Friday, October 2, 2015

Emigrant Wilderness, Labor Day 2015

I had a four day weekend over Labor day this year, so Jessica and I went up to the Emigrant Wilderness. The Emigrant Wilderness is just north of Yosemite National Park. It is named after the settlers who traveled through the area on their way to California. The route through this area was not used much, as better passes for wagon travel were soon discovered.
We drove up Friday morning, and stopped by the ranger station to pick up our permit. This wilderness area is nice that there are no permit quotas. We had some lunch at the Crabtree Trailhead, then headed up the trail towards Chewing Gum Lake, which is where we stayed the night. The night at Chewing Gum Lake was the coldest and windiest night we spent out, but we stayed warm in our sleeping bags.
Heading up to Chewing Gum Lake.
We started to get some views.
Apparently I didn't take any pictures of Chewing Gum Lake, so here's one of me at our campsite near the lake.
The next day we headed out, and walked to Long Lake. The trail was in and out of the trees, and passed through a number of large meadows. There were even some cows, but they were too shy for me to get a picture. As it was Saturday, we passed a number of people on the trail. At the lake, we found a private campsite with a great view of the lake and mountains on the other side.
As a native New Englander, open spaces in the mountains still impress me.

Jessica modeling my rain coat.

If you look closely, there is a cow hiding in the trees.

The view from our campsite at Long Lake.
Sunday dawned, and we packed up for the day. We decided to bushwhack, and follow the lake and the outlet stream down to Deer Lake, rather than backtracking and taking the trails. At the end of the lake there is a dam, which we were able to check out. Heading down the hill with the stream was fairly easy, but there were a few steep or slippery bits. Back on the trail we stopped at Jewelry Lake for lunch. As we were eating, some smoke blew in from one of the forest fires that were burning. I'm still not sure which one. The rest of the afternoon was a series of ups, downs, and more lakes until we arrived at Camp Lake, where we set up for the night.
Looking back up Long Lake.

Oh dam!
Off trail, Deer lake is at the bottom of the hill.
We hiked along the bottom of an impressive cliff between Jewelry and Gem Lakes.
Piute Lake was my favorite of the day.
Look at that haze and smoke.
An unnamed lake between Piute Meadow and Camp Lake.

Monday morning we only had a few miles to go, so we packed up quickly, and headed back to the car so we could go to a diner for lunch. About a mile from the trailhead, we passed a mule train, the only pack animals we saw, despite there being a lot of evidence they had been there before. After a pleasant lunch, we put on the GPS for the drive back to the Bay Area.
Our campsite is packed up and ready to go.
Still very hazy from the forest fires.
Back into the woods.

Below is the route we took, marked on CalTopo (
If that isn't displayed below, try going to here.