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Emigrant Wilderness Route Planning

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Emigrant Wilderness Route Planning

Postby jhoest » Wed May 21, 2014 10:25 am

Howdy all,
I am planning on hitting up the Emigrant Wilderness on a 5day, 4 night trip June 8th to 12th, and just wanted to get some of the experts thoughts before I commit to anything. I would say my level of backpacking experience would be somewhere between a 2.5 and 3, and comfortable with some cross country travel.

My current planned itinerary is:
Day 1: Crabtree --> Piute Lake
Day 2: Piute Lake --> Emigrant Lake
Day 3: Emigrant Lake --> Huckleberry Lake
Day 4: Huckleberry Lake --> Wood Lake
Day 5: Wood Lake --> Pine Valley to Crabtree

If I calculated correctly, this averages roughly 8 miles a day, give or take a few miles depending on the day. Based upon reports from previous years, I am assuming I should expect lots of mosquitoes and fairly dry conditions for the most part, considering the snowpack for the year. My main concern are whether there are any major river crossings I should worry about? I know it is a "dry" year, but I am curious how that will affect flow in some of these major drainages that I will have to cross. I see a few people mention the Cherry Creek crossing, are there any other major ones that should warrant concern? I've done some river crossings in the past, though usually nothing above knee height. I will also be going solo, so don't want to do anything too wild and crazy. I guess my main question is, has anyone does this route in the Emigrant or a similar one, and does this seem like a reasonable goal. If not, maybe some alternate trip ideas?

I also plan on getting as much fishing as possible in, but I figure that will be a separate topic in the fishing forum.

Thanks in advance!

-Justin



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Re: Emigrant Wilderness Route Planning

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed May 21, 2014 10:36 am

Outlet from Woods Lake and crossing Cherry Creek are the major problems. If you do the lower trail (not the trail to Gem Lake) there is a log jam downstream on Cherry Creek.It is still a bit freaky because the logs are not particularly easy to walk. I have never crossed Cherry Creek on the trail to Gem Lake in early season so cannot comment on that. I would simply have a Plan B in case you cannot cross. Look at the map and plan an alternate route that stays north of the crossings (Toe Jam Lake, Wire Lakes, etc). There is lots of nice country north of the crossings, if forced to do that.
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Re: Emigrant Wilderness Route Planning

Postby rlown » Wed May 21, 2014 10:42 am

check out gianelli cabin TH. it get's you around the crossing at cherry. you can still access what you want to from that TH. Pretty much what WD said. I don't like logs either.

Unfortunately I came back via the lower trail in the 80's in August. Would have been a swimfest. We went up stream about a mile before we crossed in knee-deep rather than chest deep water at the trail. Still not fun.

Your timing would probably be during the major melt this year (my opinion) for what snow is left. be careful.
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Re: Emigrant Wilderness Route Planning

Postby texan » Wed May 21, 2014 12:54 pm

I agree with RLOWN that your timing will be when all the snowmelt happens. Creek crossing will be difficult and the skeeters will be all over the place especially at Huckleberry and Cow Meadow.

Texan
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Emigrant Wilderness Route Planning

Postby AlmostThere » Wed May 21, 2014 2:26 pm

One of my earliest memories of backpacking with my family - hiking on a trail through a meadow in emigrant then running like crazy when clouds of mosquitos rose from the grass.... we started at crabtree and were on the way to emigrant.

DEET and a headnet!


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Re: Emigrant Wilderness Route Planning

Postby justm » Wed May 21, 2014 2:39 pm

I just got back from a trip into the Emigrant last night. I'll be posting a report soon. I crossed the west fork of Cherry on Friday May 16th. It was flowing pretty good and it took me a while to find a log to partially cross over onto an island and then some wading ( knee deep). I crossed the upper west creek on the way back. It was about thigh high but slow. There's still plenty of snow up there that has to melt, so I imagine at the time of your crossing it will be tricky. There's still a lot of snow up at Woods lake, so your crossing of Woods creek will be tough. I crossed it last year about the time you'll be going and it was raging and thigh high.
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Re: Emigrant Wilderness Route Planning

Postby maverick » Wed May 21, 2014 2:49 pm

Thank you very much Justm for chiming with that update, if you have time please
write up a Backcountry Conditions Update for the area.

Jhoest,

Might want to read up on this: viewtopic.php?f=34&t=6043
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Emigrant Wilderness Route Planning

Postby paul » Wed May 21, 2014 4:48 pm

I would second the motion to go in via Gianelli instead. Toejam is very nice, then to Emigrant, Huckleberry, back via Deer Lake or Wire lakes. Might be a couple more miles but less trouble with the stream crossings. My favorite lakes up there are Pinto Lakes but I don't know about fishing there. I have eaten some big fat trout out of High Emigrant lake in the past.
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Re: Emigrant Wilderness Route Planning

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed May 21, 2014 6:09 pm

I may be up there about a week later. I am evaluating the lakes for camping and fishing. Prefer a windy spot, more rock than meadows, fish but do not care what kind. What would be your top choices between: Granite, Leopold, Wire, Chewing Gum, Toe Jam, Powell, Meadow Dam and Long. These are the lakes I have not visited. Of the lakes listed above I can choose three nights camping.
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Re: Emigrant Wilderness Route Planning

Postby jmyers » Wed May 21, 2014 6:18 pm

If you want fish, don't go to wire lakes. I tried there for a couple hours without a single nibble in perfect conditions. I failed at Long as well, but it was snowing and and very windy so I wouldn't count it out just yet.
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Re: Emigrant Wilderness Route Planning

Postby rlown » Wed May 21, 2014 6:52 pm

jmyers wrote:If you want fish, don't go to wire lakes. I tried there for a couple hours without a single nibble in perfect conditions. I failed at Long as well, but it was snowing and and very windy so I wouldn't count it out just yet.


What were you fishing with? which lakes? connecting streams? when? sorry for so many questions, i loved that area..

Russ
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Re: Emigrant Wilderness Route Planning

Postby rrivera » Wed May 21, 2014 7:53 pm

I've spent a good amount of time in the areas out of Crabtree and Gianelli….Leopold is by far one of my favorite places…the times I have been there I have had it to myself. I am not a fisher though and isolation is what I am seeking. I also think Wire Lakes are beautiful but definitely more crowded. I've been to Toejam, Y-Meadow and Chewing Gum all in early season (early June in low snow years) and it's a sqeet-fest…and that's just how it is but at least there is great swimming at Chewing Gum.
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