Emigrant Lower Loop

MODERATE 4 reviews
#6 of 12 trails in

Emigrant Lower Loop is a 44.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Pinecrest, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, birding, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
44.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
6,246 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

bugs

Crabtree TH -> Gem Lake -> Buck Lake -> Emigrant Lake -> Huckleberry Lake -> Wood Lake -> Grouse Lake -> Crabtree TH

backpacking
1 month ago

Backpacked the shortest version of this loop (Crabtree TH past Grouse Lake to Groundhog Meadow, turned north and connected with the upper part of the trail, and returned past Camp Lake) on June 25-27. Camped at the south crossing of Piute Creek on Monday night and were eaten by mosquitoes. Otherwise it was a lovely campsite and the bugs weren't too bad until about 6 pm, but in the early evening and early morning they were fierce. Everyone we met coming out on Monday told us that the deeper you go in the worse the mosquitoes get. So we canceled our plan to go to Gem and Jewelry Lakes and instead just went to Camp Lake, stayed there Tuesday night, and walked out Wednesday morning. Only mild mosquito activity at Camp Lake at the campsites far above the lake. Lily and Piute Creeks were way down relative to two weeks ago--no wading necessary to cross them. This loop is a nice day hike and a fairly easy one-night backpack trip. We made it two nights only because we really wanted to be out for two nights.

backpacking
1 month 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.

backpacking
1 month 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 :)