TR: Emigrant: Crabtree to Deer Lake May31-June2

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: TR: Emigrant: Crabtree to Deer Lake May31-June2

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:15 am

I have been on the trail from Crabtree several times, and each time I swear I will never do it again. I really dislike that trial. It is overused, dry, boring, and not scenic until you get far down the trail. Especially for a short trip. I still use the trail although I do not like it on a longer trip because in spite of its faults, it does get you directly into the heart of Emigrant. But for an overnight or 2-night trip, half you time would be on an ugly trail.

For a short trip, I prefer to go in at Kennedy Meadows and visit either the Emigrant Lakes or the set of lakes up on the bench below Granite Peak (Lewis Lake area). Although it is also a long walk to Emigrant Lake, the trail is scenic with plenty of water from the first step. The extra drive time to Kennedy Meadows is not that much over the time it takes to get to Crabtree TH.








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Re: TR: Emigrant: Crabtree to Deer Lake May31-June2

Post by lensman137 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:29 pm

Ditto to the above suggestion regarding coming in from Kennedy Meadows instead of Crabtree. Lewis Lakes and Black Hawk Lake are quite beautiful, and little visited. So you get the high lake remoteness and usually no other people. And great views from the top of Black Hawk Mountain.

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Re: TR: Emigrant: Crabtree to Deer Lake May31-June2

Post by DoyleWDonehoo » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:17 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:I have been on the trail from Crabtree several times, and each time I swear I will never do it again. I really dislike that trial.
I sympathize. And Kennedy is nice but a major highway with a lot of climbing. I prefer the Gianelli Cabin TH: To an experienced backpacker, it is practically level all the way to the Long Lake junction. It starts high and stays high. I will be doing a long trip out of that TH.
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Re: TR: Emigrant: Crabtree to Deer Lake May31-June2

Post by rlown » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:26 pm

DoyleWDonehoo wrote: I prefer the Gianelli Cabin TH: To an experienced backpacker, it is practically level all the way to the Long Lake junction. It starts high and stays high. I will be doing a long trip out of that TH.
my fave as well for that area.

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Re: TR: Emigrant: Crabtree to Deer Lake May31-June2

Post by kpeter » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:52 pm

maneki_neko wrote:hi. it seems like your trip was a mixed bag. i was actually planning a very similar trip this weekend. we won't be able to hit the road from sf until 10am because of work obligations. looking to hit the trail by 2 - 3 pm and see if we can make it to gem lake. not sure if we'll be be able to make it to gem lake by sundown. i thought that camping at piute lake was a reasonable back up plan for the first leg, but your talk of the "horrendous" mosquito situation is making me reconsider. how many hours did it take you to hike to gem? any thoughts on a back up spot if we don't make it that far on our first day?

also, anyone have a better, more scenic way of getting to deer and buck lakes? any help would be much appreciated. thank you!

best,
troy
Hi Troy, all,

First, there was some scenic value to the trail out of Crabtree and at this time of year it was not all that dry. The stream crossings were pretty and green, and there were plenty of granite walls to look at, and views south to the snow in Yosemite boundary country. My complaints were about the up and down engineering of the trail more than the scenery. For example, compared with Kibbie Ridge or Moraine Ridge this trail was far more scenic.

Gianelli would probably not have been feasible until more snow melts, but as far as energy expended it certainly looks like a better deal.

There are many places you could stop to camp along Crabtree trail. There is Piute Lake as you mention, but others have camped near the crossings of Piute Creek which is shorter yet for a first day. Gem Lake is almost all the way to Deer Lake--there is a 400' elevation gain from Cherry Creek up to Gem and from Gem on to Jewelry and Deer the elevation gains are minor. I am a slow hiker at age 54 and coming from sea level, and took 9 hours to cover the 11 miles to Deer Lake. At least a couple of hours of that was fording and resting. Gem Lake would have saved about an hour. Piute Lake I reached in about six hours I think.

Regarding that Rainbow in Long Lake--it was so big that maybe it was a recent plant to reseed the lake?

With regard to mosquitos, just be prepared. The best mosquito protection is a water carrying device so you can conveniently camp somewhere breezy and away from trees, bushes, and water. People like to camp in green areas near water and this is the worst thing you can do during mosquito season.

Beyond that all I can say is that the mosquito band is moving up and there will probably be few places to escape them at this time of year, unless you can camp around 9000 feet at snowline. They were beginning to come out at Deer Lake by the time I left which is appx. 8400.

The scenery was not as spectacular as some places, and my photography and the time of day was often subpar, so I would not normally post the following sorts of "documentary" pictures. However, they will give you an idea of what you will see along the Crabtree trail. Plenty of pleasant stuff.
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Re: TR: Emigrant: Crabtree to Deer Lake May31-June2

Post by maneki_neko » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:45 am

thank you kpeter for your time and insight. thanks to everyone else for your helpful suggestions and encouragement. taking off tomorrow and can't be more excited. will be back with a trip report and photos.

~ troy

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Re: TR: Emigrant: Crabtree to Deer Lake May31-June2

Post by maverick » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:22 am

Hi Troy,

Welcome to HST! Read this long thread, it may make your trip more comfy:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7828&hilit=mosquito+avoidance" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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: TR: Emigrant: Crabtree to Deer Lake May31-June2

Post by badtux » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:38 pm

Nice TR, thanks for writing it up. I think I'll be doing this one on the upcoming 5-day weekend (Yosemite becomes too much a zoo to bother with then)... hopefully it won't be too hot and dry by then.

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