TR- Cherry Creeks, Emigrant Wilderness: Granite, Lakes, Birds, Dogs, and Blue Skies! Oct. 10-8 to 10-13-2020

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Re: TR- Cherry Creeks, Emigrant Wilderness: Granite, Lakes, Birds, Dogs, and Blue Skies! Oct. 10-8 to 10-13-2020

Post by SSSdave » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:56 pm

I like how your dogs are so happy. Reminds me of my childhood German sheppard Rum I roamed creeks and Sierra foothill country with with everywhere. Lots of miles.

Early summer, Cherry Creek flows may block travel in several locations normally crossable by August. We had a fishing oriented trip planned this summer going in from Kennedy Mdws eventually to Emigrant Lake but the pandemic and dry winter put that off. The Grizzly Peak area has some interesting and colorful volcanic areas I still expect to photograph. And might go in via Cherry Valley again just to visit some of the areas above my 2017 trip plus the remote Yosemite lakes in that area I explored decades ago.

During mid June at peak snow melt after the heavy winter of 2017, I did visit the enormous glacial carved granite canyon below Lord Meadow specifically to image the big flows with many waterwheels.

https://www.davidsenesac.com/2017_Trip_ ... 17-12.html

Where you climbed up the Yellowhammer stream bed but with whitewater cascades. At the bottom 500 feet below the canyon knee is a bit of Cherry Creek The full stitch blended image is 16500 pixels high, a good image to place on an interior bathroom door.

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Re: TR- Cherry Creeks, Emigrant Wilderness: Granite, Lakes, Birds, Dogs, and Blue Skies! Oct. 10-8 to 10-13-2020

Post by kpeter » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:47 pm

I love that area and very much enjoyed your trip report and photographs. I have good memories of Long Lake. Did you go by the outlet and check on the condition of the check-dam? I worry what will become of some of these lakes when the checkdams finally break down. It was at the check dam that I saw a monster trout--I don't fish but I was in awe of the creature swimming by. How wonderful to discover the mountain-top lake at 9190--so special to have a place that few others have been to.

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Re: TR- Cherry Creeks, Emigrant Wilderness: Granite, Lakes, Birds, Dogs, and Blue Skies! Oct. 10-8 to 10-13-2020

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:13 pm

Here is a photo of the drainage west of the one you went up- it flows from Big Lake. Halfway down there is a flat spot of lush vegetation that is like an oasis in a sea of granite.
8359-60_Oasis_slabs.jpg
8386_The Oasis_best.jpg

Did you see the "pimpled" slabs at Big Lake?
8349_Rock Pimples.jpg
Late season descent of Cherry Creek from Lord Meadow to Cherry Lake is one of the classic off-trail routes in Emigrant. The guidebook says it is the highest rated trip in his book. You have to do it late season in low flows. It is one trip on my bucket list.
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Re: TR- Cherry Creeks, Emigrant Wilderness: Granite, Lakes, Birds, Dogs, and Blue Skies! Oct. 10-8 to 10-13-2020

Post by SweetSierra » Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:24 pm

Three of us did a similar trip at the end of July. It was a seven-day trip, beginning and ending at Crabtree Trailhead. I'd hiked in Emigrant on another eight-day trip (from Emigrant Pass on the PCT), but this one was special. All of it except for the beautiful meadows at Emigrant Meadows Lake (our farthest point in) was new to me.
After Emigrant Lake, the route to Middle Emigrant Lake and Emigrant Meadows Lake is an unmaintained trail that disappears. Easy enough to find your way though. We camped at Letora Lake and spent a layover day there. We saw just a few people after leaving Emigrant Lake. We didn't see large wildlife either. No deer or bear.
The canyon, forest, and flowers along the West Fork of Cherry Creek before you drop to Huckleberry Lake is gorgeous. Such a diverse landscape. We had planned to go to Pingree Lake (but changed plans when we stayed the extra day at Letora) and talked with packers on the way out who take customers there routinely during the summer (thus the trail and old poop you saw). I felt we lucked out given that the big fires started not long after we left.
Thanks for the beautiful photos and trip report. I'd like to go back there.

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Re: TR- Cherry Creeks, Emigrant Wilderness: Granite, Lakes, Birds, Dogs, and Blue Skies! Oct. 10-8 to 10-13-2020

Post by c9h13no3 » Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:30 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:13 pm
Late season descent of Cherry Creek from Lord Meadow to Cherry Lake is one of the classic off-trail routes in Emigrant. The guidebook says it is the highest rated trip in his book. You have to do it late season in low flows. It is one trip on my bucket list.
I've always thought of this area as an early season target. I know the crossing of the West Fork of Cherry Creek & Piute Creek are tough, but I assumed the white water show in Cherry Creek was worth timing it (flow low enough in the first creeks to cross, high enough to still be cool to look at). Or maybe approach from Cherry Lake via Kibbie Ridge.

What's the appeal of going in low flow conditions? Miles of granite and you can follow it all the way down to Cherry Reservoir? Is the vantage point on the landscape better in the creek canyon?
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Re: TR- Cherry Creeks, Emigrant Wilderness: Granite, Lakes, Birds, Dogs, and Blue Skies! Oct. 10-8 to 10-13-2020

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:43 pm

Cherry Creek below Lord Meadow is a slot canyon. It is also a classic very difficult kayak route. I have actually run into an abandoned kayak paddle when I went down the canyon as far as I could one early season trip.

Since I have yet to do it, I will quote the guidebook: "without a doubt the finest trek within the bounds of Emigrant Wilderness".."can be summed up in one word-granite"..."frequent rock-scrambling and taxing route-finding"..."For safety and ease of travel, this hike should be undertaken only in good weather and only when water is low, but the intrepid few who navigate Cherry Creek Canyon when the water is high and wild will be treated to an unforgettable experience."

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Re: TR- Cherry Creeks, Emigrant Wilderness: Granite, Lakes, Birds, Dogs, and Blue Skies! Oct. 10-8 to 10-13-2020

Post by Harlen » Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:08 pm

Hey WD, I read back into the earlier posts, including yours-- did you pull off the "Pure" trip from Headwaters to the lower Cherry Creek Canyon, and then exit to a back road and meet up with your husband. If so, when did you choose to do it-- early summer? Is there a TR for it? Not having (yet) the luxury of the 2 car through trip, I was looking at entering from the TH above Cherry Lk., up Kibbe Ridge, down Styx Pass, and then, depending on the creek crossings (harder with dog), return downstream on one side or the other?? It seems from the map that the south- true left side is more manageable.
I wonder if at the end of the trip, it is better to carry on all the way down to the Cherry Lk. level, or to scrap back up to the Kibbe Ridge Tr., perhaps around "Lookout Point?" Anyone have advice to give? Thanks, Ian.

p.s. C9 and others wonder about the scenic value of Cherry Creek's canyons at low flow-- like now. Here a a few images of what it's like now:

100_4792.jpg

100_4795.jpg

100_4770.jpg
Not much water, but still interesting for the geology, and weird chemistry that creates all shades of oxidation colors. Are these circular tubs (next photo) created by trapped rocks scouring deep down?

100_4793.jpg
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Last edited by Harlen on Thu Nov 19, 2020 12:11 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: TR- Cherry Creeks, Emigrant Wilderness: Granite, Lakes, Birds, Dogs, and Blue Skies! Oct. 10-8 to 10-13-2020

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:31 pm

No, I never did that trip all the way down Cherry Creek. I did day-hike down from Lord Meadow for about a mile on an different trip. Maybe next year down the entire creek in Fall, if smoke and fires do not repeat our horrible 2020 season.

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Re: TR- Cherry Creeks, Emigrant Wilderness: Granite, Lakes, Birds, Dogs, and Blue Skies! Oct. 10-8 to 10-13-2020

Post by texan » Tue Oct 27, 2020 7:22 pm

Thanks for the TR. Huckleberry Lake is one of the best fishing lakes in the Sierras for self-sustaining fish. Your rainbow your caught is typical of the fish you catch there. They also have nice brookies.

Texan

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Re: TR- Cherry Creeks, Emigrant Wilderness: Granite, Lakes, Birds, Dogs, and Blue Skies! Oct. 10-8 to 10-13-2020

Post by wildhiker » Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:36 pm

Thanks for another great trip report. Glad you could get out again this month. For me, the end of August and all of September were pretty much ruined by the wildfires smoke. Not big on October backpack trips - usually cold and always dark. But you lucked out on the weather. I also enjoyed that good weather on dayhikes in the Tahoe area on both Oct 17 and 24 - both times in T-shirt and shorts!
-Phil

PS Another big expanse of glacial polish is the northern slope of the Lyell Fork Merced River canyon in Yosemite just upstream from where the High Trail crosses. Here's a photo of part of it:
P1110817.JPG
But I do believe the Emigrant Wilderness is the king of exposed solid granite slopes. I remember when the Forest Service did their wilderness proposal study back around 1970 that they said that 55% of the entire Emigrant Wilderness was bare rock.
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