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Emigrant Wilderness

Backpacking in the Emigrant Wilderness

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Emigrant Wilderness Backpacking: Crabtree to Gem Lake, Deer Lake, and More

Backpacking Emigrant Wilderness

A fantastic  4 day Backpacking Trip into the Emigrant Wilderness from trailhead East of Pinecrest Lake near Highway 108.

Status Update

MAY 2019
Carson Iceberg & Emigrant Forest Roads Closed in Aftermath of the Donnell Fire


Peter describes food resources there and back, roads, fishing, trail culture and terrain descriptions that make this a fantastic description of a fantastic backpacking trip.

Trail into Emigrant Wilderness from Crabtree Trailhead.
 Backpacking Trail into Emigrant Wilderness through Crabtree Trailhead

Thanks to Peter and Jason for sharing this!

Emigrant Wilderness NF PDF

All Tahoe to Whitney MAPS
Emigrant Wilderness Backpacking Maps


Emigrant Wilderness Trailheads NF PDF

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Late Summer 2017 Trip Report: TYT from Kennedy Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows

The Tahoe to Yosemite Trail
Kennedy Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows


This is a trip report for the TYT from Kennedy Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows on 8/12 to 8/19. This was the first time I have backpacked on the TYT, and the longest trip I have taken. I went with my brother-in-law and my 13 year old nephew.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Planning an Excellent Emigrant Wilderness Backpacking Trip.

Emigrant Wilderness Backpacking Planning Information 
Create the best Emigrant Wilderness backpacking plan. Use our Maps, miles, elevations and experience to craft your perfect trip.


I recently completed (Oct 8, 2016) the 2016 High Sierra Trails & Trail Culture Review.

This report has planning information for Emigrant Wilderness Backpacking Trips from Kennedy Meadows to Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite National Park.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Fly Catcher (?) High Sierra Birds, Lunch Meadow, Stanislaus National Forest

High Sierra Birds. Fly Catcher (?)  

Observing and attempting to identify High Sierra Birds.

Lunch Meadow, Stanislaus National Forest
Route of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail from Kennedy Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows.

September 2, 2010

9000 feet of elevation

Alex Wierbinski's picture

ON the Trail Again

July 5, 2016

I'll be hitting the trails for a couple of weeks starting today until late July. The site will not be actively monitored during this time. I will return and respond to any inquiries at the end of July.

Those of you hiking North from Tuolumne Meadows during this time may well run into me hiking South towards TM along the TYT-PCT. 

Tuolumne Meadows

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Kennedy Meadows Pack Station

Matt Bloom and family and friends provide long distance High Sierra backpackers the best of Western Hospitality, food, supplies, laundry and showers along the classic route of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail where it crosses Highway 108.

Kennedy Meadows is a standard resupply spot for Pacific Crest Trail hikers.

For visitors driving up on Highway 108, the Sonora Pass Highway Kennedy Meadows offers outstanding food, lodging, horses and horsepacking into the Emigrant Wilderness South of Kennedy Meadows Pack Station or North into the Carson Iceberg Wilderness.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Tungsten Road History

As an active trail the Tungsten Road is listed under the Trails Forum for the East Sierra:

Tungsten Road

The trail guide reference to the Tungsten Road is here:

Latopie Lake to Kenndy Canyon

This is a placeholder-link page to recognize the Tungsten Road as part of Sierra History, and link to its entries in the forum and guide covering the Tungsten Road as an active trail route.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

The Tungsten Road in Toiyabe National Forest and Emigrant Wilderness

The Tungsten Road is a dirt mining road East of Sonora Pass off of Highway 108 that still offers four-wheel drive access to Leavitt Lake on the East flank of the Sierra Crest below Leavitt Peak.

History of Tungsten Road

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PCT Kennedy Canyon trail junction to Jack Main Canyon via TYT at Grizzly Peak

This is the backpacker's forum for the Emigrant Wilderness trail guide page centered on crossing over Big Sam.
Big Sam sits between the Pacific Crest Trail junction at the top of Kennedy Canyon and the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail at the Grizzly Peak trail junction crossing the Emigrant Basin.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Latopie Lake backpacking to Kennedy Canyon

This is the place for questions, comments, trip ideas and updates on the trails, terrain, and situation from Latopie Lake to the Kennedy Canyon trail junction.

Here's the guide information:

Trail guide
Latopie Lake to Kennedy Canyon

Sonora Pass to Kennedy Canyon

Alex Wierbinski's picture

First Peak: Dad brings Son up Leavitt Peak

Backpacking brings many trail encounters. This time I met a father bringing his son up Leavitt Peak on a long dayhike via the shortcut route.

Dad had broke in his son for the physical exertion through backpacking trips and the natural training that entails, and was now adding in challenging scrambles. Thus dad selected the shortcut route up Leavitt Peak, for the challenge.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Grizzly Peak to Jack Main Canyon via Bond Pass

We hike South on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail 3.08 miles from the Grizzly Peak trail junction over Bond Pass to join with the PCT in the top of Jack Main Canyon in the very Northwestern corner of the North Yosemite Backcountry.

From Grizzly Peak we've 1.08 miles South to the next Horse Meadow trail junction on the North side of Summit Meadow.  This one is marked with a recently replaced trail post (2012).

Horse Meadow trail junction

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Brown Bear Pass to Grizzly Peak trail junction

Brown Bear Pass marks our exit from Summit Creek's awesome valley into the High Emigrant Meadow.

Brown Bear Pass to Bond Pass and Yosemite

On the far side of Emigrant Meadow a 200 foot low ridge divides Emigrant Meadow and Emigrant Meadow Lake from Grizzly Peak surrounded by Grizzly Meadow on its East side. 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Upper Lunch Meadow to Brown Bear Pass

Backpacking South over the last mile and a half up to Brown Bear Pass from Upper Lunch Meadow we first encounter the trail junction teeing off to the South over Mosquito Pass to Emigrant Lake a half-mile above Upper Lunch Meadow.

This map covers this potential route

Emigrant Wilderness Map

Emigrant Lake is the third lake down the Canyon of the North fork of Cherry Creek from Emigrant Meadow Lake in Emigrant Meadow.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Sheep Camp to Upper Lunch Meadow

Hiking South of Sheep Camp's exceptional campsites we travel through some unique shaped and colored golden granites of Emigrant Wilderness.

Trail Guide

We enjoy the shade of the light forest cover alternating with sections of dry sage meadow. A bit short of the lower edge of Lunch Meadow, the North end, we come upon a fine group site.

We will leave this behind in favor of one of the sites either on the North or South end of upcoming Lunch Meadow.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Saucer Meadow to Sheep Camp

Sheep Camp is 2.48 miles up 880 feet of elevation from Saucer Meadow proper.

Sheep Camp is about 2 miles South of the last of the "Saucer Meadow Campsites' spread for a half mile South of Saucer Meadow.

This is an exceptional section of trail, especially the last quarter mile up to a narrow passage in the ridgline at the top of this narrowing arm of canyon just off the Northeast side of the crest of Blackhawk Mountain.

This is quite a stunning section of trail.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Relief Reservoir to Saucer Meadow Campsites

Saucer Meadow is 560 feet above our trail past Relief Reservoir over 1.58 miles. This constitutes a hard degree of moderate difficulty trail.

This page is set up to provide basic information to supplement the trail guide, the most valuable of which are your comments, questions and experiences.

Each of these will help inform backpackers who've not experienced this wonderland.

There are no good campsites at Saucer Meadow itself. What I call the Saucer Meadow Campsites begin about a half mile South of Saucer Meadow.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Relief Reservoir Campsites

Relief Reservoir has an Excellent set of campsites on its Southeast Corner.

This page is set up for you to add information about the Relief Reservoir campsites. Or ask questions, share your experiences and impressions, or just wax poetic about what a stunningly relaxing place this is.

Use the comments link at the bottom of this page.

These campsites are a bit offset from the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail, but not far.

Unmarked, or maybe even ducked trails North and South of Grouse Creek bring us the short distance to the campsites on Relief Reservoir.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Kennedy Lake trail junction to Relief Reservoir Campsites

Backpacking to Kennedy Lake and Beyond

This is the place for comments-questions-and  additional information for the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail from the Kennedy Lake trail junction to the fine campsites on the Southeast corner of Relief Reservoir.

Kennedy Lake is a great destination for in-and-out backpackers from Kennedy Meadows Pack Station. It is a nice little backpacking trip covered by guide pages below.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Emigrant Wilderness Historical Use Preservation Act

A backpacker's perspective and support for the

Emigrant Wilderness Historical Use Preservation Act
  H. R. 3606

Bill Information

  Conclusions of Analysis
FULL Support for HR 3606, below

Informative Links

Full Text of HR 3606

Original Post: December 2013

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