It was early October, but winter was on its way. Every effort is made to provide accurate and up to date information, but we cannot be responsible for errors or changes that may have occurred since publication. Unless you are a super-hiker, breaking the journey to Emigrant Lake into two days is a wise choice. We will arrive in the afternoon to explore Pinecrest, pick up our permit and do a short warm-up hike. We stopped for lunch at … Since deer are hunted in the Emigrant Wilderness during hunting season, the deer tend to be fairly elusive. We will “car” camp or rent rooms for the night. Bears are fairly shy in the Emigrant Wilderness. We fished several surrounding Lakes for 7 days and caught over a dozen big browns and rainbows (16-24") having our best luck DEEP within Emigrant Lake. spinners. Most hikers break the trip into 2 days. It was cold again overnight, the wind howling along the ridgeline above us. Hiking Distance: 14 miles It was also hunting season -- Emigrant is a Wilderness Area and plays by different rules than a National Park. Ending Point: Granite Dome Lakes. Elevation: +3000ft. Contains rainbows and brookies, some in trophy size. Mosquitoes can particularly troublesome around aptly named Mosquito Pass and Emigrant Lake, even into August. And we met about ninety people and fifteen dogs on our first day's hike. More possible spots can be found along the Sonora Pass highway closer to the summit and over along the east side. Kennedy Lake itself sits East of the midpoint between the TYT and the PCT. Emigrant Wilderness - granite dome lakes << Hiking In Emigrant Summary Granite Dome Hike >> Stats to Reach Lakes. We instead worked our way above the west side of the lake and followed a lovely line up and over the eastern flank of Granite Dome. October 4 - 6, 2019. It is a granite basin with many lakes. We set up camp in a hurry and scrambled up the rocks to eat dinner and catch the last of the day. Hiking from Emigrant Meadow Lake to Snow Lake. Emigrant Lake is a magnificent destination for an extended Emigrant Wilderness adventure. The Emigrant Wilderness is a glaciated landscape of scenic beauty. The Emigrant Wilderness is one of the best-kept secrets of the High Sierra. Anglers often spend a week there, working around its long shoreline. We detoured briefly to see Ridge Lake, which did not disappoint. Emigrant Wilderness is one of the most popular places for Northern California groups to complete a 50 mile backpacking trip. 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. Search for: Home; About; Summer School; Resources; Blog; Contact - Duration: … With easy walking distance are a number other great lakes. You can read about my most recent pack trip, to Emigrant Lake, on my blog: www.leehaskin.blogspot.com Unfortunately, the Brookies, although big, are taking over this amazing … 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. We worked our way down to the lovely valley and ponds east of Post Corral Canyon. View the fire restriction forest order. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time! When they wrote "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" they were in the Emigrant Wilderness. My energy bottomed out around Deer Lake. We caught all … Written by December 25, 2020. big lake emigrant wilderness Rainbow trout can be caught in Emigrant Lake. As usual, we were presented with a brand new world on the south side of our little Granite Dome "pass." The Emigrant Wilderness is extremely beautiful. After you cross the first bridge coming out of Kennedy Meadows you are on a construction road carved out of the mountainside when Relief Dam was built in the early 20th century. Otherwise, Sheep Camp is a good choice for a half-way stopping place. The narrow strip of blue in the upper right is Long Lake, where we would stop for lunch. This trip is located in the Emigrant Wilderness on the Stanislas National Forest. The weather looked to be clear all day and freezing overnight. Though Kennedy Lake is a good stand-alone destination for Emigrant Wilderness backpackers, it is even better as a part of a longer backpacking loop around the Emigrant Wilderness. The rest of the afternoon was a bit of a blur. Headed to Crabtree Trail, and took the trail to Camp Lake. Highest Elevation: 9200 ft. Park: Stanislaus National Forest (California, USA) Trail(s): Huckleberry Trail, Lunch Meadow Trail. Emigrant Peak was officially renamed as Melissa Coray Peak in October of 1994, in honor of a remarkable pioneer woman who helped to blaze the original Emigrant Trail. The morning was clear and cold. Elevation Gain: 3,060 feet Take the Cherry Lake Road out of Rainbow Pools on Hwy 120. 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. Trailhead: Kennedy Meadows, elevation 6,300 feet The route starts at Sonora Pass and enters the Emigrant Wilderness on its northeast edge. But most of them were on their way out from Chewing Gum, Y Meadow, and Toejam Lakes. (I looked at this photo many times before noticing that one of my friends is in it.). This is blue hour along Kennedy Creek in the spectacular Emigrant Wilderness. We stayed up for a while lazily shooting the shit in the sudden darkness. 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. Our first clue was the more than fifty cars at the trailhead. 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. Over the 4th of July weekend, my friend Blair invited me out on a girls’ only trip out to Granite Lake in Emigrant Wilderness. We stopped at the quaint Kennedy Meadows store, where the woman behind the register was so inexplicably rude to us that another customer came briefly to our confused defense. Rounded granite domes, alpine meadows, cascading streams, and stately forests greet backpackers on the 14-mile journey to the lake. Starting Point: Kennedy Meadows. Another Great Pack Trip into Emigrant Wilderness It is amazing we enjoy some of the most pristine country, anywhere, and a horse pack trip is perhaps the best fishing value, for quality trout fishing. After a few hours of sandy trail, we finally crossed Summit Creek and took off cross country up the tilted granite slabs towards Iceland Lake. A lot of information exists online and it is no secret spot. by Jerry Yesavage (yesavage@stanford.edu ) If you know the issues and been here before, scroll down to the update at the bottom of the page for MAJOR, and then some less than MAJOR NEW DEVELOPMENTS. ...but on closer inspection, it wasn’t a person at all. 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. We managed to squeeze in one final Sierra trip to Emigrant Wilderness before winter slammed the door. Best seasons: Mid-summer through fall ABOVE: The Milky Way unfurls over the heart of Emigrant Wilderness and the Sierra Nevada — a stargazer’s paradise. Gerrard Consulting. Location: Emigrant Wilderness, Tuolumne County There is a variety of trailheads the angler can use as departure points. They were uniformly lovely. Most hikers break the trip into 2 days. Anglers often spend a week there, working around its long shoreline. We camped in a sheltered spot up and away from Iceland Lake, but despite our best efforts it was still damn cold overnight. Home big lake emigrant wilderness. All at once we got quite cold and headed for the warmth of our quilts. Emigrant Lake elevation: 8,825 feet Emigrant Wilderness, located south of Hwy. We climbed towards Mosquito Pass, shedding layers every few minutes. Emigrant Lake is considered one of the premier destinations in the Emigrant Wilderness. Let's look at our hiking options on both the East and West sides of Kennedy Lake. A Wilderness Permit is required for every party camping overnight in the Emigrant Wilderness. Rounded granite domes, alpine meadows, cascading streams, and stately forests greet backpackers on the 14-mile journey to the lake. Landmarks: Relief Reservoir. We drove an hour from Sonora, CA to enter the Emigrant Wilderness, part of Stanislaus National Forest. It follows the PCT south on a pure and beautiful ribbon of trail that dances on each side of the crest past Leavitt Peak and separates from the PCT onto the High Emigrant Lake trail just before Emigrant Pass. ICELAND LAKE & EMIGRANT WILDERNESS. Nevertheless, it is always wise to take precautions by using a bear canister or hanging food from a tree limb using the counter-balance method. This nameless area -- which barely registers on a map -- turned out to be the highlight of my trip. We spent the first hour walking directly into the mouth of the rising sun which -- after awhile -- is completely maddening. Our route zig zagged up the rocks to the left of the snow. There are so many trailheads, lakes, and worthwhile routes, that it would be impossible to name them all. The information provided on this website is done so without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. We chased the sunset to Iceland Lake. You can enter Emigrant from Yosemtie (Boundary Lake), Hwy 108 (Crabtree, Gianelli Cabin, and Kennedy Meadows), or the Sonora Pass… The long, meandering descent from the ponds to Long Lake was fantastic: lovely granite and gentle, lightly forested slopes. 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. For late afternoon starters, Relief Reservoir has nice camps around Grouse Creek. See the footnotes for a highly interesting account of that epic journey. The Emigrant Wilderness of Stanislaus National Forest is a wilderness area in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, USA. And then it was up, up, and more up into the high(er) country of Emigrant Wilderness. Mileage: 9 miles. Cross the Cherry Lake Dam, the trailhead is on the eastern shoreline. Backpackers hiking into this area will find fish aplenty, not to mention fine campsites where they can start a fire and grill their catch. Notes: The Southern Emigrant Wilderness borders Yosemite National Park. Highest point on the trail: Mosquito Pass, 9,360 feet The Emigrant is most easily accessible from Hwy 108, with many visitors entering from near Pinecrest Lake or Kennedy Meadows. Campsites: Pleasant sites at either end of the lake, a few along the north shore. Wilderness Permits. Terrain varies from rolling hills to ridges and granite domes, with many lakes surrounded by stands of lodgepole pine. (I imagine she’d been dealing with hairy PCT hikers all summer, but they couldn’t have been... that bad?). Emigrant Wilderness is in Stanislaus National Forest, North of Yosemite. Remnants of the equipment used to haul materials up the road can be seen here and there between Kennedy Meadows and Relief Reservoir. Emigrant Lake is considered one of the premier destinations in the Emigrant Wilderness. We followed the conga line of lakes towards Granite Dome -- Iceland, Ridge, Sardella, Lewis. For the latest information about fishing and hunting regulations that may affect this area, consult, California Freshwater Sportfishing and Hunting Regulations. Always confirm information with the service provider and check for any recent changes that may have been made. I mapped out a 38mi route that traverses the entire Emigrant Wilderness. Trail Runners vs Boots vs Sandals For Backpacking (plus Socks, Camp Shoes, Gaiters, etc.) A few hours of driving and several bags of gas station chips lead us back home. Software Assurance and Technology Consulting. Emigrant Lake: 140 acres at 8827' elevation, about 15 miles from the trailhead. After the standard pre-dawn departure, we picked up our permit at Summit Ranger Station (which takes about 10 seconds) and made our way to the Kennedy Meadows trailhead along 108. Only 2.6 miles, with a net gain in elevation of about 500 feet (although you climb almost 1000 and drop back by half), it took us just about 1 hr and 20 minutes to hike in with day packs, and about 45 minutes to hike out. The morning was cold and still. 108, the Sonora Pass, is about 30 miles out of the town of Sonora. The lake is nearly 2 miles long with good camping on either end. The lake is considered a premier destination for the Emigrant Wilderness. Emigrant Wilderness Area. I haven’t adventured much off of Sonora Pass, so I immediately said yes! The weather looked to be clear all day and freezing overnight. But it’s much less crowded than its neighbor to the South, offering more solitude for backpacking. Whether you carry your own pack or arrange to be packed in by Kennedy Meadows Pack Station , Emigrant Lake is the perfect basecamp for exploring the dozens of lakes scattered about the wilderness just north of Yosemite National Park. Our plan was to hike the five-ish or so miles to Granite Lake. 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. If you are spending the night near the trailhead at Kennedy Meadows and the campgrounds are full, simply drive on up Highway 108 a few miles to Chipmunk Flat where there is free dispersed camping. Only 2.6 miles, with a net gain in elevation of about 500 feet (although you climb almost 1000 and drop back by We started off at the Gianelli Cabin trailhead (elevation 8580’) behind the Pinecrest Ranger Station late Friday afternoon. I was still getting over a surprise case of Salmonella, and my energy reserves were questionable. Campsites are limited along the northern shoreline, but plenty of good sites can be found among the trees at either end of the nearly 2-mile-long lake. Wilderness Permits are required and can be picked up at the Summit Ranger Station in Pinecrest, California. It was a fairly boring blur of sandy trail that didn’t warrant a lot of photos. Between it and Covered Wagon Peak, at about 9,400 feet, is a plaque denoting the elevation high-point of the pioneers' route. The Emigrant Wilderness is a "Federal Wilderness" area directly to the east of Stockton, California. To celebrate, we added bits of blaze orange to our already fashion forward hiking clothes. The rest of the day was spent following Summit Creek back to the trailhead. And we were not alone. Another access is further south at Lake Eleanor at Shingle Springs trailhead. views hiking forest nature-trips wild-flowers wildlife birding camping backpacking lake walking dogs river trail-running dogs-leash Headed to Crabtree Trail, and took the trail to Camp Lake. Emigrant Meadow Lake - Emigrant Wilderness - Aug 1966 On the fourth day we headed for Emigrant Lake and camped below its outlet. Like Yosemite, it has towering granite mountains and spectacular alpine lakes. Back in the 1850s when Grizzly Adams led a small expedition east across Sonora Pass via the emigrant trail, he described encountering all sorts of wildlife, including a nighttime attack on the travelers' camp by "panthers, wolves, and coyotes." See Theodore H. Hittell's Adventures of James Capen Adams, 1911. And they were leaving, after all. It was also hunting season -- Emigrant is a Wilderness Area and plays by different rules than a National Park. 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. We drove an hour from Sonora, CA to enter the Emigrant Wilderness, part of Stanislaus National Forest. The forecast called for temperatures at or below freezing. Rattlesnakes are most likely to be seen at lower elevations around Kennedy Meadows and Relief Reservoir. From the south, the wilderness is accessible from Cherry Lake, along the border with Yosemite National Park. With easy walking distance are a number other great lakes. We’d had grander plans for the afternoon, but found ourselves plopped down for the night along Emigrant Lake, where we saw our first other humans of the day. We managed to squeeze in one final Sierra trip to Emigrant Wilderness before winter slammed the door. 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