Hey thanks a lot for the lovely photos and trip report! Great...
I usually do the bigger mountains further south in John Muir and Ansel Adams Wilderness but the never ending smoke this year is looking too risky. However I very much 'need' or like the isolation of deep wilderness (I generally go off-trail to remotest areas), but the trade off with some of the photos I have seen of smoke from the Rough Fire are pointing me at Emigrant Wilderness as a possible alternative for that - maybe a week or so from now (mid-September).
I talked to a really informative ranger by phone at Pinecrest (I live well north of San Fran) and he implied that even after Labour Day Emigrant can be pretty darn busy! He estimated about 3 dozen people a day would go out of Kennedy Meadow trailhead further up from where you went out of Crabtree. Wow! A lot for a small area.
Anyway, seeing as you went in "peak season" really (early August) did you see a lot of other people out there??? I realize you went off trail quite a lot, but even so, I'm not sure how 'big' the space is there to really lose oneself if needing to be at lakes for water. In northern parts of Kings Canyon etc., it is so HUGE out there, it's easy to get away from anything.
Any comments on that, or from anyone else who knows Emigrant appreciated. (And yes I did read that recent trip advice request about Advice for Trip to Emigrant Lake: Kennedy Meadows by pelican).
Thanks much... Michaelzim