We did it clockwise (north out and south back) and I liked this direction. No water between gem and grouse lakes. Emigrant Wilderness. Day One: Off to a late start after getting our permit at Pinecrest, where we were warned about lots of snow and high … Saw like 3 other people. The trailhead area includes Kennedy Meadows Resort and Pack Station as well as two National Forest campgrounds. Two main acccess routes to the Emigrant Wilderness are from Kennedy Meadows and the Gianelli or Crabtree trailheads out of Cold Springs, off Highway 108. Deer Lake rests deep in the Emigrant Wilderness amidst dozens of other lakes, ... Thomas Winnett's Sierra North has a section on hikes which begin at the the Gianelli Cabin trailhead. Jul 9, 2016 #1 the 4th of July weekend we hiked out of Gianelli Trailhead for five days of adventure and mosquitoes. Grouse lake was also really nice! The parking lot was definitely full, but people parked along the side of the road going pretty far back. In 1966, with Ed Myers, Bob Johnson, Tim McSweeney, Greg O'Leary and Kevin Twohey, I backpacked 58 miles on the annual "Deck Trek". There is a bit of shade but a lot of it is exposed. Although its rocky benches are ideal for picnics and loafing, early-season campers will want to retreat up the forested slopes for some relief from mosquitoes. Emigrant Wilderness Loop Trail is a 31.4 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Pinecrest, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Piute campground was pleasant. We parked at the junction of Crabtree Trailhead and Overflow parking lot. We camped at the trailhead the first night where there was a pleasant stream but the bathrooms were disgusting and out of TP. This trail goes by Camp Lake, No Camping, and Crabtree Camp. Easy, mostly paved road right up to trailhead. (See end of page) Except for 3 windy days we had beautiful weather. Here’s a high-res map of Emigrant Wilderness you can use for scouting and planning. This is the trail map I carry into the high country with me — you should be able to pick up a copy at the Summit Ranger Station. Steep incline hike in the Emigrant Wilderness starting at Sonora Pass (108) and ending at Blue canyon lake, a glacial tarn sitting bellow a series of beautiful peaks. We spent the first night camping at the top on a ridge near piute meadow to avoid the mosquitos. Wilderness Permits are required and can be picked up at the Summit Ranger Station in Pinecrest, California. 1966 Deck Trek - August 28-September 4, 1966. It is about 50 miles east of Sonora off Hwy 108. On day 5 of our trip we would return via Pine Valley from the right. We decided to hike this loop in four days, so we could enjoy it’s full glory. 3. Create New Account. A Wilderness Permit is required for all overnight trips into the Emigrant Wilderness, April 1 through November 30 each year, however, there are no quotas or fees within the Emigrant. The hike back was easier because of less up and down, although there was a bit of a slog after Grouse Lake at the end to complete the loop. While no mosquitos, there were yellow jackets at Gem Lake and other bugs throughout. Most creeks were dry so we survived off of lake water + purification tablets. The segments of trail … Ranger was walking around Gem lake, making sure people weren't camping too close to the lake. The actual trailhead can be difficult to spot depending on where you parked, but it's in the NW corner of the lot. Would recommend clockwise route and swimming at every lake you pass (we swam at Piute, Gem, and Grouse and they were all divine). Swimming and hiding in the tent was the only way to avoid them. Create New Account. The trail is primarily used for hiking and backpacking and is best used from August until September. Also, I found recommend arriving Friday night and sleep at the trail head - a lot of parking space, toilets, picnic tables, grill rings. We had a great time backpacking out to Gem Lake. All trails were in great shape, stream crossings were fine. Our dogs did great! We came across many hikers on our trip that decided to cut their trip short and turn around due to the mosquitos. Some trail signs are hard to read/in disrepair/fallen down, so bring a map and compass. Note: HWY 108 closes during the winter. We hiked this loop clockwise, and I found it extremely enjoyable with all the change in scenery and all the different valleys you go through. A trailhead parking lot is located about a quarter mile before you arrive at the resort. Ha. We drove a little further down the main road to find some camping off to the side. We did this trail late in the season and it was perfect. Lots of lakes and still few springs. Emigrant Wilderness is wildly infamous for clouds of blood sucking vampires. The trail climbs up the granite alongside Middle Fork Stanislaus River, crossing over a footbridge, and continuing its ascent. Please obtain a free wilderness permit online ahead of time. or. That said it was beautiful and lots of lakes and meadows. 2. I was here at Gem Lake. Would recommend Gem over Piute-- seemed like a nicer swimming lake with better scenery. We extended it out past Deer Lake and cut south at Buck Lake to catch the southern trail, making our trip about 25ish miles. I have visited the Emigrant Wilderness numerous times starting in 1966. Most of the lakes are surrounded by lodgepole pine. 1. So, instead of staying the third night, we decided to hike the 12 miles out and head home. Wilderness Permits are required and can be picked up at the Summit Ranger Station in Pinecrest, California. Please check with the park before visiting the area. Hikers may not pass through Yosemite Valley on a single wilderness permit. Groveland Ranger Station, for Cherry Lake Trailhead… We found a good fire ring close to Gem Lake (I took a pic of it in my recording). Emigrant Wilderness is one of the most popular places for Northern California groups to complete a 50 mile backpacking trip. Two main acccess routes to the Emigrant Wilderness are from Kennedy Meadows and the Gianelli or Crabtree trailheads out of Cold Springs, off Highway 108. only saw a few people. There are so many trailheads, lakes, and worthwhile routes, that it would be impossible to name them all. You can enter Emigrant from Yosemtie (Boundary Lake), Hwy 108 (Crabtree, Gianelli Cabin, and Kennedy Meadows), or the Sonora Pass… We’ve hiked from Crabtree trailhead through various trails for the past four years, and I have never been bitten so badly before. One of the shortest routes into spectacular Emigrant Wilderness, the Burst Rock Trail puts the steepest climb at its beginning. Gianelli Cabin is a very popular summer time trailhead in the Emigrant Wilderness. There are three major trailheads leading into the Emigrant Wilderness and a dozen other lesser ones. https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/stanislaus/specialplaces/?cid=stelprdb5361242&width=full We will arrive in the afternoon to explore Pinecrest, pick up our permit and do a short warm-up hike. Gianelli Cabin is a very popular summer time trailhead in the Emigrant Wilderness. We did this hike in one day, taking just under 9 hours to hike and added 30 minutes to have lunch at Gem Lake. Sunday morning, we ventured on our snowshoes into Emigrant Wilderness. 630 check-ins. They definitely were in my face which was annoying but the bug spray worked and that was the extent of it. Depending on your point of entry and which direction you are coming from, call one of the following ranger stations for wilderness permits. We hiked in on a Monday morning, and extended the loop to include hiking around upper/lower Buck lakes. Always Open. A trailhead parking lot is located about a quarter mile before you arrive at the resort. The Emigrant Wilderness is the gentlest part of the "Gentle Wilderness," perhaps. Access to Granite Dome summit is close to lunch meadow; good place to camp the night before. Began at Crabtree Trailhead loop to spend the first night at Y Meadows Reservoir and second night at Gem Lake. No arrangement required and there’s no quota. Day One: Off to a late start after getting our permit at Pinecrest, where we were warned about lots of snow and high … Hiked back on Sunday, and the trail was extremely dusty and dry--take plenty of water from Gem lake, because there isn't much available at this time of year (August) until Grouse lake. This was in the beginning of Oct. No mosquitoes. The Emigrant Wilderness is a popular recreation place for backpackers, hikers, anglers, horseback riders, photographers, and everyone who loves the outdoors. Trailheads: Getting into the Emigrant Wilderness Stanislaus National Forest Coyote Meadow (Cooper Pocket) Elevation 8480’, native surface, limited parking, fair overnight camping opportunities, no facilities. Once you cross a small bridge, stay right for the trail to Bear Lake. Completed this trail on Aug 8 - 9th weekend. Overall, this is a gorgeous trail with lots of diversity (lakes, granite slabs, forests). It is located in the Emigrant Wilderness which is just 4 hours outside of San Francisco. The trailhead parking lot is a half mile before the end of the road at the Kennedy Meadows Resort, both of which were humming on 4th July. Camped at Piute and Grouse lake. One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve done- if not challenging (especially if you add on the full loop and make it to Huckleberry). Arrived at trailhead around 12:30pm and parking lot was pretty packed. Gem lake was a great place to swim drink some beer and let loose. Recommend taking the time to hike up to Jewelry lake. As we hike and commune with nature, we will consider the relationship of mankind and the environment. It was a long day hike/jog for us, but well worth the extension! I knew this was going to be the case but it is a steep grade. Trailhead was a bit confusing about upper or lower loop towards Gem or Wood Lake, but ended up starting on the lower loop. Both my hiking partner and I were bitten well near 50 times, and it was horrendous. August temps meant perfect swimming weather even in the early mornings and late evenings and caught some gorgeous sunrises. We will be hiking most days with full packs over rough terrain. Few other hikers. From the south, the wilderness is accessible from Cherry Lake, along the border with Yosemite National Park. For some reason the AllTrails map doesn't show the trail continuing to Buck Lake though the USDA map has it. I read the reviews about the mosquitoes and they're bad but not bad enough to not do the hike--wearing long sleeves, pants, a buff helped a ton. This trail was a lot of decline and flat but the trail is badly torn up from horses and mules so it felt like I backpacked most of 13 miles back on a beach which wasn’t fun either, definitely feeling it in my calves. Almost all the creeks in between are out of water. A fair amount of parking along the road before the trailhead, and didn’t see any signs forbidding it. 5. Got slightly lost on the way out past Piute Meadow towards Crabtree (maybe I’m just horrible at following trails) but regained. It can easily be completed in … These are both primitive trails that can be well traveled or not. One asked if we had permit, but all asked where we planned to camp. Dogs are also able to use this trail. { it may change later] Stopped at Wood Lake next day and did a loop of Huckleberry Lake- highly recommend! 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