Explore the most popular views 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.

1 day ago

Traveled from the south direction and had lunch at grouse lake. (Great idea) Then camped at Gem lake, mosquitoes were absolutely terrible. Spent the day hiking out and was tormented by them anytime I was near water, other than camp lake. I will go again just at a latter date. But the scenery is beautiful.

1 day ago

Completed this over the weekend of June 16-17, 2018 as a two day hike. Camped out Friday night at Crabtree, left early Saturday morning, and came back Sunday at 6pm. We hiked around 11-12 hours each day. There were about 8 wet river crossings we had to do with rather cold water anywhere from 1-3 feet in depth. Light to moderate current. Make sure to bring some good sandals to wear during the crossings. Also had about 5 river crossings we were able to do by walking across fallen trees. Every time we reached a river crossing we would spend 5-10 minutes scouting upstream and downstream for around 100m to see if there were dry crossing options or if the boots were coming off. This was a little annoying, though the ice cold water and the chance to air out and dry our feet every few hours probably helped prevent blisters.

Snow was still to be found near Emigrant Lake and the higher elevations, making it easy to lose the trail at times but never for more than around 50m. Once we got past Gem lake we saw a only few people and a couple of horses. I lost count of how many beautiful lakes we passed. Also had spectacular views of valleys, cliffs, and meadows. Bring DEET, as there are some areas quite dense with mosquitoes.

This is a good challenge to do in two days if you are in shape for it. Otherwise, three or more days would be quite a bit more relaxing.

2 days ago

Really nice hike, not too rough. There was still a lot of snow on the trail, but not so much that we couldn't get through it. It was really chilly at night. In the middle of the summer it'll be perfect for swimming. Definitely will return!

2 days ago

Great trail with lots of varied terrain, incredible views, pristine lakes and tons of fish. I wound up making a side trip around Huckleberry Lake and a second side trip up to Twin Lakes on Yosemite’s northern border. There was still a fair amount of snow at the higher elevations and the creek crossings were a little dicey. The worst crossing (IMHO) was the East Fork of Cherry Creek coming back from Twin Lakes - there was a 2.5 foot in diameter tree spanning the river which was great. Unfortunately it rested high above a pretty torrential set of rapids so if you slipped you’re a goner. Nothing like the fear of death to sharpen your mind :)

Just completed the loop - backpacking. No snow but mosquitoes are ferocious at Gem lake. Deep Woods Off not effective - we hunkered in our tent for 3 hours til sun went down and skeeters left. I do not recommend camping at Gem or higher elev. for maybe another few weeks? Until they die off. Camp Lake and Grouse Lake (along north and south legs) are 1000' lower elevation and no bugs - good camping right now. Cherry Creek (cross on both the north side and south side of loop) is running about knee high and very cold but not too hard to cross.

11 days ago

Don’t attempt In a Prius. Unpaved road was too rough and Couldn’t get to the hike.

heavily trafficked, not sure why it is labeled as "light" definately bring deet.

beautiful hike. went from crabtree th to deer lake and sayed the night. all in all a great trip.

15 days ago

Wonderful first backpacking spot for the kids. Lots of folks out on Labor day weekend, but not so many it wasn't fun.

Just got back yesterday. Trailhead is easy to get to. Beautiful loop. The lakes are small, but maybe that's to be expected. The first good place to camp is at Piute Lake, but Gem is even prettier. The creeks were not too hard to cross. The deepest reached halfway up my thigh (I'm 5'4"), but the water is freezing. Found a fantastic campsite at the southern crossing of Cherry Creek. Just walk straight up the granite on the West side of the creek until you can't go up any further. Great view and secluded. Downside of this trail was the amount of people out there. Saw at least 20 people over 2 days.

My goal was to go from Crabtree TH to Gem Lake the first day and then to explore the lakes beyond Gem Lake. Unfortunately, the water at Cherry Creek (about .75 miles from Gem Lake) was to my chest and higher in most spots and I wasnt able to find a good place to cross without having to float my backpack and swim. I chose not to and returned to Piute Lake for the night. Piute was a good spot and no one else was around. Good initial plan, just happened to catch the runoff at the wrong time.

We backpacked from Crabtree to Gem Lake on Memorial weekend as an out-and-back hike using the upper end of the loop. We spent a day hiking from Gem Lake around Deer Lake, absolutely gorgeous area, still covered by 2-3 feet drifts of snow with some clear patches in sunnier areas, so expect slower travel (and beautiful pictures!)

The snow was melting at the end of the weekend. Cherry Creek filled up fast and rose a couple feet on our way back so we camped nearby and crossed in the morning. It came up to our hips even still! Absolutely use caution when crossing anytime soon. Paiute Creek is also rising from snowmelt, but it wasn't as swollen and came up to mid-thigh on us.

I'd recommend this hike to anybody who'd like to get away to a beautiful place! Will definitely be going back later this year - hopefully we'll make it all the way to Emigrant Lake next time!

We did a day hike from Crabtree Trailhead to Bear Lake and back on Memorial Day. It was perfect--great weather, neither too cold nor hot, dry and almost completely sunny, and NO BUGS! We never even considered breaking out the DEET. All the streams were easy to cross, but there were plenty of streams alongside the trail for our dog to drink and splash around in, besides Camp Lake and Bear Lake. Crabtree to Bear Lake is an easy hike with only one section that's a little steep. The round trip took us four hours with a number of brief stops. There were lots of hikers and backpackers on the trail on Memorial Day but at other times it's much less busy. One of my favorite places for a leisurely day hike.

1 month 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.

3 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.

10 months ago

Lovely lake and stunning views from burst rock along the way

10 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!

11 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.

Monday, June 12, 2017

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

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Beautiful! trail Plenty of camping spot.

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