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Trip Advice Please: Emigrant Wilderness, Crabtree Trailhead

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Trip Advice Please: Emigrant Wilderness, Crabtree Trailhead

Postby Pietro257 » Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:29 pm

A week from tomorrow we're going out of the Crabtree Trailhead in the Emigrant Wilderness. The plan is to go to Big Lake, make a basecamp there, and explore Camp Yellowhammer, the nearby lakes, and nearby peaks.

We are very experienced hikers on trail and cross-country. I'm looking for general advice and, if possible, answers to these questions:

1. Cross-country route from Groundhog Meadow to Rosasco Lake (or points nearby): Has anybody taken this route? It looks doable on the topo map.

2. How many miles is it from Crabtree Trailhed to Big Lake? I'd like to do this in one day, if possible.

3. I've heard Piute and Cherry creeks are hard to cross (although probably not this dry year). Is this true?

4. How is the fishing in this area?

5. What are the pretty lakes in this area for visiting?

Thanks in advance for your advice and info.



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Re: Trip Advice Please: Emigrant Wilderness, Crabtree Trailhead

Postby balzaccom » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:52 pm

There is a use trail (USFS calls it a "route" that leaves the trail at the bottom of the descent from Groundhog Meadow to Louse Canyon, and bears off right along the northwest side of Cherry Creek. There is a huge cairn in the middle of the river that you can't miss.

Trail up to Resasco is very steep. We stopped there the first day, but if you are young and energetic you could keep going. It's clearly marked by ducks until you head out across the massive granite expanses above Cherry Creek--just take a heading and walk across the granite. It's one of our favorite places in the SIerra. But I think it's about 13 miles + to get there in one day.

You are right===this year the crossings shouldn't be too bad. They can tell you at Summit, when you get your permit.

Fishing in all of these lakes can be good, but nothing is guaranteed...
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Re: Trip Advice Please: Emigrant Wilderness, Crabtree Trailhead

Postby balzaccom » Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:12 pm

Here's a link to the Picasa page with our photos from that trip...which is also kind of trip log.

https://picasaweb.google.com/balzaccom/ ... Lakes2010#
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Re: Trip Advice Please: Emigrant Wilderness, Crabtree Trailhead

Postby The hermit » Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:43 pm

I would be more worried about dry creeks. I doubt crossings will be a problem anymore this yr
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Re: Trip Advice Please: Emigrant Wilderness, Crabtree Trailhead

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:40 am

I would be more worried about mosquitoes! I have made it to Pingree Lake in a day. Not bad at all. I liked Pingree Lake and it is an easy drop down slabs to Big Lake, which is also very nice. I saw some fish in it when I was there a few years ago. I hiked down the rock slabs toward Cherry Creek - there is a beautiful little oasis meadow about half way down (patch of green at 7,100 feet). Hyatt Lake is worth seeing. I went from Big Lake, up to Kole, and around Leighton and Karls, back to the trail. Be sure to bring your mosquito head net.
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Re: Trip Advice Please: Emigrant Wilderness, Crabtree Trailhead

Postby Dave_Ayers » Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:59 am

Emigrant Basin mileages are shown in list form at http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOC ... 390342.pdf and in crude map form at http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_MED ... 057634.gif . The first one says Bell Meadow to Pingree is 11.5 miles. Starting from Crabtree is perhaps ~0.7 mi shorter and the segment to Big Lake probably adds a mile for a bit under 12 miles total.
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Re: Trip Advice Please: Emigrant Wilderness, Crabtree Trailhead

Postby jmherrell » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:48 am

I went into Lewis Creek a month ago. The stream crossings were relatively easy with one exception. The drought has caused an algae problem. A lot of algae grew last summer and the spring runoff this year did not clean it out. Algae on top of smooth stream cobbles can be really treacherous -- I almost fell in twice.
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Re: Trip Advice Please: Emigrant Wilderness, Crabtree Trailhead

Postby JWreno » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:14 am

I did a Crabtree to YellowHammer to Emigrant Lake trip last year in the smoke filled skies. Routes over the granite slabs were easy when we going see far enough in the distance. Many of the old use trails around some of the lakes were difficult to follow. Lots of huge trees were pilled up over the trails forcing one to bushwhack around the downfall and try to pick it up on the other side. I think the small lakes surrounded by large expanses of granite haven't experienced enough fires to keep the forests passable near the lakes.

I was trying to go to Hyatt Lake before going to YellowHammer. We lost so much time in the downed trees and the smoke made picking the right granite ramp a problem with quarter mile visibility. I hope to be going up out of Virginia Lakes or Green Creek today but want to get back to Emigrant in the future to explore the granite.
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Re: Trip Advice Please: Emigrant Wilderness, Crabtree Trailhead

Postby Pietro257 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:16 pm

Thanks for the advice and info everybody. I'm leaving shortly. I will submit a trip report when I get back.
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Re: Trip Advice Please: Emigrant Wilderness, Crabtree Trailhead

Postby Pietro257 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:01 am

My trip report is here:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11426
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