Trip Number: 12127A
Staff: Jindra Goodman
- Enjoy breathtaking views of the high Sierra
- Swim in mountain lakes each day
- Relax or dayhike on two layover days
- All meals (vegetarian-friendly and gluten-free-friendly)
- Shared equipment, including pots and pans
- Exercise and lots of fun
Please note that the trip title and leader have changed from what was originally published. If you
have questions, please
Just north of Yosemite, the Emigrant Wilderness contains thousands of acres
of pine forests, grassy meadows, glacier-carved granite ridges, and hundreds
of mountain lakes. This eight-day, 28-mile trek highlights some of the most
scenic lakes of the high Sierra. Two layover days will allow us to rest up,
swim, and fish. Most of our hiking is on established trails; however, there
will be some cross-country hiking on our last two days. Our circular route from
Crabtree Campground is designed to allow participants to enjoy a scenic array
of the lakes that make up this beautiful wilderness. While this trip is designed
for those with gluten intolerance, we welcome anyone who'd like to go gluten-free
for a week.
Day 1: We will meet at Crabtree trailhead, where we will spend
the afternoon reviewing equipment, weighing packs, and reviewing wilderness
etiquette. We'll camp here at an elevation of 7,200 feet and get to know one
another over dinner (provided).
Day 2: We begin our trek past Pine Valley and Camp Lake, up
an 8,000-foot pass to camp at what is informally known as Lily Pad Lake, about
five miles from the trailhead.
Photo: Pamela Chisum
Day 3: Today we drop down into Piute Meadow, passing Piute
Lake, and hike just over four miles to our camp at Gem Lake.
Day 4: Another four-mile day takes us up to Wire Lakes, where
we will camp for two nights.
Day 5: Layover day. For those interested, there will be a
day hike over to Long Lake, where we'll have lunch.
Day 6: This is our longest hiking day, with about seven miles
to cover, but not much elevation gain/loss. We will hike through Saltlick and
Whitesides meadows and down to Y-Meadow Lake. From there, we'll do one mile
of easy cross-country to our campsite at Granite Lake.
Day 7: Layover day. A cross-country day hike will take us to Tom's Canyon or Toejam Lake.
Day 8: We start the dayhiking downhill and cross-country,
taking us to Bear Lake, where we return to the trail and head back to Crabtree.
We will begin and end our trek from Crabtree Camp, just south of the Dodge Ridge Ski Resort on California Highway 108.
The leader will provide information to help facilitate ride-sharing from the
Bay Area or Reno. Out-of-state participants will find it most convenient to
fly into Reno, Oakland, San Jose, or San Francisco (each a good four- to five-hour
drive from the trailhead).
Accommodations and Food
Photo: Pamela Chisum
All food and group equipment will be provided starting with dinner on July
22 and ending with lunch on July 29. Food will be contained in bear canisters,
and shared equipment will include cooking utensils, stoves, wash tubs, toilet
paper, repair kit, iodine or chlorine for water purification, and fuel. All
trip members are expected to share in the cooking and cleanup duties. A variety
of high-energy, easy-to-prepare meals are planned, including gourmet dinners.
This trip can accommodate vegetarian and gluten-free meals; however, the leader
must know well in advance of any dietary restrictions.
The difficulty rating for this trip is a 2 on a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 denotes
the most difficult trips and 1 the least difficult. Even though this places
toward the lower end of the difficulty range for all trips offered, participants
still need to be in good physical shape and capable of carrying 45 lbs of personal
gear and commissary in rugged terrain. On average we will hike five to six miles
per day on established trails. Ultralight packs are not recommended and high-top
hiking boots are required.
Equipment and Clothing
You can find a list of suggested equipment at: http://www.knapsack.org/basic_equipment.html
Participants should be prepared for possible rain showers in the late afternoon.
- Schifrin, Ben, Emigrant Wilderness, Wilderness Press. This book provides a good description of the area and trails we will be covering.
Photo: Pamela Chisum
The Emigrant Basin was designated the "Emigrant Basin Primitive Area"
in 1931, which began the protection of this special area. It became a part of
the Wilderness system on January 4, 1975. The Sierra Club was instrumental in
passage of the Wilderness Act of l964, which has placed much of the Sierra under
Wilderness protection. Unfortunately, controversy continues over how much protection
is conferred by wilderness status.
The impact of civilization on the Sierra Nevada is the conservation focus of this trip. Logging, roads, small communities spreading into wilderness areas, even the management of lakes affects the wildlife and our experience and appreciation of it. Many of Ansel Adams' photographs can no longer be replicated due to the impact of civilization.
Sierra Club National Outings is an equal-opportunity provider and will operate under a permit from Stanislaus National Forest.
See the How to Apply for an Outing section for more details on registering for this trip and details
about our Reservation and Cancellation Policy.
The payment of a deposit does not confirm you as a member on the trip. Participants must be approved by the trip leader. After signing up for this trip, you will be sent a confirmation packet containing approval materials (Participant Approval Questionnaire, Medical Form, Liability Release Form). Each applicant (including those on the waitlist) must fill out these forms and promptly mail them to the trip leader. The leader will review the approval materials and notify you of your acceptance in a timely manner.
Jindra Goodman is an experienced backpacker who has participated in and led many High Sierra outings with the Sierra Club. In addition, she has backpacked in New Zealand, Nepal, Patagonia, the Alps, the Tatras and the Czech Republic where she learned her backpacking skill as a youth. She is also an avid member of several wilderness search and rescue teams in the Bay Area and Sierras. Jindra just recently retired after four decades as a professor of meteorology at San Jose State University to enjoy her grandchildren, skiing, running, swimming, and cycling.
General Notes About Sierra Club Trips