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TR: Emigrant Wilderness, June 7-14

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TR: Emigrant Wilderness, June 7-14

Postby Ikan Mas » Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:44 pm

Every year my brother and I take a couple of week long trips into various wildernesses on the west coast. He is in Seattle. I am in the Bay Area. Emigrant Wilderness was this year’s first trip, and the earliest we have ever taken. This TR tells of the trip and includes a bit of gratuitous fish porn.
Day 1: Kennedy Meadows TH to Saucer Meadows (June 7)
We drove up early and were on the trail around 9:00. It was clear and warm. Here’s a parting shot of Relief Reservoir as we left the flies, dust, and planted trout of Kennedy Meadows behind:
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We could see some snow on the mountains, but none on the trail as of yet.
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We camped above Saucer Meadow. I spent the afternoon prowling Summit Creek. The brooks were chunkier than expected and made for a tasty dinner:
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Day 2: Saucer Meadows to Snow Lake (June 8)
Next morning we began our ascent toward Brown Bear Pass. The meadows were just beginning to bloom:
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Here is Brown Bear Pass in the distance:
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Closer:
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Closer still:
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Once over the pass, we looked down upon Emigrant Meadows Lake and its surroundings:
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The Rainbows were spawning in the inlet stream here:
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The willows were just coming out:
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We climbed up over ridge near Emigrant Pass and found ourselves in Grizzly Meadows. Here is Grizzly Peak:
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After some up and down, we came to Summit Meadows:
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And then Snow Lake, our camp for the night:
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I was unable to catch any fish in Snow Lake, though I thought I saw one jump. There were tiny brooks in the outlet stream below the dam, but seemingly nothing in the lake. Perhaps killed off by winter conditions.
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Day 3: Snow Lake to Huckleberry Lake(June 9)
The next morning we hiked down from Snow Lake to Horse Meadows:
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The old mining road in some areas was just a stumblefest of slippery round rocks:
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We explored the Cherry Creek Mine, which had been thoroughly trashed by a few avalanches:
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….and fought the mosquitos all the way down to Huckleberry Lake, which had enough fetch for the wind to blow them away:
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Fishing was good, with both fair sized bows and brooks responding nicely to Panther Martins and similar lures:
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Day 4: Huckleberry Lake to Upper Buck Lake (June 10)
Next morning dawned calmer and the skeeters were back:
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We passed by Letora Lake, which was striking:
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We then passed an extremely mosquito ridden Cow Meadow Lake:
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And climbed up to Upper Buck Lake, our camp:
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Thunderstorms threatened, but fishing was not too bad for bows here:
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Day 5: Upper Buck Lake to Emigrant Lake (June 11)
Next morning we continued on to Emigrant Lake, which, until the wind came up, was also bug ridden:
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Here we also found the rainbows spawning in the inlet stream:
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With the bows all lovey-dovey, I was left to pursue brooks, which ran up to 13 inches and were rather hefty:
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Day 6: Emigrant Lake to Middle Emigrant Lake (June 12)
Today we hiked the short trail to Middle Emigrant Lake:
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Having some time on our hands after the short hike, we then day hiked up to Emigrant Meadows Lake…
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And then on to Emigrant Pass and High Emigrant Lake:
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I was able to coax a 9” brook out of High Emigrant, which was a surprise, considering it’s 9700 foot elevation:
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We hiked back down to Emigrant Meadows Lake, and left via the outlet:
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Back at our camp at Middle Emigrant Lake, I was able to finally catch a single brook:
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The wind blew from late morning through the night, keeping the bugs away, but also keeping things rather cool. I climbed a small knob and could see Emigrant Lake in the distance:
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Day 7: Middle Emigrant Lake to Upper Relief Reservoir (June 13)
After a restless night tormented by the wind, we hiked back down to Emigrant Lake and then up to Mosquito Pass. Here is looking north toward the pass:
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Looking south, down toward Emigrant Lake from the Mosquito Pass:
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Looking north, back into the Summit Creek Valley:
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We hiked down the valley and decided to stay overnight at the upper end of Relief Reservoir before heading out. Our camp had a nice view:
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And I was able to catch a few more rainbows. This one ran 12 inches:
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Day 8: Upper Relief Reservoir to Kennedy Meadows TH (June 14)
I got up early and was able to catch the full moon going down over this red volcanic peak:
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And then said goodbye to the mountains as we headed out to the trailhead:
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Re: TR: Emigrant Wilderness, June 7-14

Postby DriveFly44 » Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:59 pm

Thanks for putting that together IM. Cool you get to spend that kind of time and have a great experience with your brother like that. Love that area.


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Re: TR: Emigrant Wilderness, June 7-14

Postby Tom_H » Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:43 pm

Very enjoyable read. Some of my favorite territory. You did a fair amount of back and forth. That day from Middle Emigrant to Upper Relief was a pretty long haul. Thanks for the TR.
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Re: TR: Emigrant Wilderness, June 7-14

Postby venturefar » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:13 am

Great TR!!! The mosquitoes were biblical at Emigrant :eek: . PM sent.
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Re: TR: Emigrant Wilderness, June 7-14

Postby hoggie » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:55 am

Great TR, but I feel bad for all the fishiees.
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Re: TR: Emigrant Wilderness, June 7-14

Postby Vaca Russ » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:29 am

hoggie wrote:Great TR, but I feel bad for all the fishiees.


Hi Hoggie,

Welcome to HST. You really shouldn't feel too bad for the fish. I'm sure Ikan Mas put the protien to good use. :) This is all a part of the circle of life.

I hope to see many Trip Reports from you in the future. :nod:

I.M.,

Thanks for the great report! I love all of the pictures. I'm glad you were able to spend such quality time with your brother. I have got to get up into that neck of the woods. Maybe I should wait for the vampires to thin out. :nod:

Just for future reference...if you pay careful attention to Markskor's post the proper way to type certain terminology is "Fish P0rn". \:D/

Got it?

Thanks again,

-Russ
” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
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Re: TR: Emigrant Wilderness, June 7-14

Postby Tom_H » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:12 pm

hoggie wrote:Great TR, but I feel bad for all the fishiees.


Hi Hoggie,

Welcome to HST. We'd enjoy knowing more about you. There's a thread for newcomers to introduce themselves:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9329

Hope you get a lot from the forum and add some as well!

Tom
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Re: TR: Emigrant Wilderness, June 7-14

Postby balzaccom » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:28 pm

Nice trip report...good to see you getting out there and getting some fish.

They ure look fat...must be a good year for bugs!
Balzaccom

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Re: TR: Emigrant Wilderness, June 7-14

Postby Ikan Mas » Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:18 pm

The fish were indeed all consumed and were quite tasty. They certainly improved our diet over just the freeze dried food. I carry olive oil, salt, pepper, and chipotl pepper for seasoning. You can't get a much better source of protein from a purity and quality perspective.

I thought of the fish were really fat considering that ice out wasn't that long ago. Almost all were full of small bugs. I caught one large bow in Relief Reservoir that must have just come off the spawn, as it was empty. I was also surprized how healthy the brook caught at High Emigrant Lake was as well.
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Re: TR: Emigrant Wilderness, June 7-14

Postby SSSdave » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:17 pm

I M >>>"We then passed an extremely mosquito ridden Cow Meadow Lake:"

Every large lake around it has lots of squeetoes due to numerous no name ponds. And if someone thought any of those places were bad, imaging dropping down in a damp shady forested canyon bottom between those other upland areas to a swampy flooded meadow of a lake where breezes are even more blocked...Cow Meadow Lake.

Named by a frontier settler that brought his small herd of moo cows there one June day long ago to summer graze and most didn't survive the first night. :wink:
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Re: TR: Emigrant Wilderness, June 7-14

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:29 pm

Nice early season trip report! Some nice pictures too (aside from all the dead fish). I liked the Brown Bear Pass approach pictures. :) Quite a hike. I have been all through that area a number of times, and I will be taking two noobs through the EW on a week long trip in August which will additionally cover all of the areas I have not yet visited, like Maxwell Lake and Emigrant Lake. I would still like to get to Peninsula Lake which I have only seen from Haystack Peak. Good to hear about all of the mosquitoes! :) It means by the time I get there, they will all be gone, mostly.
Happy Trails!
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Seems like a good excuse to post a picture from last year of Letora Lake from the west shore. I will be spending another night there this year. Can't wait.
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Re: TR: Emigrant Wilderness, June 7-14

Postby texan » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:25 am

Thanks for posting the TR and you also caught some nice fish. Now thats a bonus :D

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