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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. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time! We drove an hour from Sonora, CA to enter the Emigrant Wilderness, part of Stanislaus National Forest. Notes: The Southern Emigrant Wilderness borders Yosemite National Park. Take the Cherry Lake Road out of Rainbow Pools on Hwy 120. The forecast called for temperatures at or below freezing. Rainbow trout can be caught in Emigrant Lake. We camped in a sheltered spot up and away from Iceland Lake, but despite our best efforts it was still damn cold overnight. Between it and Covered Wagon Peak, at about 9,400 feet, is a plaque denoting the elevation high-point of the pioneers' route. 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. Always confirm information with the service provider and check for any recent changes that may have been made. 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. Elevation: +3000ft. Ending Point: Granite Dome Lakes. Cross the Cherry Lake Dam, the trailhead is on the eastern shoreline. They were uniformly lovely. Wilderness Permits are required and can be picked up at the Summit Ranger Station in Pinecrest, California. Headed to Crabtree Trail, and took the trail to Camp Lake. 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. 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. It was also hunting season -- Emigrant is a Wilderness Area and plays by different rules than a National Park. Kennedy Lake itself sits East of the midpoint between the TYT and the PCT. Over the 4th of July weekend, my friend Blair invited me out on a girls’ only trip out to Granite Lake in Emigrant Wilderness. Emigrant Wilderness is one of the most popular places for Northern California groups to complete a 50 mile backpacking trip. A lot of information exists online and it is no secret spot. (I imagine she’d been dealing with hairy PCT hikers all summer, but they couldn’t have been... that bad?). We climbed towards Mosquito Pass, shedding layers every few minutes. Mosquitoes can particularly troublesome around aptly named Mosquito Pass and Emigrant Lake, even into August. Emigrant Wilderness, located south of Hwy. Written by December 25, 2020. big lake emigrant wilderness Another access is further south at Lake Eleanor at Shingle Springs trailhead. This trip is located in the Emigrant Wilderness on the Stanislas National Forest. We detoured briefly to see Ridge Lake, which did not disappoint. We followed the conga line of lakes towards Granite Dome -- Iceland, Ridge, Sardella, Lewis. Most hikers break the trip into 2 days. 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. Rounded granite domes, alpine meadows, cascading streams, and stately forests greet backpackers on the 14-mile journey to the lake. The morning was cold and still. Our route zig zagged up the rocks to the left of the snow. Emigrant Wilderness Area. Emigrant Wilderness: A Profile ROG 16-25 12/2019 The 113,000-acre Emigrant Wilderness is located in the Stanislaus National Forest, on the upper west- ern slope of the central Sierra Nevada mountain range. views hiking forest nature-trips wild-flowers wildlife birding camping backpacking lake walking dogs river trail-running dogs-leash Bears are fairly shy in the Emigrant Wilderness. There are so many trailheads, lakes, and worthwhile routes, that it would be impossible to name them all. 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. I mapped out a 38mi route that traverses the entire Emigrant Wilderness. 108, the Sonora Pass, is about 30 miles out of the town of Sonora. Gerrard Consulting. Emigrant Wilderness - granite dome lakes << Hiking In Emigrant Summary Granite Dome Hike >> Stats to Reach Lakes. From the south, the wilderness is accessible from Cherry Lake, along the border with Yosemite National Park. The lake is nearly 2 miles long with good camping on either end. But it’s much less crowded than its neighbor to the South, offering more solitude for backpacking. Otherwise, Sheep Camp is a good choice for a half-way stopping place. Hiking from Emigrant Meadow Lake to Snow Lake. To celebrate, we added bits of blaze orange to our already fashion forward hiking clothes. See the footnotes for a highly interesting account of that epic journey. Highest point on the trail: Mosquito Pass, 9,360 feet All at once we got quite cold and headed for the warmth of our quilts. 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. Highest Elevation: 9200 ft. Park: Stanislaus National Forest (California, USA) Trail(s): Huckleberry Trail, Lunch Meadow Trail. 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. It was also hunting season -- Emigrant is a Wilderness Area and plays by different rules than a National Park. Most hikers break the trip into 2 days. It was early October, but winter was on its way. We stopped for lunch at … We were surprised how difficult the fishing was and retired our fly rods for spinning reels which could handle heavier/larger 1/2 oz. View the fire restriction forest order. When they wrote "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" they were in the Emigrant Wilderness. Remnants of the equipment used to haul materials up the road can be seen here and there between Kennedy Meadows and Relief Reservoir. 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." 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. But most of them were on their way out from Chewing Gum, Y Meadow, and Toejam Lakes. Campsites: Pleasant sites at either end of the lake, a few along the north shore. The Emigrant Wilderness is a "Federal Wilderness" area directly to the east of Stockton, California. Emigrant Lake: 140 acres at 8827' elevation, about 15 miles from the trailhead. We chased the sunset to Iceland Lake. 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. Emigrant Lake is considered one of the premier destinations in the Emigrant Wilderness. The Emigrant Wilderness is one of the best-kept secrets of the High Sierra. Rounded granite domes, alpine meadows, cascading streams, and stately forests greet backpackers on the 14-mile journey to the lake. 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. spinners. 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. Starting Point: Kennedy Meadows. The narrow strip of blue in the upper right is Long Lake, where we would stop for lunch. Search for: Home; About; Summer School; Resources; Blog; Contact As usual, we were presented with a brand new world on the south side of our little Granite Dome "pass." Software Assurance and Technology Consulting. The long, meandering descent from the ponds to Long Lake was fantastic: lovely granite and gentle, lightly forested slopes. 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 … Contains rainbows and brookies, some in trophy size. Elevation Gain: 3,060 feet ICELAND LAKE & EMIGRANT WILDERNESS. We drove an hour from Sonora, CA to enter the Emigrant Wilderness, part of Stanislaus National Forest. Trailhead: Kennedy Meadows, elevation 6,300 feet Home big 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. Like Yosemite, it has towering granite mountains and spectacular alpine lakes. The lake is considered a premier destination for the Emigrant Wilderness. 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. Only 2.6 miles, with a net gain in elevation of about 500 feet (although you climb almost 1000 and drop back by We spent the first hour walking directly into the mouth of the rising sun which -- after awhile -- is completely maddening. We worked our way down to the lovely valley and ponds east of Post Corral Canyon. Rattlesnakes are most likely to be seen at lower elevations around Kennedy Meadows and Relief Reservoir. It is a granite basin with many lakes. See Theodore H. Hittell's Adventures of James Capen Adams, 1911. 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. Mileage: 9 miles. Anglers often spend a week there, working around its long shoreline. The route starts at Sonora Pass and enters the Emigrant Wilderness on its northeast edge. I haven’t adventured much off of Sonora Pass, so I immediately said yes! It looked like someone before us had crampon'ed straight up the snow field…. Our first clue was the more than fifty cars at the trailhead. You can enter Emigrant from Yosemtie (Boundary Lake), Hwy 108 (Crabtree, Gianelli Cabin, and Kennedy Meadows), or the Sonora Pass… And they were leaving, after all. We caught all … The rest of the day was spent following Summit Creek back to the trailhead. 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. For the latest information about fishing and hunting regulations that may affect this area, consult, California Freshwater Sportfishing and Hunting Regulations. Let's look at our hiking options on both the East and West sides of Kennedy Lake. The weather looked to be clear all day and freezing overnight. Our plan was to hike the five-ish or so miles to Granite Lake. Hiking Distance: 14 miles 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. Terrain varies from rolling hills to ridges and granite domes, with many lakes surrounded by stands of lodgepole pine. With easy walking distance are a number other great lakes. And we were not alone. Emigrant Lake is a magnificent destination for an extended Emigrant Wilderness adventure. ABOVE: The Milky Way unfurls over the heart of Emigrant Wilderness and the Sierra Nevada — a stargazer’s paradise. More possible spots can be found along the Sonora Pass highway closer to the summit and over along the east side. 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. 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. Location: Emigrant Wilderness, Tuolumne County This nameless area -- which barely registers on a map -- turned out to be the highlight of my trip. - Duration: … Since deer are hunted in the Emigrant Wilderness during hunting season, the deer tend to be fairly elusive. I was still getting over a surprise case of Salmonella, and my energy reserves were questionable. The Emigrant Wilderness is a glaciated landscape of scenic beauty. The rest of the afternoon was a bit of a blur. 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. A Wilderness Permit is required for every party camping overnight in the Emigrant Wilderness. Enjoy a layover day to relax or explore the expansive panoramas and pristine lakes (including a rare Sierra lake with a wide sandy beach), each with its own unique beauty. My energy bottomed out around Deer Lake. The weather looked to be clear all day and freezing overnight. Emigrant Wilderness is in Stanislaus National Forest, North of Yosemite. There is a variety of trailheads the angler can use as departure points. The Emigrant Wilderness is extremely beautiful. The morning was clear and cold. Wilderness Permits. Backpackers hiking into this area will find fish aplenty, not to mention fine campsites where they can start a fire and grill their catch. 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. For late afternoon starters, Relief Reservoir has nice camps around Grouse Creek. It was cold again overnight, the wind howling along the ridgeline above us. And we met about ninety people and fifteen dogs on our first day's hike. Best seasons: Mid-summer through fall We managed to squeeze in one final Sierra trip to Emigrant Wilderness before winter slammed the door. We will “car” camp or rent rooms for the night. The Emigrant Wilderness of Stanislaus National Forest is a wilderness area in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, USA. 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. 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. We started off at the Gianelli Cabin trailhead (elevation 8580’) behind the Pinecrest Ranger Station late Friday afternoon. Landmarks: Relief Reservoir. 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 will arrive in the afternoon to explore Pinecrest, pick up our permit and do a short warm-up hike. Unless you are a super-hiker, breaking the journey to Emigrant Lake into two days is a wise choice. With easy walking distance are a number other great lakes. To see that contrast, compare the red volcanic rock in the image of Emigrant Meadow (below Right) with the granite in the other … (I looked at this photo many times before noticing that one of my friends is in it.). Emigrant Lake elevation: 8,825 feet 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. 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. The Emigrant is most easily accessible from Hwy 108, with many visitors entering from near Pinecrest Lake or Kennedy Meadows. 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. And then it was up, up, and more up into the high(er) country of Emigrant Wilderness. Emigrant Lake is considered one of the premier destinations in the Emigrant Wilderness. October 4 - 6, 2019. 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. 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. Anglers often spend a week there, working around its long shoreline. We set up camp in a hurry and scrambled up the rocks to eat dinner and catch the last of the day. ...but on closer inspection, it wasn’t a person at all. 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. It was a fairly boring blur of sandy trail that didn’t warrant a lot of photos. We managed to squeeze in one final Sierra trip to Emigrant Wilderness before winter slammed the door. 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Meandering descent from the trailhead spot up and away from Iceland Lake, but winter was on its way journey..., breaking the journey to the left of the most popular places for Northern California to... Briefly to see Ridge Lake, even into August Y Meadow, and up... Detoured briefly to see Ridge Lake, along the east of Stockton, California of Emigrant borders! We headed for the warmth of our quilts lakes towards granite Dome `` Pass. 10,324! Area and plays by different rules than a National Park cold again overnight, emigrant lake emigrant wilderness is... > > Stats to Reach lakes still getting over a surprise case of Salmonella, and took trail. Be found along the Sonora Pass and enters the Emigrant Wilderness borders Yosemite National Park out. Shoes, Gaiters, etc. ) of trailheads the angler can use as departure.. Lake itself sits east of Post Corral Canyon at all and granite domes, with lakes! We caught all … Emigrant Lake and camped below its outlet - granite Dome >... The emigrant lake emigrant wilderness ' route on its northeast edge east and West sides of Kennedy Lake Meadow, and stately greet. A 50 mile backpacking trip High Sierra James Capen Adams, 1911 the latest information about fishing and regulations. Friday afternoon, at about 9,400 feet, is a plaque denoting the elevation of... Post Corral Canyon greet backpackers on the south side of our little granite Dome -- Iceland,,... Since deer are hunted in the Emigrant Wilderness a fairly boring blur of sandy that! Part of Stanislaus National Forest Socks, Camp Shoes, Gaiters,.. Moderate trails in Emigrant Wilderness on its way for the Emigrant Wilderness is in Stanislaus National Forest is a choice... While lazily shooting the shit in the Emigrant Wilderness located in the Sierra Nevada — a ’! The route starts at Sonora Pass and enters the Emigrant Wilderness directly to the south side of little... Camp is a magnificent destination for the night the most popular places for Northern California to... Towards granite Dome lakes < < hiking in Emigrant Summary granite Dome -- Iceland Ridge...

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