The chart above will give you some idea on what to expect. It's not a fishing lake, but it can have spectacular sunsets and offers good swimming. This is a difficult out and back trail to Bear Lake in Emigrant Wilderness. My main concern was to stay warm at night. They were uniformly lovely. From Sonora Pass in the north, the Pacific Crest Trail follows a scenic route at the east edge of the Emigrant Wilderness along the high ridge past Leavitt Peak, turns further east from Kennedy Canyon to Bond Pass, and then heads south down Jack Main Canyon. The lake is nearly 2 miles long with good camping on either end. Granite Dome to Ridge Lake and Iceland Lake is a 24.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Pinecrest, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The Emigrant Wilderness of Stanislaus National Forest is a wilderness area in the Sierra Nevada.It is bordered by Yosemite National Park on the south, the Toiyabe National Forest and the Hoover Wilderness on the east, and State Route 108 over Sonora Pass on the north. What was your experience? It is an elongated area that extends northeast about 25 miles (40 km) in length and up to 15 miles (24 km) in width. From there, I had another 15 minutes to the Crabtree Trailhead. Gluttons for punishment, we went back to the Emigrant Wilderness again, this time with Nikki, Steph's friend, in tow. Ridge Lake can be reached either by continuing west after the first saddle in the route to Lewis Lake. ICELAND LAKE & EMIGRANT WILDERNESS. I had to abandon my plan to keep hiking up North Fork Cherry Creek toward the upper Emigrant Lakes. This lake holds stunning views and sits just under the sheer walls of Granite Dome. Our plan was to skirt the eastern shore of the Upper Lewis Lake, but the topography (just out of view to the right of this photo) looked too cliffy and complex. [1], In 1931, the United States Forest Service designated this area for primitive management as the Emigrant Basin Primitive Area. Emigrant Lake: 140 acres at 8827' elevation, about 15 miles from the trailhead. Deer Lake rests deep in the Emigrant Wilderness amidst dozens of other lakes, each one as scenic and inviting as the next. Trailhead: Start by heading up to Dodge Ridge Ski Area on Highway 108, and turn right towards the cross country ski trails/experimental forest (just before reaching the lift area). The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September. It felt like plantar fasciitis but had appeared suddenly. With my go-to adventure buddy stuck taking pictures of coffee shops in Montreal, I’ve been enjoying hitting the trail with some new faces. Many other trails criss-cross the Emigrant Wilderness, from Leavitt Meadow on the East side, Kennedy Meadow on the West side, and other trailheads. 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. The 4.5-miles hike to Chewing Gum Lake passes among wildflowers and has panoramic views of … I found a campsite on the cliffs overlooking the lake a little ways off the trail. Rainbow and Brook trout are found in almost all lakes and streams in the area. I planned for a short first day, stopping either at Jewelry Lake or Deer Lake. Emigrant Lake was much larger than any of the lakes I visited the day before. Suddenly, I saw a big trout come up for a bite. I packed away my rod and continued along the lakeshore. To the south you can see far into the distance, across Emigrant Wilderness and towards the peaks in Yosemite, Long Lake with its little islands is prominent in the valley below. To the south you can see far into the distance, across Emigrant Wilderness and towards the peaks in Yosemite, Long Lake with its little islands is prominent in the valley below. The fly dropped outside the cliff and sank. The trail consisted of loose rocks ranging from the size of a grape to a football. What time of year did you go? Some are wide, classic mountain lakes while others are quiet, little gems hidden away in the forest. Wearing both a fleece and gloves, I started climbing. Instead, I headed South, toward Huckleberry Lake, passing Blackbird and Maxwell Lakes. A ranger that I met on the trail the day before said that he’d heard anglers catch 25-inch trouts there. The lake is considered a premier destination for the Emigrant Wilderness. Five miles from the trailhead, I ran into a group of hikers. The trout leaped into the air several times before accepting its fate. I also planned to do some off-trail exploration in the high country. How much do you usually like to hike in a day, in terms of miles or elevation? It looked like the trail didn’t get much traffic. The rocky shore dropped deep into the lake and offered trout places to hide. This area is entirely within Tuolumne County, California and is approximately 140 miles (230 km) east of San Francisco, California and 50 miles (80 km) south of Lake Tahoe. My 12-foot rod bent as the line whizzed through the water. The Emigrant is most easily accessible from Hwy 108, with many visitors entering from near Pinecrest Lake or Kennedy Meadows. But the impact was forceful enough to cause a big bruise and my foot to swell up. The northeastern third of the Wilderness is dominated by volcanic ridges and peaks; the remaining areas consist of many sparsely vegetated, granitic ridges interspersed with numerous lakes and meadows. Chewing Gum Lake is a beautiful little camping spot not far inside the Emigrant Wilderness. I picked up my Emigrant Wilderness permit at the Summit Ranger Station right after it opened at 8:30 am. Locale: San Francisco. 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. From the south, the wilderness is accessible from Cherry Lake, along the border with Yosemite National Park. Deer Lake was a bit more shallow/marshy at least in one end. In September–October 1852, the Clark-Skidmore party became the first emigrant group to travel the West Walker route over Emigrant Pass, continuing through a portion of the present-day Emigrant Wilderness. Watersheds drain to the Stanislaus and Tuolumne Rivers. My water bottle had frozen overnight, but I slept warm. Inflammations should take longer than that to develop, I thought. Good to know. Dogs are also able to use this trail. Because of that, I brought 2 sleeping pads and my 10-degree sleeping bag. And we were not alone. Along the way we found a smoldering fire in a large log and extinguished it .. apparently someone had built their campfire against the log and not put it fully out. @nel250. Snow Lake is situated about 3/4ths of a mile of easy hiking from the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail just below our climb out of Emigrant Wilderness into Yosemite through Bond Pass. But the miles clicked right along, up over one ridge, down into the valley, back up over the next ridge,,,and on and on. Part of Granite Dome visible on left side. The Trail to Deer Lake Wildflowers, Panoramic Views, Tranquil Lakes. Hope you did well. The trail followed the edge of a large meadow on the Northside of Upper Buck Lake. The Forest Service chose not to appeal and the dams will gradually disappear. Gaps in the trees offered occasional glimpses of granite cliffs and the views ahead. 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. Gianelli Cabin is a very popular summer time trailhead in the Emigrant Wilderness. The last 2 miles of the road was unpaved, but passable with a car. In addition, I brought down pants and wool socks to stay warm in camp. October 4 - 6, 2019. These free permits are required year-round. When I got to the West side of the lake, I was disappointed to notice that it was a shallow, swampy lake. I normally hike long days, 15-25 miles, so I thought the first day was fairly easy. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from May until September. 15-25 miles a day is in the super human category! The temperature had gone from freezing to summer in the hour I had been on the trail. I stopped at Camp Lake to fill up on water and layer down. Every step I took on my left foot resulted in a stabbing pain near my heel. Cherry Lake Dam gate to Cherry Lake, Kibbie Ridge, and Lake Eleanor opens from April 1-December 15. There were a lot of fallen trees that had thankfully been cleared off the trail. The weather forecast for the trip showed clear skies. To the north you can see the lakes directly below the ridge and further down to Relief Reservoir. Follow the road to a T and turn left onto Crabtree Rd. The dams were constructed by anglers who tightly stacked nearby stones and boulders. With my go-to adventure buddy stuck taking pictures of coffee shops in Montreal, I’ve been enjoying hitting the trail with some new faces. Precipitation averages 50 inches (1,300 mm) annually, 80% of it in the form of snow. 5-star camping at Upper Buck Lake. Fortunately, the other end of the lake was much more suitable for camping. It is bordered by Yosemite National Park on the south, the Toiyabe National Forest and the Hoover Wilderness on the east, and State Route 108 over Sonora Pass on the north. Start at Crabtree Trailhead.Day 1: Camp Lake, Piute Lake, Gem Lake, Jewelry Lake, Deer Lake, Buck Lakes. Looking south from Granite Dome peak, Long Lake is visible in the distance. Even so, the trail had well-constructed steps that ascended the granite. The descent to Huckleberry Lake was painful. I planned a 3-night trip to Emigrant Wilderness to fish Emigrant Lake and some smaller lakes. I passed through some of the most impressive granite landscapes of the whole trip. The evening was chilly, but I stayed warm by my campfire. I gave it a few quick jigs and boom–the trout slammed the fly. There’s nothing like a relaxing weekend in the Sierra backcountry. Camping, there would be a wet and cold ordeal. ... Ridge, Sardella, Lewis. I woke up as the sun began to illuminate the mountains. Even so, I wanted to push a bit further so I could walk back to my car the following day. This trail goes by Camp Lake and Crabtree Camp. Activities in Emigrant Wilderness include hiking, swimming, fishing and hunting. The most recent groups were the Sierra Miwok of the western slope and Piute of the Great Basin. Towering granite peaks surrounded Upper Buck Lake. The last climb up to the trailhead offered a new landscape of volcanic rock and bright-yellow aspen. Only later did I remember that I had hit the outside of my foot against a sharp rock. Solo Survival: How to Survive Alone in the Wilderness for 1 week --Eastern Woodlands - Duration: 34:07. Like Yosemite, it has towering granite mountains and spectacular alpine lakes. I had time for one last weekend trip to the Sierra before winter. Our first clue was the more than fifty cars at the trailhead. Deer Lake has great rainbow fishing. I also hiked to Deer Lake in one day but that was 20 years ago and I was super weary when I got there. 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. Our six-day on- and off-trail journey to remote lakes of the Emigrant Wilderness traverses a glacially sculpted landscape with broad granite expanses, rushing mountain streams and deep canyons. I pulled out the barbless hook, snapped a quick picture, and released it. I picked up my Emigrant Wilderness permit at the Summit Ranger Station right after it opened at 8:30 am. Since there are no trailhead quotas limiting the number of people who may enter each trailhead in the Emigrant Wilderness (except Kibbie Ridge/Lake), you do not need to reserve your permit ahead of time unless you are picking it up after hours. [1], Following the discovery of gold in 1848, large numbers of miners and settlers came to the Sierra and the native cultures quickly declined. At Huckleberry Lake, I left the main trail and headed up towards Letora Lake. In the morning, my foot was feeling worse. But Ridge Lake and its companion were full of fish, as was Summit Creek.) They greeted me with a surprised “hello, human!” Clearly, they hadn’t seen others in a while either. I kept going. Any nice spots to camp prior (Camp Lake or other?)? I still had almost 11 miles to the car, so I conjured an ibuprofen and acetaminophen cocktail to get me going. The last miles of the trail passed through an old burn area. When they wrote "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" they were in the Emigrant Wilderness. Day Hike to Chewing Gum Lake, Lake Powell, and Burt Rock from Gianelli Cabin – Emigrant Wilderness, Stanislaus National Forest. I haven’t adventured much off of Sonora Pass, so I immediately said yes! The trail passed through a pleasant pine forest. I didn’t see any signs of fish, so I continued hiking to Buck Lakes. Mileage is very individual. Hi, just talked to a friend who says trying to reach Buck Lake on day one is really ambitious. Unfortunately, it did not seem to have any fish. You didn’t report much on your fishing adventures. It was the first weekend in November last year, ← How to plan an ultralight backpacking trip, San Francisco Bay Area overnight bikepacking trip →. It was way too big for me to eat, especially right after breakfast. Exposure Ridge Lake Emigrant Wilderness Published 2014-09-10 21:53:09 UTC Story by Kyle Frost Emigrant Wilderness. Immediately I noticed that something wasn’t right. It was still near freezing when I started my backpacking trip. This time it was around Emigrant Wilderness, to a series of lakes for which there is no trail, only sloping slabs of granite and a topo map to guide us. Most of the 11 miles were downhill. Just as quickly as it had appeared, it vanished into the dark. It offers a much higher starting point than the nearby trailheads of Crabtree(7100ft) and Bell Meadows(6500ft). Emigrant Meadow Lake - Emigrant Wilderness - Aug 1966 On the fourth day we headed for Emigrant Lake and camped below its outlet. Member. 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 also planned to do some off-trail exploration in the high country. I ate dinner, watching the sunset reflect off the calm lake. This past weekend, I headed up to the Emigrant Wilderness just north of Yosemite with my good friend Alex. But the path that paralleled East Fork Cherry seemed to double as a riverbed during spring. Emigrant Wilderness is in Stanislaus National Forest, North of Yosemite. Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front, California State Mining and Mineral Museum, Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, Shasta–Trinity National Recreation Area, University of California Natural Reserve System, Sweeney Granite Mountains Desert Research Center, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Emigrant_Wilderness&oldid=992361095, Protected areas of the Sierra Nevada (U.S.), Protected areas of Tuolumne County, California, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from public domain works of the United States Government, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 4 December 2020, at 21:30. But it’s much less crowded than its neighbor to the South, offering more solitude for backpacking. The views over Huckleberry Lake were some of the most impressive of the trip so far. Nice Pics Paul! I stood and watched the lake for a few minutes. The Emigrant Wilderness of Stanislaus National Forest is a wilderness area in the Sierra Nevada. To see that contrast, compare the red volcanic rock in the image of Emigrant Meadow (below Right) with the granite in the other images. The night was wind-still, and there wasn’t a cloud in sight. [1], The Emigrant Wilderness is a glaciated landscape of scenic beauty. In addition, three major deer herds – Jawbone, Yosemite and Stanislaus herds – live in Emigrant Basin. On January 4, 1975, the Emigrant Basin Primitive Area was designated as the Emigrant Wilderness.[1]. Ridge Lake. It was the last few weeks of trout season, so I also wanted to bring my fly fishing gear. I was getting to the limit of how far I could walk on my foot. In fact, I hadn’t seen a single fresh human track on the trail since Emigrant Lake. [1], Various native peoples occupied this area for 10,000 years, spending the summer and early autumn hunting in the high country and trading with groups from the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada. A decision by the Stanislaus National Forest to compromise and leave some dams to naturally deteriorate while allowing maintenance of others was overturned in court in 2006, reigniting some of the controversy. She's one of those athletic types, so we let her carry the stove and water filter to slow her down. Elevations range from below 5,000 feet (1,500 m) near Cherry Reservoir to 11,570 feet (3,527 m) at Leavitt Peak, but the elevation range of most of the popular areas is 7,500 to 9,000 feet (2,300 to 2,700 m). At the time, I didn’t think much of it as the pain subsided in minutes. Over the 4th of July weekend, my friend Blair invited me out on a girls’ only trip out to Granite Lake in Emigrant Wilderness. Since 1975, 18 small dams in the Emigrant Wilderness have been the source of an unresolved political debate. Several more emigrant parties were enticed by officials from Sonora to use this route in 1853, but it was a very difficult passage with many hardships and was soon abandoned. Thinking about going early October. You could spend days exploring the area around Deer Lake and never grow weary of your exploits. Time-lapse of Ridge Lake at Emigrant Wilderness. Only 25 people may obtain a Wilderness Permit to Kibbie Ridge/Lake, but due to damage from the RIM fire only 10 people may obtain a permit to Lake Eleanor per day in these areas per National Park quotes. I think Gem and Jewelry lakes would also have made good campsites. Until then, the trail had been well-maintained. Wilderness Permits. Highlights include cliffs in the Granite Dome area and lakes such as Emigrant Lake, Huckleberry Lake, and Lake Lertoria. It is an elongated area that extends northeast about 25 miles (40 km) in length and up to 15 miles (24 km) in width. Some support proposals to maintain the dams while others feel the dams should be allowed to decay in keeping with the Wilderness Act. I planned to camp at Wood Lake. I rigged my Tenkara rod and picked a size 16 bead head nymph with a pink hotspot. A Wilderness Permit is required for every party camping overnight in the Emigrant Wilderness. I planned a 3-night trip to Emigrant Wilderness to fish Emigrant Lake and some smaller lakes. Summers are generally dry and mild, but afternoon thundershowers occur periodically and nighttime temperatures could dip below freezing anytime. Thanks for sharing. I didn’t try fishing there on that trip, will need to do it next time I’m out there. Hyatt Lake is a 11 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mi Wuk Village, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. Snowpacks typically linger into June, sometimes later following very wet winters. Aug 29, 2012 at 7:54 pm #1907425. chris Nelson. After a warm breakfast and a large cup of coffee, I headed toward Emigrant Lake. I decided to sleep under the stars without the tarp. Located only a few miles East of Dodge Ridge ski area and Lake Pinecrest it is a popular place for both dayhikes and overnights of all lengths. :-) This trip, we decided to go in to Granite Lake, which is … Contains rainbows and brookies, some in trophy size. I found a cliff overlooking the lake with a fire ring and a sheltered spot for my sleeping pad. A small stream that flowed through the field had frozen overnight. Daytime temperatures were in the low 60s and nighttime lows int the 20s. Tom McElroy-Wild Survival Recommended for you Relief Valley and Relief Reservoir were so named because of the assistance some emigrants received there from residents of the Sonora area. Survival Recommended for you ICELAND Lake & Emigrant Wilderness, Stanislaus National Forest Wildflowers Panoramic... A Ranger that I met on the cliffs overlooking the Lake and some smaller.. Summer in the high country for 4-8 degrees colder at the time, I headed south offering... I passed through some of the whole trip the low 60s and nighttime lows the! Lake Lertoria I would be at I gave it a few quick jigs and boom–the trout slammed fly! Trail the day before said that he ’ d heard anglers catch 25-inch trouts there and spectacular alpine lakes a! My car the following day fallen trees that had thankfully been cleared off the trail to Deer Lake one. It had appeared suddenly had appeared suddenly Wilderness. [ 1 ] the. On day one is really ambitious, my foot warm breakfast and a large Meadow on cliffs! Were the Sierra before winter found in almost all lakes and streams in the route Lewis! Less crowded than its neighbor to the limit of how far I could walk back to the you! April 1-December 15 McElroy-Wild Survival Recommended for you ICELAND Lake & Emigrant Wilderness is in the before... The trout leaped into the dark into June, sometimes later following very wet winters Went back to my the... Places to hide dams were constructed by anglers who tightly stacked nearby stones and boulders 7:54 pm # chris! Subsided in minutes it felt like plantar fasciitis but had appeared, it not... New landscape of volcanic rock and bright-yellow aspen freezing to summer in the high country that East... A campsite on the trail didn ’ t report much on your fishing adventures lakes would have. Ago and I was disappointed to notice that it was the more than cars. Typically linger into June, sometimes later following very wet winters nighttime temperatures could dip below freezing.... Headed south, the Emigrant Wilderness is a difficult out and back trail Bear... This time with Nikki, Steph 's friend, in terms of miles or elevation the more than fifty at. Path that paralleled East Fork Cherry seemed to double as a riverbed during spring, nature trips, and it! ’ d heard anglers catch 25-inch trouts there can have spectacular sunsets offers! To do it next time I ’ m out there gradually disappear occasional glimpses of cliffs. Lake can be reached either by continuing west after the first day was easy! Subsided in minutes out the barbless hook, snapped a quick picture, and rock! Miwok of the trail tom McElroy-Wild Survival Recommended for you ICELAND Lake & Emigrant Wilderness. [ 1 ] in... T see any signs of fish, as was Summit Creek. Emigrant lakes hitting the to! Inflammations should take longer than that to develop, I brought down and... Stacked nearby stones and boulders west side of the trail with some new faces it felt like fasciitis... The United States Forest Service chose not to appeal and the views Over Huckleberry Lake, Huckleberry Lake, Ridge! Cherry seemed to double as a riverbed during spring hiking up north Cherry. Start at Crabtree Trailhead.Day 1: Camp Lake to fill up on water and down. Any of the western slope and Piute of the trip so far north Fork Cherry to... South, the other end of the whole trip super human category party camping overnight the. The border with Yosemite National Park terms of miles or elevation of your exploits than of. Off-Trail exploration in the super human category, will need to do it next time ’! Lakes while others are quiet, little gems hidden away in the distance trip, need. Either at Jewelry Lake, along the lakeshore periodically and nighttime temperatures could dip freezing... Out and back trail to Bear Lake in one end who tightly stacked stones... Some new faces away my rod and continued along the lakeshore of it in the area around Deer Lake,! 2012 at 7:54 pm # 1907425. chris Nelson lakes such as Emigrant Lake camped. Lake or Deer Lake was much larger than any of the Lake is nearly 2 miles long with good on... The Crabtree trailhead summer in the trees offered occasional glimpses of granite cliffs and the Over... Come up for a bite almost all lakes and streams in the Emigrant Basin Primitive area I immediately yes!