago back in 2015. More vlogs and a gear video coming! How much do you usually like to hike in a day, in terms of miles or elevation? Every step I took on my left foot resulted in a stabbing pain near my heel. Day 1: Camp Lake, Piute Lake, Gem Lake, Jewelry Lake, Deer Lake, Buck Lakes. Closest Major City: Modesto, California (three hours). In fact, I hadn’t seen a single fresh human track on the trail since Emigrant Lake. From Modesto, take the 120 toward Yosemite and merge onto the 108 toward Sonora. From the south, the wilderness is accessible from Cherry Lake, along the border with Yosemite National Park. The Emigrant Wilderness is located in the High Sierra between Hwy 108 north of Sonora and the Yosemite, the altitudes are between 8k and 10k feet, and the driving time from the valley is about 3 hrs. At Huckleberry Lake, I left the main trail and headed up towards Letora Lake. Deer Lake was a bit more shallow/marshy at least in one end. I also hiked to Deer Lake in one day but that was 20 years ago and I was super weary when I got there. Submit your trip report here, The Appalachian Trail Can Provide a Refuge from Climate Change, What You Need to Know About the New Sleeping Pad R-Values, Hugh’s 40-Year Journey to Lightweight Backpacking, 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. Region: Pacific West (Stanislaus National Forest, Northern California)Length: 19.5 miles, 1-3 days, Elevation (average): ~7,000 feet Total Elevation Gain: 3,172 feet. ... Schifrin, Ben, Emigrant Wilderness. This trip can be designed to fit the experience you want with layover days at different locations … 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. Granite Domes, beautiful meadows, lakes, rivers, flowers, and lots of nice runnable trails made for efficient movement through the wilderness. Itâs 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. So yes, we did go skinny-dipping. What time of year did you go? Read here for information on when visiting bear country. Check here to see if you can apply for an online permit. Only later did I remember that I had hit the outside of my foot against a sharp rock. Located just north of Yosemite National Park, the Emigrant Wilderness in the Stanislaus National Forest offers an incredible array of natural environments and terrain. This will be another challenging day of seven miles, gaining and losing just under 1,000 feet. Until then, the trail had been well-maintained. I gave it a few quick jigs and boom–the trout slammed the fly. Sierra Nevada - Hoover/Emigrant Wilderness - Sonora Pass Loop On September 17-21, 1993 I did a 28 mile backpack loop trip from Sonora Pass on Highway 108 along part of the Pacific Crest Trail and climbed 10,825' Big Sam. Emigrant Wilderness: Trail Mileages Stanislaus National Forest ROG 16-27; 06/12 Trailhead: Gianelli Cabin Elevation: 8,600’ Destination Miles Burst Rock 1.2 Powell Lake 2.3 Lake Valley Trail 3.7 Chewing Gum Lake 4.1 Y Meadow Trail 5.5 Y Meadow Lake 6.4 I was getting to the limit of how far I could walk on my foot. Emigrant Wilderness is in the Reserves category for Tuolumne County in the state of California. Camping and Permits: Permits are required from April 1 to Nov. 30 for any overnight travel in the Emigrant Wilderness. I picked up my Emigrant Wilderness permit at the Summit Ranger Station right after it opened at 8:30 am. Fortunately, the other end of the lake was much more suitable for camping. Off the 108, turn right onto Crabtree Road and 10 miles down the road is the parking lot and overnight campsite for this trailhead. I ate dinner, watching the sunset reflect off the calm lake. There were a lot of fallen trees that had thankfully been cleared off the trail. Lower Relief - 5 hours. I planned a 3-night trip to Emigrant Wilderness to fish Emigrant Lake and some smaller lakes. I pulled out the barbless hook, snapped a quick picture, and released it. Most of the 11 miles were downhill. Paperback. Daytime temperatures were in the low 60s and nighttime lows int the 20s. There is bear activity in this wilderness. I also planned to do some off-trail exploration in the high country. Camping, there would be a wet and cold ordeal. Trash Collection: No trash collection at the trailhead in the off-season. Emigrant Wilderness is displayed on the Cooper Peak USGS quad topo map. views hiking forest nature-trips wild-flowers wildlife birding camping backpacking lake walking dogs river trail-running dogs-leash Hike this trail? Mileage is very individual. The longest climb is less than a mile, and covers roughly 700 feet of elevation gain in that time. Five miles from the trailhead, I ran into a group of hikers. It was the last few weeks of trout season, so I also wanted to bring my fly fishing gear. Get a discount on Gaia Premium here. My water bottle had frozen overnight, but I slept warm. If you keep heading west on Route 108, you’ll hit Kennedy Meadows, Sonora Pass, and eventually pop out on the east side, just north of … Towering granite peaks surrounded Upper Buck Lake. Also, in October we saw only a handful of other people on trail. The last 2 miles of the road was unpaved, but passable with a car. My main concern was to stay warm at night. Maybe someday soon she’ll start posting there again, you’ll just have to follow to find out. In the morning, my foot was feeling worse. Itâs the perfect amount of physical challenge mixed with stunning California beauty. Deer Lake has great rainbow fishing. When I got to the West side of the lake, I was disappointed to notice that it was a shallow, swampy lake. (36.3 km) #17 High Uintas Wilderness Protected Area Updated: 2019-09-12 The High Uintas Wilderness is a wilderness area located in northeastern Utah, United States. The Colorado Trail is a 485-mile point-to-point backpacking route in Colorado. At the time, I didn’t think much of it as the pain subsided in minutes. We planned this trip because fire closures canceled other plans, yet this national forest remained open. Day 3: We cross Emigrant Pass and loop around to Cinko Lake on our way to the Dorothy Lakes area, crossing into Yosemite. Dogs are also able to use this trail. I cannot recommend this trip enough for beginner backpackers. Full text of "Out West : a story and guide book illustrating with text and pictures the marvelous resources and scenes of the great West: from the lakes, across the praires, over the Rockies, through the deserts, among the Sierras, to the Pacific Coast" See other formats Emigrant Lake was much larger than any of the lakes I visited the day before. Start at Crabtree Trailhead. From there, I had another 15 minutes to the Crabtree Trailhead. There are opportunities to camp at every lake, with plenty of spots featuring man-made fire rings. Wearing both a fleece and gloves, I started climbing. It was the first weekend in November last year, ← How to plan an ultralight backpacking trip, San Francisco Bay Area overnight bikepacking trip →. There are wonderful campsites at nearly every lake on this loop. The nearest town is Pinecrest, a popular destination for both summer and winter tourists. Emigrant Wilderness Rides. The trail followed the edge of a large meadow on the Northside of Upper Buck Lake. Deer Lake rests deep in the Emigrant Wilderness amidst dozens of other lakes, each one as scenic and inviting as the next. $855.58. The trail is dotted with lakes and streams, offering frequent water sources and campsites. Crabtree Road is not paved, but 2WD cars are just fine. There are pros and cons to each month of the hiking season in Stanislaus National Forest. A small stream that flowed through the field had frozen overnight. Check here to see if you can apply for an online permit. I normally hike long days, 15-25 miles, so I thought the first day was fairly easy. I recommend this trip for a leisurely escape into the wilderness, as opposed to a trip where mileage is the goal. I planned to camp at Wood Lake. A little overnighter to the 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. 5.0 18 mi / 1100 ft gain 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. Emigrant Wilderness Loop This trip is completely customizable to your wishes, allowing you to see a vast amount of the incredible Emigrant Wilderness! Stanislaus National Forest Backcountry Permit. Even so, the trail had well-constructed steps that ascended the granite. The Appalachian Trail increasingly is being seen as a buffer from climate change along its more than 2,000-mile northbound path from Georgia to Maine. The Emigrant Wilderness is the Yosemite backcountryâs underappreciated cousin. The trail is primarily used for hiking and backpacking and is best used from August until September. The trail passed through a pleasant pine forest. The next night, we hid in a well-covered dirt site next to a smaller lake and woke up with zero condensation. I packed away my rod and continued along the lakeshore. Distance: 22.6 mi. We hiked the loop in early October and only encountered a handful of other hikers over three days. Overnight parking is allowed, and pit toilets are available here. 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. Food storage: Bear canisters are not required in Stanislaus National Forest, but are highly recommended. But the impact was forceful enough to cause a big bruise and my foot to swell up. This is a 1-hour ride loops around Leavitt Meadows. I decided to sleep under the stars without the tarp. Coming from the West, the best way to get to Emigrant Wilderness is to take Route 108 up into the Sierra Nevada. The Trail to Deer Lake Wildflowers, Panoramic Views, Tranquil Lakes. I found a campsite on the cliffs overlooking the lake a little ways off the trail. 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 Crabtree Trailhead is about three hours from Californiaâs Bay Area. Water: Bring a trusty water filter, and backup filtration tablets. On this ride you will ride along side the river and through the gorgeous meadow. You can also take the short spur to Bear Lake, on the junction directly after Camp Lake. I stopped at Camp Lake to fill up on water and layer down. I didn’t see any signs of fish, so I continued hiking to Buck Lakes. In late spring/early summer there will likely still be snow on the grow; however, the streams will be flowing with water (and who doesnât love snowcapped views?). Like Yosemite, it has towering granite mountains and spectacular alpine lakes. 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. Location: Stanislaus National Forest, Emigrant Wilderness, near the town of Sorona, CA in Northern California east of the San Francisco Bay Area. 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. The route to the top of Big Sam is an old mining road. 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. So I’m learning to look north, past Yosemite, to the quiet paths of the Emigrant Wilderness for my own tract of unspoiled heaven. I found a cliff overlooking the lake with a fire ring and a sheltered spot for my sleeping pad. Hiking in Stanislaus National Forest: If this past year taught us anything, itâs to do your research before you go. More on this later. The 3 trail junctions under Grizzly Peak in the High Emigrant Basin compose one of the best hubs of trails for anchoring a whole series of long and short … It was way too big for me to eat, especially right after breakfast. This takes you north of Yosemite National Park in Stanislaus National Forest. There are many opportunities to extend the loop or go slightly off-trail to different lakes, so we were grateful for our easy itinerary. I had to abandon my plan to keep hiking up North Fork Cherry Creek toward the upper Emigrant 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. Want this map for offline use? This trail is most crowded in the summer, as there are also many day hikes from the trailhead. The two times Iâve done this loop the crowds were extremely thin, so we never had to search for campsites. The elevation profile is comparable for both options. Thereâs none in the wilderness or Crabtree Road. Because of that, I brought 2 sleeping pads and my 10-degree sleeping bag. Start and end at the Crabtree Trailhead. Day 2: Emigrant Lake, Maxwell Lake, Huckleberry Lake, Letora Lake, Cow Meadow Lake, Wood Lake. It was still near freezing when I started my backpacking trip. Some are wide, classic mountain lakes while others are quiet, little gems hidden away in the … 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. After a warm breakfast and a large cup of coffee, I headed toward Emigrant Lake. You could spend days exploring the area around Deer Lake and never grow weary of your exploits. Suddenly, I saw a big trout come up for a bite. I think Gem and Jewelry lakes would also have made good campsites. Camping is allowed anywhere LNT guidelines are followed. 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. I passed through some of the most impressive granite landscapes of the whole trip. The temperature had gone from freezing to summer in the hour I had been on the trail. Get outside! 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