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Emigrant Wilderness: Loop trail to Deer Lake from Crabtree?

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Emigrant Wilderness: Loop trail to Deer Lake from Crabtree?

Postby Ajit » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:31 pm

Greetings !

This is my first post here on this board.

In a couple of weeks, I'll be backpacking in the Emigrant Wilderness for the first time for four days and four nights.

We were hoping to make a loop from Crabtree trail head to Deer Lake (Piute Lake, Gem Lake on one way and follow the Meadow Creek to Grouse Lake on the other other part of the loop). Tom Harrison's map shows a few "infrequently maintained trails" linking these two routes at various points. The one I'd like to use would be the 0.9 mile trail that completes the loop 1.2 miles from the Crabtree trail head.

Is this too ambitious a schedule for a slow, middle-aged backpacker (that's me) who likes a relaxed pace and frequent stops? My group also includes an active 79-year old. Any advice on best lake/stream to catch trouts? All comments and advice are welcome. Thanks!

Regards

Ajit



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Re: Emigrant Wilderness: Loop trail to Deer Lake from Crabtree?

Postby Ajit » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:37 pm

Forgot to add:

I'm 49. Level 2 experience, comfortable with Class 1 but hope to graduate to Class 2 soon. Main interests are lake, forests and big mountain scenery.

We'd also prefer a layover of one day at Deer Lake.

Thanks.

Ajit
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Re: Emigrant Wilderness: Loop trail to Deer Lake from Crabtree?

Postby maverick » Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:06 pm

Hi Ajit,

Welcome to HST!
Here are some TR's that will let you see what to expect and help you make a more
informed decision.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7935&p=57604&hilit=deer+lake#p57604
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7186&p=50680&hilit=crabtree#p50680
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Emigrant Wilderness: Loop trail to Deer Lake from Crabtree?

Postby balzaccom » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:11 am

There is some up and down on this hike, but nothing brutal. We did this a few years ago, camping at Gem Lake (few, if any, fish) and then hiking past Deer Lake to Bucks lake, and then camping at Wood Lake. And from there we hiked out.

Yes, there are use trails (the NFS calls these routes, not trails because they are not maintained ) but if you can follow a line of cairns, you won't have trouble. And this area has a lot of exposed granite. In most cases you can see where you are going, even if you don't see the next cairns.

Should be a great trip.

BTW--Grouse Lake is HEAVILY USED by the local horse packer as a lunch stop. There is not much in the way of good camping there. Best spots are on the far side of the lake...but this lake is also covered with water lilies...it's hard to find a clear place to get water.
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Re: Emigrant Wilderness: Loop trail to Deer Lake from Crabtree?

Postby Ajit » Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:33 pm

Thanks to Maverick and Balzacom for your responses.

Clearly, as a novice user, I did not do my homework with the Search tool. HST's search tool works very well and I was able to find several recent posts related to this topic. Now I'm having second thoughts about this route. Parts of the route may be overused and dry/dusty.

I'm now open to any route in the Emigrant Wilderness for 4 night/4 days that has some fishing, lots of lakes, and is less crowded. Should we start from Gianelli Cabin? There are some possible loops that will go across terrain. All suggestions are welcome. I've a friend flying in form rural Georgia and I'd like this to be a great Sierra experience for him.

Thanks.

Ajit
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Re: Emigrant Wilderness: Loop trail to Deer Lake from Crabtree?

Postby The hermit » Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:34 pm

I was up there last wknd.hiked to gem on sat. Spent the night and hiked out sun.to complete the loop.it was beautiful. Seemed really hot for the Sierra. I wouldnt count on water in the creek crossings make sure to tank up at each lake! I cant wait to go back a little earlier in the season. We had no trouble route finding.next time i want to go further to see some of those bigger lakes.let us know how things turn out.p.s.I was worried about overuse,horses,crowds but the only drawbacks were the trail was a little dry and dusty.it was much more scenic than i expected. Much less crowded than the jmt
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Re: Emigrant Wilderness: Loop trail to Deer Lake from Crabtree?

Postby balzaccom » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:09 pm

I think your initial itinerary is a good one--I would just add in a little exploring beyond Wood Lake. You'll have a great time
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Re: Emigrant Wilderness: Loop trail to Deer Lake from Crabtree?

Postby toejam » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:20 pm

The upper (southern) Wire Lake is an excellent place to camp. I thought the coolest spot in the area was Leopold Lake, but you really have to work for it.

Toejam Lake? Meh...
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Re: Emigrant Wilderness: Loop trail to Deer Lake from Crabtree?

Postby rlown » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:16 pm

toejam wrote:The upper (southern) Wire Lake is an excellent place to camp.I thought the coolest spot in the area was Leopold Lake, but you really have to work for it.

Toejam Lake? Meh...


Heck, If you hit the Southern most wire, fish it and the creek that feeds it and let us know. There were nice brookies there 2 decades ago.
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Re: Emigrant Wilderness: Loop trail to Deer Lake from Crabtree?

Postby Ajit » Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:23 pm

Great suggestions. Thanks!

One of our team of four came up with two alternative routes over the weekend.We are relatively inexperienced backpackers and I was wondering if it could be a problem going off trail, e.g., from Bear Lake to Meadow Lake. I bought a De Lorme PN60 but am having quite a bit of problem getting to use it. On top of it, its USB cable seems to be faulty.

Opinions on the routes below would be great. Also, what are the nighttime temperatures would we encounter in this trip? And do we need to carry a bear canister or just just hanging the food from the trees would be OK?

1. Wednesday: Start at Crabtree. Camp at Bear Lake (3.6 miles)
Thursday: Hike to and camp at Meadow Lake (4 miles), possible detours to Chewing Gum Lake and Granite Lake. (1-2 miles)
Friday: Hike to and camp at Toejam Lake (3.6 miles)
Saturday: Hike to and camp at Camp Lake (6.6 miles), possibility of camping before Camp Lake if too tiring, on the other hand 1000 ft downhill.
Sunday: Hike to Crabtree (2.6 miles), return
Note: not all routes are on trails and may require GPS.

2. Wednesday: Start at Crabtree. Camp at Chewing Gum Lake (4.2 miles)
Thursday: Hike to and camp around Starvation Lake (6.8 miles)
Friday: Hike to and camp at Gem Lake (4 miles)
Saturday: Hile to and camp at Camp Lake (6.7 miles) or as close we can get.
Sunday: Hike to Crabtree (2.6 miles), return
Note: all routes are on trails but the hike is longer, particularly on Thursday

Ajit
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Re: Emigrant Wilderness: Loop trail to Deer Lake from Crabtree?

Postby rlown » Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:28 pm

I hope in addition to your new "toy", you're bringing a real map and you know how to use it.
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Re: Emigrant Wilderness: Loop trail to Deer Lake from Crabtree?

Postby Ajit » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:04 pm

Yes! I have a real topo map and a compass.

Ajit
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