TR: Emigrant Wilderness, Gem Lake (5/23 - 5/25 2015) | High Sierra Topix  

TR: Emigrant Wilderness, Gem Lake (5/23 - 5/25 2015)

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TR: Emigrant Wilderness, Gem Lake (5/23 - 5/25 2015)

Postby pakoR » Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:11 am

Hello. I went up to Gem Lake in the Emigrant Wilderness over the Memorial Day weekend.
Day 01 - 9 miles to Gem Lake
Day 02 - 5 mies RT day hike to Long Lake
Day 03 - 9 miles to the TH

Car camped at the Crabtree TH on Friday night to get an early morning start on Saturday. The rain was slow but steady pretty much from Friday evening until Saturday afternoon when we were on the trail. On Saturday night the sky opened up a bit, and there was some starlight and moonlight lighting up the ground. Temps through the day might have been in the 50s, and low 40s at night. Along the way, we passed Camp Lake, Lilypad Lake, Piute Meadow, and Piute Lake. All of the creeks were flowing steadily and most crossings were at least knee-deep. Thanks to the recent storms most likely.

On Sunday we day hiked up to Long Lake, staying on the marked trail up to Deer Lake. From there up to Long Lake, we followed the creek up to Long Lake. There is no official trail, but the terrain is fairly easy to travel on, and there were many footpaths indicating previous traffic to the lake. Beautiful panoramic views along the way. Temps were in the 60s with clear skies and sunny.

On Sunday we headed down to Buck Meadow Creek. Crossing Cherry Creek at the trail was a bit more challenging than the other creeks on Saturday. The water flow was fast and furious, and the water was very cold at 10am. We continued on to Grouse Lake which from a distance looked like a pond covered in lilypads, and were expecting clouds of mosquitoes. But when we reached the lake, and were able to walk to an open area on the shore, it wasn't that bad. There were a few bugs but nothing irritating. We found a spot along the shore clear of lilypads and even jumped into the lake for a quick clean refresher moment. Then, continued up the hill to Crabtree TH.

This was my first time in this area, and I must say I was impressed by the views. I think I'm fortunate I went at this time of the year, because I get the feeling that later year, it would either have been dry with no water in the creeks except the lakes, and/or full of mosquitoes wherever there used to be running water.

Enjoy the photos below, and here is the complete set.

Crabtree TH
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Dark-eyed junco, Oregon variety
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Piute Meadow down in the distance
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Piute Meadow
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Gem Lake
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Jewelry Lake
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Deer Lake
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Long Lake
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Green stink bug
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Sierra granite
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Where Cherry Creek meets Buck Meadow Creek
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Cherry Creek
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Canyon west of Groundhog Meadow
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Grouse Lake
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Last edited by pakoR on Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: TR: Emigrant Wilderness, Gem Lake

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:29 am

Thanks for the TR and pretty pictures Pako. Not to much wildflowers, maybe a little early.
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Re: TR: Emigrant Wilderness, Gem Lake

Postby kpeter » Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:07 pm

Brings back some happy memories! Thank you! When I was last at the little dam at Long Lake I saw a huge rainbow lurking there. Any signs of fish in Long Lake this trip?
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Re: TR: Emigrant Wilderness, Gem Lake (5/23 - 5/25 2015)

Postby pakoR » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:11 am

Thanks for the comments.

Kpeter:
I didn't notice any fish at Long Lake, but we were there in the middle of the day. At Gem Lake though, there lots of fish feeding on flies in the evenings. You could see 1 popping up every 5 seconds for a good couple of hours.

Maverick:
There actually were wildflowers. Here are some of the ones I photographed.

Some variety of lupine?
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Western wallflower (Erysimum capitatum)
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Mountain pride (Penstemon newberryi)
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Common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
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Water plantain buttercup (Ranunculus alismifolius)
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Re: TR: Emigrant Wilderness, Gem Lake (5/23 - 5/25 2015)

Postby balzaccom » Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:10 am

Great report and photos! this is one of our favorite areas...and there are so many places to explore.

Sounds like you had a great trip...and the bugs weren't too bad!
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Re: TR: Emigrant Wilderness, Gem Lake (5/23 - 5/25 2015)

Postby maverick » Sat Jun 20, 2015 12:17 pm

Nice, thanks for posting the additional wildflower photo's Pako! :)
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Re: TR: Emigrant Wilderness, Gem Lake (5/23 - 5/25 2015)

Postby MountainMinstrel » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:26 pm

Thanks for the TR. I missed the opportunity to get out there before the skeeters. Hopefully I'll get out there in the fall.
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Re: TR: Emigrant Wilderness, Gem Lake (5/23 - 5/25 2015)

Postby squirrel » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:54 am

Nice pictures, pako! They really put my cell phone shots to shame ;)

I'm hoping to head back here to take my girlfriend on her first Sierra backpacking trip in August. Hopefully the mosquitoes will have had their fill by then.
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TR: Emigrant Wilderness, Gem Lake (5/23 - 5/25 2015)

Postby MountainMinstrel » Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:27 pm

August will. be bug free but many of the small streams will be dry. There will still do plenty of water in the lakes though and there are plenty of those.
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