Explore the most popular hiking trails in Emigrant Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
11 days ago

Hi. We thinking of hiking to buck lake from crabtree trailhead around June 8, 2018... Is this too early? Is the road open to the trailhead? Is there still a lot of snow? Thanks for your time*

It is a beautiful hike with lots of breathtaking views. There is still quite a bit of snow which makes the trail a little hard to find but one can still find their way with the maps and gps. The rivers are at peak capacity since the snow has started to melt so crossing them (mainly 2, along with several small rivulets) can be a little hazardous. So if it has been a snowy winter then I would recommend waiting till May end or June end to do this hike.

Also there is no way to drive to the trailhead (or we were just lousy at finding the way) so we had to hike an additional > 5 miles to get to the trailhead but those additional miles don't come with a whole lot of elevation change so no big deal.

backpacking
2 months ago

Packed this hike, plus the extra loop out to Buck Lake into 3 days/2 nights. Bit off way more then was necessary. The hike is beautiful and a ton of fun, but plan extra days if you want to make it all the way to Buck. We did the north trail on the way out, and the south trail on the way back which ends up finishing with a brutal 1.5 mile trek straight up so beware. Fantastic hike overall though.

Emigrant is my favorite place to hike for all around scenery and terrain changes.
This loop is stunning at every turn. And the lakes...come on!! Wow!!
Starts out at the always busy Crabtree parking lot/trailhead. But, as is the norm, you get more than 1.5miles out, and it the herds thin drastically.
Not sure I’d qualify this as a “hard” trail. Three, maybe four good steep climbs. But nothing horrible. Just depends on your fitness level...and/or your pack weight.

Hardest aspect...getting to this trailhead!! It’s more of a dear trail. Yo will NOT make it in a normal car. I have AWD and was able to get within 2miles. Had to add that to the hike and it was all steep climbing to get to head.
Gorgeous views as you get up to the rocks. The expanse and depth of the gorge is stunning. Great spot for a break.
The altitude got to me on the high points. But I think the deeper snow aided in that cardio burn.
A massive storm with a winter weather advisory hit wile I was out there and man did it hit. The skies turned black and ominous. I could not make it to Granite Dome...I will be back. Lol.
You can see, it’s a scenery rich backpacking experience. Just be ready for extra miles and some Altitude issues...but I’m old...
I recommend parking at the easy to get to trailhead of Crabtree. It may be a steeper climb, but at least your car will be safe (safer) and not damaged from the “road”.

Very scenic trail. We had great weather during the day, but temps did drop below freezing at night. Lots of places to camp around the lake.

We were originally going to do the full loop with an end destination of Gem Lake. The ranger told us that she had written a ton of permits for Gem Lake and made a different suggestion. We look the loop trail and went right (south) at the fork. Our first night we camped at Grouse Lake. Insider tip: only 2 non-marshy access points on this lake so we suggest not camping near one of them unless you want a lot of foot traffic through your campsite.

Day 2, we hiked south towards chain lakes. There is no trail to get here so you have to forge your way over a pretty high ridge. But we traversed and got over it with ease. Chain lakes were beautiful. Only one is a swimming lake (the largest one). The other two are mostly marsh.

This was a fun, easy 3 day/2 night trip with shorter hikes. We had our little puppy so the 18 mile loop would have been too much for the little guy.

Follow the sign at camp lake carefully else you'll end up at bear lake like we did - but it was a gorgeous huge lake and a worthy detour.
Very well marked trail with plenty of water (carry a filter). Thunderstorms are unpredictable and we encountered one at Pieut lake.

KM to Sheep Camp: Fun tough hike, beautiful views. Water available throughout. Camped before switchbacks at a nice trailside campsite. This hike was tougher than Kennedy lake. Lots of aggregate on trail. I recorded my hike as 9.5m each way from Trail head parking lot. Mosquitos were active so bring deet.

FYI: The map shown is relief reservoir to Emigrant lake...

Great hike. Lost my camera if you find it message me at jennmurphy@sbcglobal.net

Strenuous but incredible terrain. Good opportunities to scramble throughout and excellent swimming holes along the return trail. Recommend staying at Gem Lake.

9 months ago

Lovely lake and stunning views from burst rock along the way

hiking
9 months ago

Killer views only 1/2 mile or so in that just keep going as you hike along the ridge top. The lake was nice and serene, though a bit marshy around the edges. We reached the lake about noon and there were plenty of mosquitos about. Awesome mellow hike

Absolutely beautiful. I would recommend this to everyone!

10 months ago

Absolutely breathtaking!

Emigrant Wilderness is great, but at the moment (June 21st 2017) the road to Crabtree is closed at Aspen Meadows. Apparently due to fallen trees. Check the website or call the ranger stations to check ahead. I suppose one could hike in from Aspen Meadows to Crabtree. Overall, the trails are great, and nice to see what is basically upper upper Yosemite.

Beautiful. Breathtaking views. A lot of granite to camp around the lake. Worth the hike.

backpacking
Thursday, October 20, 2016

Beautiful! trail Plenty of camping spot.

hiking
Monday, October 03, 2016

Life changing!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Went to Chewing gum lake from the Crabtree trailhead. Trail is maintained well. First few miles is a continuous ascent, then a gradual hike down. Lake is very beautiful with nice camp sites. Tried a little fishing with negative results. Spoke to several hikers who stated that fishing here is pretty much non existent as well as the upper lakes. Overall a nice trip, only wish that these lakes were stocked with fish.

backpacking
Sunday, July 24, 2016

Wonderful trail, beautiful alpine. Camped Friday night at the trailhead, spent the next night at Gem Lake, and hiked back to the car on Sunday. Definitely stop at Camp Lake on the way out.

hiking
Thursday, June 30, 2016

A great high-elevation (11,572 ft.) hike mostly along the Pacific Crest Trail. A use trail can be found on the SE ridge which allows access to the summit. In late June, traveling this section of the PCT required a good deal of snow-travel, some on steep terrain where a slip could be bad. Hiking poles will keep you safely on your feet in the snow and help you ascend (and safely descend!) the steep scree near the summit. On the return trip, this route allows for (and almost requires) an exciting glissade or two.

In late June many people were traveling this section of the PCT, north from Mexico. None of them were making the quick side-trip to the summit. The use trail to the summit seemed to be only lightly used. The summit itself is fairly large and flat area, consisting of small talus, with steep drop-offs. No wind shelter or register exist on this summit.

hiking
Thursday, August 27, 2015

I am a complete noob and my wife and I did this hike past Powell and on to Chewing Gum. Some seriously beautiful scenery and completely worth it. She did get nauseous the first day, but was much better on the second. Two parts of the trail to Chewing Gum Lake are above 9100 ft. There are two ways in to the trailhead, the easiest being CA108 to Crabtree Rd to Forest Route 4N47. The prettiest is Dodge Ridge Rd to Forest Route 4N34, and that had some pretty rough spots.

The weekend we went there were about 25 people.

hiking
Thursday, July 09, 2015

This was a fabulous day hike! The first half is more strenuous then the second half, hence making the journey back easier. So much variety of topography, all of my favorite things, water, trees, majestic granite mountains, wildflowers and a beautiful lake as your prize at the end. Well marked trail, a bit of a rid off 108 but was able to do it in a Nissan Rogue. It was a great day

hiking
Monday, June 15, 2015

Lots of opportunities to camp off the main path which is great.

on Powell Lake

hiking
Friday, August 02, 2013

Amazing hike. Easy enough for a beginner. Spectacular views. Worst part was the road in, all gravel for about 9 miles.. I suggest going in through Crabtree.. But either way it's a great hike

hiking
Friday, June 14, 2013

Passed Powell lake to Chewing Gum Lake destination last summer. Long day hike, although very beautiful. The drive is a bit rocky for the last few miles - good to have a truck.

hiking
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

6-8-2013 to 6-9-2013: Hiked from Gianelli with final destination of Toejam Lake but camped at Whitesides Meadow 6.5 miles from the Gianelli Trailhead. Passed by Lake Powell, great hike to do but be warned of mosquito early summer, recommend hiking in September for this.

hiking
Friday, July 27, 2012

Powell Lake is a very nice destination for an overnight backpacking trip to the Emigrant Wilderness. At just under 2 miles in from the Gianelli Cabin Trail Head, it is a moderate hike without much of of an elevation gain. The hike features a variety of terrain and views. In July there were still a few patches of snow. This was a very intense mosquito year. Be sure to pack insect repellant! The lake is pretty with dry granite campsites nearby. It serves as a great base for the many day hikes in the area.

camping
Monday, June 28, 2010

GET OFF THE TRAIL!!!!! EMIGRANT IS EASY FOR EVEN A BEGINNER TO NAVIGATE, WIDE OPEN TREELESS GRAINTE ROCKS MOUNTAINS FOR THE MOST PART, WHERE THERES WATER THERE ARE USUALLY TREES BUT ITS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE AND HARLDY ANYONE GETS OFF THE BEATEN PATH, SO YOU WON'T SEE A SOUL FOR DAYS AT A TIME DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU GO...FIND YOUR WAY TO PINGREE LAKE, CUT ACROSS THE CHERRY CREEK VALLEY TO ROSOSCO LAKE AND FIND PINGREE FROM THERE---TAKE A BEARING THOUGH, ITS A LITTLE COUNTER-INTUITUVE RIGHT THERE..FROM PINGREE GO TO YELLOW HAMMER THE TROUT ARE PLEANTIFUL AND ALTHOUGH NOT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LAKE, IT HAS GREAT FISHING AND A LOVELY CAMPING SITE..YOU'LL FIND A INTERESTING SUPRISE THERE BUT I'M GOING TO TELL YOU YOU JUST HAVE TO LOOK FOR YOURSELF: CLUE: FIND THE MEADOW...ALSO, A LITTLE HINT, EVERYONE GOES TO GEM AND JEWELERY LAKE BECASUE OF THE NAME BUT AND THE TRAIL ACCESS BUT IT SUCKS! HIKE A LITTLE FURTHER TO LONG LAKE, ITS NICE AND REMOTE BUT ONLY A SHORT 1 MI OFFTRAIL FROM THE MAIN, WHILE YOUR CAMPING OUT, HIKE UP THE HILL ON THE RIGHT FLANK OF THE LAKE TO THE UNNAMED "POND" AT THE TOP, YOU MAY CHOOSE TO CAMP THERE ONCE YOU SEE IT...IT OVERLOOKS BUCK LAKES AND A LOT MORE...THE VIEW IS WORTH THE HIKE ALONE...BUT THE POND IS ONE OF THE BEST SWIMMING HOLES I'VE EVER BEEN TO...DEEP, OVAL, BLUE..

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