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TR: Crabtree TH to Emigrant L. loop, 6/13-6/15

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TR: Crabtree TH to Emigrant L. loop, 6/13-6/15

Postby squirrel » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:03 am

Hi all,

Here's a quick report of my trip this past weekend. I did a ~30 mile loop solo from Crabtree to Emigrant Lake via Gem Lake and Deer Lake, then Emigrant L. to Woods Lake, and back along the Buck Meadow Creek and Grouse Lake. You can see my route in red here: http://caltopo.com/m/766B; the other colors map out side trips I didn't end up taking, except I did make a small detour to have lunch at the South Buck Lake on the 2nd day.

Note that the 3 mile portion of the route going around the west side of Emigrant Lake to the junction near Cow Meadow Lake was almost entirely off trail with lots of scrambling. A trail is shown on the Caltopo maps, but not on the Trails Illustrated or 7.5' USGS maps.

Perhaps not surprisingly, mosquitoes were bad this weekend. See my report in the mosquito thread. Weather was warm and sunny and all creek crossings were fine. No snow left on the trail anywhere.

You can view some mediocre-quality cell-phone pictures I took to document the trip.

Seems like a popular area with much already written about it online. I'll just add that the area near the trailhead is somewhat unremarkable, but past Camp Lake to Emigrant Lake was very nice, and also the stretch along the Buck Meadow Creek from Woods Lake to Cherry Creek was also very scenic, with the creek rushing below you along the south side of the trail and exposed granite mountains rising on the north and south sides. I'm happy to answer any questions if anyone else is interested in a similar trip.



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Re: TR: Crabtree TH to Emigrant L. loop, 6/13-6/15

Postby justm » Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:18 pm

Thanks for TR, and pics. I've done that loop myself, and loved it ! Great time to go, you probably didn't see anybody. The mosquitos are bad this time of year, I remember them buzzing around my face and body from morning until well into the night. The morning bathroom trek was the worst with those damn mozzies !!
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Re: TR: Crabtree TH to Emigrant L. loop, 6/13-6/15

Postby maverick » Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:00 pm

Nice TR Mike, really liked the pictures! :) No wildflowers? How were the crowds?
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Re: TR: Crabtree TH to Emigrant L. loop, 6/13-6/15

Postby squirrel » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:47 am

maverick wrote:Nice TR Mike, really liked the pictures! :) No wildflowers? How were the crowds?


I don't have the patience to try to take close up flower shots with my cell phone, maybe next time ;)

The crowds were no problem. Lots of cars at the trail head, but few people far from the trail head. I saw a pairs of backpackers heading to Piute Meadow and another pair shortly after, but no one during the middle portion of my hike from Deer Lake to Woods Lake. Then I think two or three more solo hikers later on, and a group of 5 or so teenagers were heading out to Rosasco Lake when I was finishing. Great way for them to be starting summer break if you ask me.

Lots of horse poop on the return part of the trip, but I only encountered one pair of riders.
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Re: TR: Crabtree TH to Emigrant L. loop, 6/13-6/15

Postby maverick » Sun Jun 21, 2015 12:14 pm

Thanks for the additional info!
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Re: TR: Crabtree TH to Emigrant L. loop, 6/13-6/15

Postby NSchmit » Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:56 pm

I haven't been backpacking in a couple of years but will be going with a friend in 2 weeks. We're planning something similar but leaving out of Bell Meadow trailhead. We're planning 4 days hiking and hope to cover about 40 miles but I'm having a hard time deciding where to focus. Any advice given your recent hike? thanks.
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Re: TR: Crabtree TH to Emigrant L. loop, 6/13-6/15

Postby MountainMinstrel » Mon Jun 29, 2015 7:54 am

Welcome to the forum NSchmit.

I personally did not care for the lower trail though I've only gone as far as West Fork Cherry Creek. I found it to be very sandy and a lot further from the streams than it appears on the Map. YMMV

As far as where to focus, the further East you go, the better. The lakes are nicer and the people fewer. You might consider Wood, Buck, Deer, Jewelry, Gem as a simi-loop. I'm not sure why you're wanting to start in Bell Meadows? Why not go in at Crabtree and then if you want you can do a loop out to Buck and back? It seems to me that entering at Bell is just adding uneventful miles to the trip.
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Re: TR: Crabtree TH to Emigrant L. loop, 6/13-6/15

Postby bdevlin » Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:05 am

The large waterfall in your photo, where abouts is that?
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Re: TR: Crabtree TH to Emigrant L. loop, 6/13-6/15

Postby NSchmit » Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:55 pm

Thanks for the insights MountainMinstrel. I guess I was thinking Bell Meadows might take me further from the crowds right away. And the lakes you mention are on my list to see...I see I can make a loop. Do you have a favorite topo map to use? I just ordered Harrisons of the Emigrant Wilderness.
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Re: TR: Crabtree TH to Emigrant L. loop, 6/13-6/15

Postby MountainMinstrel » Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:41 pm

I use the Harrison maps. Here's a couple of my trip reports from that area.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11657

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9631
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Re: TR: Crabtree TH to Emigrant L. loop, 6/13-6/15

Postby squirrel » Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:33 pm

bdevlin wrote:The large waterfall in your photo, where abouts is that?


Sorry for replying so late, bdevlin. The waterfall is on the Buck Meadow Creek somewhere between Woods L and the West Fork Cherry Creek. My guess is it was in the area south of Gem Lake, or maybe a bit west of there, where the trail is north of Buck Meadow Creek and a bit above the creek bed. This was one of my favorite parts of the hike, and lots of granite so less mosquitoes :)
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