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Emigrant ideas

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:05 am
by oleander
Hello Hive Mind,

I have 4.5 days to do Emigrant. Seems like a good destination right now given the currently colder temps higher at 10k+ altitude.

Crabtree, Gianelli or Kennedy Meadows start. (Gianelli my fav start of the 3, but I'm open.)

Never been "deep" into Emigrant. That's what I want this time. Something east or south of Deer Lake (the furthest in I've been). You guys have posted some fabulously beautiful photos of trips back in there.

Level 3-4 backpacker
11-14 mi/day on trail
Want at least a bit of off-trail (Class 2 or easy Class 3)
Goals: Beautiful lakes, alpine-ish scenery (but nothing too wind-exposed given the wind/cold forecast), fun off-trail. No fishing
4.5 days

Best place I've been in Emigrant is the Lewis/Iceland Lakes area. Fantastic, but I want to go somewhere new this time.

- Elizabeth

Re: Emigrant ideas

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:38 pm
by balzaccom
The obvious area is Buck Lakes and Emigrant Lakes. There's a nice loop from Bucks Lakes to Emigrant, Blackbird, Maxwell, Huckleberry, Ledora, Cow Meadow, and back to Bucks Lakes. One day in, a couple of days for the loop, and another day out.

Re: Emigrant ideas

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:05 pm
by kpeter
Have you been off trail to Hyatt, Big, Pingree, Yellowhammer etc? That is not as "deep" as Buck/ Emigrant/ Huckleberry but is more off trail and quite beautiful and doable in 4-5 days.

Re: Emigrant ideas

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:32 pm
by balzaccom
Kpeter--that's another good idea

Re: Emigrant ideas

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:58 pm
by oleander
I have not been to either Buck/Emigrant (and that loop); nor down to Hyatt/Pinagree, etc. Both areas look great.

Difficult choice!

Re: Emigrant ideas

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:20 pm
by texan
Go to emigrant lake, then twin lakes from kennedy meadows, then over to black bear lake,then bigelow lake and over to snow lake, and out over brown bear pass thru summit meadow back to kennedy meadows. You will see all different type of lakes, meadows, and everything plus the upper northern part of Yosemite. Upper Twin lake is beautiful.


Re: Emigrant ideas

Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:35 pm
by oleander

I started from Crabtree Meadow at 1:00 pm on Saturday. It was mobbed - had to backtrack and park along side of the road.

Dropped down to the Pine Creek Trail, with the intention of visiting the offtrail lakes to the south: Pingree, Big, Yellowhammer, Red Can, etc. After that I had hoped to loop down to Huckleberry, Twin Lakes, etc. if I still had time.

Ran into a ranger who paused when I told him my destinations. He informed me that it was opening weekend of hunting season. (How had I missed that? Certainly I'd seen a lot of hunters on the road out to Crabtree.) And told me that the hunters who walked into the wilderness generally headed to Huckleberry, with at least one group going to Red Can, and many many other parties going who knows where, but generally aiming to be south of the Pine Creek Trail. In other words, exactly where I'd intended to go.

As if to reinforce the ranger's point that a fairly large number of hunters had gone that way, I was inundated with both the longest, and the largest number of, pack trains I had ever seen on any hiking/backpacking trip. I mean far more more packtrain volume than you ever see going up and down Grand Canyon. The trains were all headed back to the trailhead having dropped off party after party of hunters.

Now, I happened to be wearing orange, and if there were cases of irresponsible hunters accidentally shooting hikers, we would have heard about that years ago. However, I had been seeking some solitude. And, nothing against hunters, I just didn't dig the idea of hearing shots all weekend. And, for some other reasons my heart wasn't really into my trip anyway. This was my 10th backpacking trip of the year and it felt a bit Been There, Done That.

So I headed north at Groundhog Meadow and caught the upper trail back towards the west. Hoped the lake indicated on my map would work out as a camping spot - things were pretty dried up out there. Was advising some young women going the other direction about where they might find camping, when from behind them I heard, "Hey, I know you!" It was Victor (Flamingo) from HST! He was doing a spontaneous trip and wasn't sure about his exact destination. I shared with him about the hunter situation (and also about how horribly torn up and dried out the Pine Creek Trail is) and suggested maybe Emigrant Lake.

Victor continued east and I continued west to find a great campsite above the lake with the lily pads. Had it all to myself and spent the evening gazing at the most brilliant stars I'd seen all season. (New moon, I guess?) Woke and wrote in my journal for a few hours before walking the 4.5 miles back to Crabtree TH and driving home.

Both the Big Lake area and the Emigrant Lake area will have to wait for a future time. I definitely have a better lay of the land now. It had been 27 or 28 years since the last time I'd set foot on Crabtree TH, a young skinny clueless recent college grad.

- Elizabeth

Re: Emigrant ideas

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:59 pm
by Flamingo
Hi @oleander, it was a nice surprise to see you in Emigrant! I found a great campsite in Piute Meadow with good water (thanks for the tip). I'll post a TR soon.