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Gem Lake via Crabtree Trailhead [CLOSED] is a 17.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pinecrest, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and backpacking. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 17.7 mi Elevation gain 3,264 ft Route type Out & Back
Dog friendly Backpacking Hiking Running Forest Lake Views Wild flowers Wildlife Bugs Rocky Closed
Description
Waypoints (0)

As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (41)
Photos (394)
Recordings (33)
Completed (170)
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Aysu Solmaz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2020
Backpacking

Had so much fun on this trail! Arrived on a Thursday evening and the parking lot at the trailhead was almost full so it definitely gets crowded. We went out early August and luckily there were barely any mosquitos. Only thing we weren’t prepared for was how dry the creeks were! We went counter clockwise and there was no flowing water until we were about 6-7 miles out so definitely pack plenty of water. Otherwise it was beautiful and the lakes were amazing to swim in!

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Ethan Casaday
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HikingGreat!
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Ethan Casaday
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Hiking

This truly is literally amazing and ends of the awesome place I’ve ever seen

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Juan Carlos Guzman
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Hiking
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daniel tsai
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HikingGreat!

Went the weekend of July 18-19. Arrived at the trailhead around 10:30AM and the lot was already full, and barely snagged the last open spot along the overflow parking road. There were plenty of cars parked along the road in as well. The hike itself was beautiful, and encountered nary a mosquito the entire first day until we hit Cherry Creek, where there was a respectable swarm around 5:30PM. Made camp at Gem Lake with few mosquitoes to be seen...but starting around 8PM was when they came out with a vengeance. I got destroyed despite wearing long sleeves and long pants. The following day saw swarms of mosquitoes around Gem and Piute lakes (and again at Cherry Creek). Reprieve really only came after passing the unnamed lake ~1.5 miles east of Camp Lake. The water conditions at Piute left a lot to be desired, but Gem Lake had crystal clear waters as long as you avoided the little inlets with poor circulation. I would recommend this trail, but perhaps later in the year when the mosquitoes are gone.

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Anne Kelley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Backpacking

We (2 adults and 2 dogs) backpacked from Crabtree to Gem Lake on July 31, did a short day hike to Deer Lake and then broke camp and moved to Piute Lake on Aug. 1, and packed out on Aug. 2. Mosquitoes at only a few places on the trail, particularly near Lilypad and Deer Lakes, and essentially none at Gem or Piute Lakes. We never got out the DEET. Both Gem on Friday and Piute on Saturday were very busy--dozens of people camped at each place. We got good campsites by arriving early but folks who arrived late might have had trouble. Lily and Cherry Creeks are both flowing but easy to walk across. Piute Creek is down to to pools of standing water that don't look great. The water at Gem clogged our filter very quickly; Piute seemed better. Definitely recommend getting an early start if doing this on a warm day, as the last climb from Cherry Creek to Gem Lake can get very hot.

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Brian Schnack
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Hiking

Dude. Gorgeous hike in with buddies, and camping at Piute.

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Ian Coughlan
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Hiking

Has anyone been up here since mid - June and can speak to how the mosquito issues are? Wondering if a few weeks of warm weather has cleared them out some?

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Anne Kelley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 22, 2020
BackpackingBugs

We had planned a 2-night backpack trip with both nights at Piute Lake and taking a day hike from there to Gem and Jewelry Lakes and beyond. We were driven back after one night by the mosquitoes, the worst I've seen in the Sierra. They weren't too bad during the day while we were moving, but by about 5 pm they started to swarm and we were finally driven back into the tent about 6:30 pm. The next morning at first light there were hundreds of the little bloodsuckers perched on the tent waiting to pounce on the first mammal to exit. We didn't even bother with breakfast, but just broke camp and got out of there as fast as possible. Otherwise the trip was great, with lovely views and a spectacular starry moonless sky from the tent. Lots of the smaller creeks still had some water for our two dogs. Piute Creek was rock-hoppable and Lily Creek looked like it might be but we opted to remove our boots and wade. We're going to try this again, but not for another couple of weeks!

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Adam Mendonça
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 20, 2020
HikingBugs

Beautiful views but be warned as you hike in the bugs get worse and worse! We camped on the bluffs just East of Gem Lake thinking it would be windy to help clear the bugs. Nope! Mosquitos at Gem Lake were so bad we had to spend our evening in our tent. And forget bathroom breaks, you would be swarmed immediately (even with bug spray). The second half (valley hike) was beautiful and had a few nice streams to dip your feet in.

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Caitlin Fischetti
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2019
Backpacking

Amazing hike!!! So much fun swimming in the lakes and lots of water to fill up!

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Dan Pasquale
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HikingBugsMuddy
First to Review

Great trail but the mileage is closer to 20...just hiked it yesterday (7-27-19). Great trail in good condition but Cherry Creek is flowing almost waist deep and from the creek on, the mosquitos are out in force! Thank the late snow melt lol. Plenty of creeks to resupply water too. Very crowded up to Camp Lake but pretty clear after that!

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William Mee
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Hiking
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Michael Lyons
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Hiking
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Ethan Casaday
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Hiking
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David Eriksson
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Hiking
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Alexander Bondar
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Hiking
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Michael Perry
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Hiking
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Alix Keener
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Backpacking
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Rob Campbell
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Hiking
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R. Barrett Hooper
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Ryan Thorp
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Hiking
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David Thornley
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Hiking
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Brian Schnack
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Hiking
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Guy Oron
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Hiking
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James Liu
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Hiking
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Jesenia Deleon
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Hiking
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Adam Dziesinski
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Hiking
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Brian Fry
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Hiking
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