Emigrant: Chain Lakes to Grouse Lakes

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Cruzberg
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Re: Emigrant: Chain Lakes to Grouse Lakes

Post by Cruzberg » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:57 pm

There were two other cars at the Boxsprings TH, and two groups at Chain Lakes. Pretty sparse. A lot of people (including us) followed the fastest Google maps route to Boxsprings, but that routes you through some gnarly OHV roads that only high clearance 4x4s can navigate. DO NOT turn left right after Hull Creek Campground, but keep going on 3N01 for a ways.








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looks easy from here
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Re: Emigrant: Chain Lakes to Grouse Lakes

Post by looks easy from here » Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:06 am

Cool, thanks again. I've become a bit nervous from all the stories about how crowded everything is this year, especially with staying so close to the trailhead. But if those conditions hold seclusion should be easy.

It's interesting that Google would shoot you off 3N01 before 3N16. I've been up there a couple times before and always gone that way, and it's practically a freeway, as far as forest roads go (01, at least; 16 gets pretty bumpy). But I guess Google's algorithm doesn't differentiate surface quality, just road type. And I'm glad you guys made it and had a good time, in spite of the bonus adventure.

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CAMERONM
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Re: Emigrant: Chain Lakes to Grouse Lakes

Post by CAMERONM » Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:33 am

Timely post! So other than the predictable close-to-trailhead-lake mess at Grouse, what is the problem with Crabtree if we are on our way to Groundhog Meadow the first night? We can do the Box Springs or Bell trailheads if there is some advantage.

BTW I went online and got an immediate online permit. It appears that they are not applying quotas..

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Cruzberg
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Re: Emigrant: Chain Lakes to Grouse Lakes

Post by Cruzberg » Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:44 pm

Crabtree is always super crowded because a lot of day hikers enter the wilderness from there. The longer drive and rough road to Boxsprings is a bit of a gatekeeper, and that approach is just as pretty. Be advised that getting to Grouse Lakes and the main trails from Boxsprings will require cross-country travel/navigating, as described above.

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CAMERONM
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Re: Emigrant: Chain Lakes to Grouse Lakes

Post by CAMERONM » Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:38 pm

@ Cruzberg Thanks!

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toejam
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Re: Emigrant: Chain Lakes to Grouse Lakes

Post by toejam » Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:02 pm

Bell Meadow trailhead is easy to get to, not crowded like Crabtree, and you can take a trail to Pine Valley. I've thought it worth the extra easy walk.

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Re: Emigrant: Chain Lakes to Grouse Lakes

Post by CAMERONM » Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:38 pm

Yes, thanks. The crew I am taking is already challenged, so a trail is optimal.

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Re: Emigrant: Chain Lakes to Grouse Lakes

Post by Nighthawk » Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:45 am

We (a family of 4, but not the one murphtron was talking about) went to the southern Chain Lake from Box Springs TH last weekend (Sat to Mon). I only saw one small tent at the first Chain Lake when we went in on Sat and it was gone when we left on Monday. We didn't see anyone on the trail or around the lakes the entire weekend. We saw 3 people at the trailhead - 2 who had intended to exit at Crabtree but ended up at Box Spring and were trying to figure out how to fix it, and a solo backpacker who was meeting someone - they all left before we were ready and we never saw them again. There were two other cars at the trailhead, neither of which belonged to these people, and they were all gone when we exited on Monday (as was the solo hiker's car that she'd left further back on the side of the road).
Mosquitoes were present in a few shady, wet spots on the trail, but none in camp.
Dramatic clouds and thunder every afternoon, but only sprinkles.
I'll post a short TR in another thread.

Special thanks if anyone here was the person who found my lens cap and helpfully left it in a very visible location!

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