Emigrant Wilderness

The Emigrant Wilderness is located north of Yosemite National Park and accessed via the Sonora Pass Highway. There are several trailheads that access this vast wilderness of glacier polished granite, lakes and meadows. For my first exploration into this region I decided to do a 30 mile loop out of the Crabtree Trailhead above Dodge Ridge/Pinecrest to visit a series of lakes. It’s nice that this trailhead is under three hours from the Bay Area, probably the closest area of the Sierra mountains from the Bay. Each of the lakes on the route deeper into the wilderness became progressively more scenic starting with Camp Lake, Piute Lake, Gem Lake, Jewelry Lake and the highlight of the loop was Upper and Lower Buck Lakes, which featured a great backdrop of granite walls. I also enjoyed Wood Lake as I began my return via Pine Valley. The elevation of the loop ranged from about 7,500 ft to 9,000 ft although the trails can be rocky with ups and downs so it’s not the fastest running terrain. I also encountered remnant snow on the trail below Wood Lake. A great 10 mile trail extension of the loop would be to Emigrant Lake, Huckleberry Lake and Lertora Lake (40+ miles total). There are numerous other lakes and canyons within the Emigrant to explore (both on and off trail) so I’m sure this is only the first of many adventures in this spectacular region. Here are some photos with many more here.

Several more photos in the complete album here.