Gianelli Trail to Chewing Gum Lake

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Emigrant Wilderness

Gianelli Trail to Chewing Gum Lake is a 8.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pinecrest, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length8.5 miElevation gain1,555 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingHorseback ridingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingRunningForestLakeViewsWildflowersWildlifeBugsMuddySnow
Description
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

Please obtain a free wilderness permit online ahead of time. https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/stanislaus/specialplaces/?cid=stelprdb5361242&width=full One of the shortest routes into spectacular Emigrant Wilderness, the Burst Rock Trail puts the steepest climb at its beginning. Historic and scenic, the trail offers magnificent vistas far south into Yosemite and north to the jumbled volcanic peaks of the Sonora Pass country. Although its rocky benches are ideal for picnics and loafing, early-season campers will want to retreat up the forested slopes for some relief from mosquitoes. Overnighters need a wilderness permit.

Users have reported that Google/Apple Maps will attempt to route you along 4N34, but we recommend taking 4N47 by following the forest service signs for the trail head instead.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (162)
Photos (283)
Activities (136)
Completed (320)
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Graham Wilder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 7, 2020
Hiking
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John P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 3, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

Fantastic lake and a great day hike. Not as dramatic as some of the lakes in Tahoe National or Plumas National but it’s tranquil and picturesque. Went in early November and was by myself on the trail 99% of the time. Also had the entire lake to myself to explore. On the way back I hit up Powell Lake as well because it’s just a few hundred feet off the trail to Chewing Gum. Also had Powell Lake to myself. Little dust and no insects. Two warnings: the road to the trailhead is unpaved and difficult if you don’t have a 4x4 or at least high clearance. Would not recommend for low clearance cars. Also, there were 2 forks in the trail that are unmarked — if not for the offline AllTrails map, I would have gotten lost. Clean and pristine. Some folks will not do well if not used to high altitude hiking.

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Matthew Matera
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 24, 2020
HikingGreat!

Great trail - tough to get to the trailhead. Whatever you do, don't take the route that Google Maps takes you. Take 4N47. Right before entering Dodge Ridge Ski Resort, there will be a turn to the right with signs pointing you towards the trailhead. Follow those signs rather than Google Map's suggestion of a U-Turn and going on 4N34. If you follow Google Maps like us - you'll only be able to make it with a high clearance truck or a 4 wheel drive vehicle.

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Byaww GIJOE
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 24, 2020
Hiking

The trail is pretty straightforward. I didn’t use my map at all. Alongside was marked by rocks so hikers would get lost. I did the whole trail within around 3 hours, not including resting at the lake for 10 min. The weather was pretty nice the day I went, clear sky, comfortable temperature. I ran into probably seven or eight hikers the whole time and was able to enjoy the lake by myself completely. It’s a pretty good workout. Scenery was good, but not spectacular. I do want to mention about driving to the trailhead. I thought google directed me via 4N47 (the preferred one) but the last couple miles before reaching the trailhead was still poor road quality. I was driving at 15 miles per hour.

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Divya Kalimuthu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 19, 2020
Backpacking

Backpacked with some decent elevation. Trail is not well marked, so can easily get lost. The lake is very beautiful, make sure you don't miss the sign post for the Chewing gum lake, some of my friends missed it and had to come back.

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Douglas Hirzel
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BackpackingGreat!

Trail is in great condition. The lake is beautiful with plenty of nice camp sites in a variety of settings. It’s fairly popular but people were respectful of giving each other space and were quiet after dark. In mid-October the skies were cleared from smoke, water is cold, no mosquitos or bears to bother us.

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Alex Kleissner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 9, 2020
Hiking

Amazing trail, with many vistas and plenty of camping spots at the lake.

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Flavia Rorison
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 9, 2020
HikingGreat!

A little warning when getting there. Google maps takes you right by the ski resort, and the road is blocked there, so take Crabtree Rd, then N4D47 for the trailhead. You’ll see signs directing you to the parking lot, which is very small. Also there is at least a 6-8 mile of dirt road that one will need to drive 10 miles an hour if in a small car. So a large vehicle: truck or SUV would be more beneficial. The hike was amazing even with all the smoke out. Not as hard as I thought. It looks like well travelled since there are tons of footprints, thus one cannot get lost. The payoff was indeed Chewing Gum lake, up at 9000 feet. I’d definitely do it again or backpack there.

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Mirjam Sax
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 4, 2020
Hiking

nice day hike, in and out in 4h plus breaks. Chewing Gum Lake is awesome. Trail is extensively co-used by horses.

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dgvip .
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 29, 2020
Mountain biking
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Karl G
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HikingGreat!

Good country

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Luis Manriquez
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HikingBugsOff trailRocky

Amazing trail, great views has ample shade. Due to the nearby forest fires as of 9/7/20 the air quality is not the greatest and there is ash falling from the sky. I do not recommend the Y Meadow to Chewing gum lake portion to anyone that is not in fit state. It involves a bit of rock climbing and is all off trail. It is actually pretty dangerous.

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D C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 1, 2020
Hiking

I noticed that most reviews here and in other places spoke about backpacking this route, and so I was a little concerned that this would not be a viable day hike. It is very doable as a day hike - took us about 2 hours each way (including short water breaks in between), carrying a light day pack. Only caution is that it gets very hot this time of year (Aug) and we ran out of water towards the end of the hike, so be well prepped. Otherwise, had a lovely hike and even a quick nap at the lake.

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Michael Miller
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Hiking
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O G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 27, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

Thought this would be a good trail for my first time backpacking. I was not disappointed. Beautiful views and the trail was well maintained. Passed 3 group of people on my way there, and also on my way back. I had the entire lake to myself, though, when I finally arrived and during the duration of my stay (1 night). Water was not too cold and good for swimming. Would definitely come back.

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Andrew O'Such
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 15, 2020
HikingGreat!

Rangers need to patrol chewing gum lake better. 3 parties camping 10-20ft from water, 2 made fires. Otherwise, wasn’t too crowded for a Saturday with maybe 6-7 groups. No luck with fish, but great hike and sunrise/sunset.

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David Koenig
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2020
Hiking

August 11, 2020. Another nice high Sierra hike. We initially tried 4N34, as suggested by google maps, total waste of time. The only sign marker for 4N34 is right at the beginning when you peel off from the resort parking. Beyond that, your guess is as good as anyone's else. Take 4N47 by following the forest service signs for the trail head. Much, much easier. The trail head itself is bunch of parking squeezed into the forest, so when you start seeing cars randomly parked, you've arrived. Trail is in good condition and easy to follow throughout. Lots of road apples but didn't see any pack animals. Fair mix of sun and shade on the trail. No good options to refill water until you get to the lake. Picturesque alpine lake, but it was a little crowded, especially for a Tuesday, and the lake is smaller so a bit hard to get away from the noisy backpack ground on the other shore.

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Kelly Bargas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
HikingGreat!

Great hike! The trail wasn't too busy for a Sunday, and the there was even less people at the lake by the time we arrived around around 1:30-2pm. Didn't stick around long as a small thunder shower snuck up. Bring plenty of water and snacks or a lunch to fuel up. Most SUVs should be able to handle Forest Rte 4N34 without much issue. Ground clearance is key, my car sits too low to safely make it up. Had to park down by the paved road and hike to the trail head.

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Dave LeRoy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 10, 2020
HikingGreat!

Aug 9-10 My 2 boys (11 and 13) and I hiked on Sunday to Chewing Gum Lake. We took Crabtree Rd off Hwy 108 (9 miles, a mix of paved and gravel). Watch out for the potholes the last few miles but definitely drive able without 4wd. The parking lot was fairly full on Sunday (30-40 cars) but most folks were hiking out and when we retiurned on Monday there were only 10-15 cars. The only challenging part of this hike is the altitude. Other than that, non of the climbs are that steep. I'd say it's about 50% exposed, 50% cover. Be prepared for any weather. We were not. At 9000ft we encountered a 30 minute thunderstorm 1/2 way through the hike. The only water option along the way is Powell Lake (about 1/2 way to Chewing Gum Lake) plan accordingly. I swam at Powell Lake and would say swimming is better there than Chewing Gum Lake. At Chewing Gum Lake, mosquitoes were not a problem. We encountered a few from 7-8pm but otherwise bugs were minimal. There are a number of camping options at the lake but no big signs that will say "camp here". If you want to know where others have camped, look for old fire pits. You have lots of options, from in the woods, in the open, by the lake. Take your pick. When we were there on a Sunday evening, there were about 4 other groups. There was plenty of space around the lake to isolate from other groups. Would definitely recommend this for any family looking for a challenging yet doable hike/camp trip. The views will not disssapont!

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Elizabeth Ruffe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 9, 2020
HikingGreat!

Surprisingly not busy, compared to other reviewer’s experiences! This is definitely NOT 8.5 miles, I mapped 10.25 with very few detours, but making it just out to the lake and back is at least 9 miles. The road out there is poorly kept gravel and VERY rocky for about 4 miles, it was pretty difficult for a small car to traverse it (but doable with some patience). You can definitely feel the elevation throughout the whole hike but the views were GREAT and the lake was so refreshing! If planning a day trip don’t expect a 4.25 hour hike unless you’re trail running

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Hayley Young
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
BackpackingGreat!
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Hayley Young
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

Beautiful trail and great for beginner backpackers, with not too much elevation change, gorgeous views, and easy access to water via the lakes. We camped at a smaller lake just south of Chewing Gum on Saturday night and had the area to ourselves. Chewing Gum Lake itself was crowded. Beware the AllTrails driving directions - it took us via Rte 4N34, which was a very bumpy dirt road through the ski resort that felt more like a ski run. It intersects with other roads/trails and the path to Gianelli trailhead was not well marked - the GPS even led us to a completely gated road initially. We eventually found our way and our car (small SUV) made it, but without cell service it was a bit stressful to find the right path and get over the bumps. Don’t forget to download your map area before you set out! The better route is Rte 4N47. We took it home from Gianelli and it’s a wider, more established road that was gravel for a few miles and then paved. Much better experience.

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Deanna Bjorkquist
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

This is a great backpacking or hiking trail. We made this a 2 night trip, but you can definitely just stay 1 night if you're time restricted. The Gianelli Trailhead parking lot is huge, but pretty crowded, even on a Friday at 2pm. Google maps was accurate for directions to the trailhead. The road to the trailhead is unpaved and pretty bumpy, but you do not need 4WD. The trail is beautiful and well maintained: plenty of shade with some open areas overlooking the valleys. Wildflowers, gorgeous alpine trees, and awesome views. We got our free wilderness permit online ahead of time. It is required you do it online, because in-person permits are closed due to COVID. https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/stanislaus/specialplaces/?cid=stelprdb5361242&width=full We backpacked to Chewing Gum Lake to make camp, but we stopped at Powell Lake on the way. Powell Lake is about 2.5 miles from the trailhead, and an unmarked .25 mile detour, but you can glimpse the lake from the main train. Chewing Gum is another ~2.5 miles from Powell Lake. Coming from SF, we definitely felt the elevation: 8,000-9,000'. You can get by with 1 liter of water per person (a nalgene) and refill at Powell if needed before getting to Chewing Gum. Mosquitoes were not bad when we were there. I felt a few around the lake at dusk and evening, but we made camp further back in the trees, and we were not bothered at all. Bear bag is required. Water filtration is necessary. We used the Sawyer Squeeze filter, but it kind of broke, so we were grateful to have iodine tablets with us too. UV water purification would also work fine. We did a day hike on the second day to Y Meadow Lake. We did not do the Y Meadow Loop due to a friend explaining that the south side of the loop is practically bouldering. We had a dog with us, so we opted to do a there and back around the north side, and that was ~6 miles round trip from Chewing Gum. Swimming was great in all 3 lakes. We saw some people fishing, but no luck. Despite the trailhead being super crowded, I did not feel like the trail was crowded, but Chewing Gum Lake was fairly busy Friday night. Even so, there is plenty of dispersed camping to get away from noisy neighbors. it was more quiet Saturday night because some bigger groups packed up to make camp Saturday night at Y Meadow Lake. Happy hiking!

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Narayan Mohanram
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 28, 2020
Hiking

Easy on/Easy off. Driving to the trailhead - don't go fast on the non-paved forest road. The trail was excellent (footing) and scenic and easy. Chewing gum lake was very pretty with no crowds (weekeday). On the way back from chewing gum lake we found the unmarked trail to Powell lake (another beauty). To make a longer hike, we went towards Y meadow for an extra 4 miles (RT). Would have rated 5 stars if I had seen a waterfall (or a bear) as well :-)

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Sarah Williams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2020
Hiking

Probably too busy of a trail/lake for this gal. Wonderful flowers along the way and great hike.

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Anne Kelley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 7, 2020
Hiking

Did this hike on July 7 with our two dogs, with side trips to Powell Lake for swimming. Trail is dog-friendly with few sharp rocky sections. Spectacular views from the two passes around 9000 feet. The climbs from the trailhead and out of Chewing Gum are longish but not very steep, and overall it's a pretty easy hike. It was a fairly cool and breezy day, and in most places there were no or almost no mosquitoes. Right down near the campsites at Chewing Gum Lake the mosquitoes were fierce even at 11 am, but 100 yards away up on the rocks above the lake there were none.

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Loreta Zvinklyte
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 6, 2020
BugsMuddyRocky

Spectacular trail. Strenuous and tiring on a very hot day. Beautiful views. High elevation. Bring lots of water. Great opportunity to swim in Chewing Gum lake once the destination reached. Not many people. Bring bug spray for the last portion of hike through the wetland meadows about 1 mile before reaching to the lake tons of mosquitos. Pepke camp there by the lake. Serenity and beautiful views.

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