Stanislaus/ emigrant wilderness tips ?

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Satchel Buddah
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Stanislaus/ emigrant wilderness tips ?

Post by Satchel Buddah » Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:30 am

Hi all,
coming for some trail wisdom again. :)
I am looking at doing a little shakedown hike mid august, before a 20 day hike in seki in september. I am coming straight out of 6 months sitting in front of a computer in lockdown conditions so my poor body is in sad shape.

Since the permit situation is pretty terrible in Inyo and seki, I was looking at emigrant (or Stanislaus NF at large) since one can download a self permit!! Ha.

Never been there. I am looking at a tender 4 day / 3 nights trip with relatively low mileage, and plenty of photography time. By default I see some loops from Kennedy meadows that look nice on paper (all this seems to be sort of low elevation I guess. Smells like mosquitoes!).

Are there specific lovely places you might recommend in Emigrant or Stanislaus at large that would fit the bill ? Max 50 miles ish (but could be much less! Leaving the tent down and going to explore with a day pack sounds tasty too), pretty, solitude always a plus, soft spot for tent pitches on ridges with sunrise/sunset views.. trying to avoid something like 6k elevation gain on day 1... :)

thank you for your advice!!








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grampy
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Re: Stanislaus/ emigrant wilderness tips ?

Post by grampy » Sat Jul 25, 2020 12:11 pm

@Satchel Buddah -
I’ll tell you what I know (which isn’t much), but I’ve looked at this area for future trips and read a lot of reports. As you’ve already gathered, Emigrant doesn’t lend itself (due to its topography) to perfect loops; a “lollipop” with a long-ish “stick” is probably typical. @Wandering Daisy (and others) have mentioned that trips from Kennedy Meadows feature meandering amongst cows (close to the TH) as one of their characteristics.

For a relatively short trip, how about an out-and-back from K.M., south (via Relief Reservoir) to the Lakes near Granite Dome; i.e. Lewis, Ridge, Sardella, Iceland Lake(s) - @Wandering Daisy has recommended this as an interesting destination (x-country to get to these lakes).

Longer lollipop routes can be done south from either K.M. or Sonora Pass; best choice between these two depends on which “loop” you want to access. I have contemplated a loop with Sonora Pass entry/exit, looping via High Emigrant Lake, Em. Pass, (side trip to) Snow Lake, Bond Pass, Dorothy Lake, and closing the loop by heading north on the PCT; trip reports can be found describing this. Note that it includes (Bond Pass to Dorothy Lake Pass) a 2-mile stretch within Yosemite; you can’t do this on a self-issue permit so would need to call Stanislaus NF Summit District office (Pinecrest), have them write you the permit and leave it in their drop box for pickup.
I’m sure you can get much more useful answers than this, but lots of (more experienced) folks are likely out on trips right now. I’m heading out myself in a few days for a small-ish Yosemite trip. Hope you find something nice !

P.S. as depicted in this report by Bardopond:
viewtopic.php?t=20813
the stretch along the PCT from Sonora Pass to (roughly) the Kennedy Canyon junction is pretty stark; if wide-open volcanic ridges aren’t your cup of tea, this might not be the ideal start/finish for you. But at least there aren’t cows.

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Re: Stanislaus/ emigrant wilderness tips ?

Post by c9h13no3 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:01 pm

I’ve done 4-5 hikes/skis in the Emigrant & along 108. I think of it as an early season spot. Later in the year, heavy horse packer use, cows, mosquitoes, and lots of hunters in hunting season.

I’ll second the lakes north of Granite Dome as worthy & easy destinations. The closer you get to Yosemite, the more pristine the landscape gets too. The huge swath of granite around Big/Hyatt/Pingree is a highlight too, but you’ll want a good swimming hole to cool off in after hiking that stuff in August.
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Satchel Buddah
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Re: Stanislaus/ emigrant wilderness tips ?

Post by Satchel Buddah » Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:30 am

yup I fear the mosquitoes. Cows should be ok!
Thank you for tips :) I set my sights on big lake after reading some Trs. That place looks like exactly what I need!!

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Re: Stanislaus/ emigrant wilderness tips ?

Post by tmorton23 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:21 am

I did a solo lollipop trip last September in Emigrant. I went in through the Gianelli TH and saw Toejam, Upper Buck, Emigrant, Snow, Letora, Wood, and Wire Lakes. Stayed at Toejam, Upper Buck, Snow, Letora, and Wire. Emigrant Lake is definitely worthwhile to see! Snow Lake was isolated. I was all by myself. There were some hunters camped near Summit Meadow, but they stayed in that area. I was also by myself at Letora and Wire.

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Re: Stanislaus/ emigrant wilderness tips ?

Post by rlown » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:58 am

Any chance you fished?

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balzaccom
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Re: Stanislaus/ emigrant wilderness tips ?

Post by balzaccom » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:33 pm

I think our website has at least ten trips in this area...from overnighters to a few that were 4-5 days. Once you get more than one day in, the crowds pretty much disappear. Fishing is good in many of the lakes...but beware that some have no fish at all: Leighton, Karl, Chain Lakes...
Balzaccom

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Satchel Buddah
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Re: Stanislaus/ emigrant wilderness tips ?

Post by Satchel Buddah » Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:33 pm

One day I need to learn to fish :) But I am already lugging a heavy camera tripod... ahhhhhhh.

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Re: Stanislaus/ emigrant wilderness tips ?

Post by David_Caruso » Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:41 pm

I'd suggest starting at Levitt Lake (if you have 4wd or high clearance) or Levitt Meadows.

This is somewhat personal for me, I've had nothing but bad vibes and rude (mostly horse people) when hiking out of Kennedy up through Relief Res. it's a bit of madhouse in my opinion. I'm pretty mellow guy, but the horse guides can and will be rude nasty people for the first half of your day.

From Levitt you can still access lots of the Hoover and Emigrant Wilderness, even dipped into Dorothy Lake before.

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