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Richard Gless
(rgless) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Piute Lake - Gem Lake Loop - Emmigrant Wilderness 24-25 Oct 2009 on 11/03/2009 23:51:24 MST Print View

This trip was an attempt to squeeze in one last hike before putting away the backpacking gear for the winter. The weather forecast was for highs of 60°F and lows of 38°F, which is well within the limits of my summer UL gear, so I figured why not. I left home in the East Bay at 9:20 am and, after getting my permit at the Pinecrest Ranger Station, arrived at the Crabtree Trailhead and was on the trial at 12:20 pm.

Within the first 200 yards I met Sean from Sunnyvale. He is just making the transition to UL and was interested in discussing preferences in UL gear. He had a Jam 2, merino shirt, trail runners, and hiking poles, and was obviously well on his way to UL. I saw some dayhikers at Camp Lake but only saw one other backpacker all day, ironically also camped at Piute Lake.

Fall Colors enroute to Camp Lake

Fall Colors enroute to Camp Lake

Camp Lake

Camp Lake

Lilypad Lake

Lilypad Lake

At the Notch above Piute Meadow

At the Notch above Piute Meadow

The storm the previous week had obviously dumped a lot of rain/snow in the area. The soil was moist, and there was water standing on the trails. All the rivers had much more than the normal amount of water for this time of year.

Snow in the High Country

Snow in the High Country

Alpenglow above Camp at Piute Lake

Alpenglow above Camp at Piute Lake

My camp above Piute Lake had a 360 degree view of the sky and scenery. The sunset made it one of the more spectacular campsites I’ve had.

Sunset at Camp above Piute Lake

Sunset at Camp above Piute Lake

The next morning I pushed on to Gem Lake then descended to Buck Meadow Creek to return to the trailhead via Pine Valley.

Gem Lake

Gem Lake

As I descended into the Buck Meadow Creek drainage on Sunday morning, I saw another hiker climbing up to Gem Lake. He was the only person I saw all day.

Descending to the Gem Lake Outlet to Buck Meadow Creek

Descending to the Gem Lake Outlet to Buck Meadow Creek

Descending to Louse Canyon, Notch to Groundhog Meadow Ahead

Descending to Louse Canyon, Notch to Groundhog Meadow Ahead

Every other time I’ve been on this trail Cherry Creek was dry. I’d never seen these cascades before.

Cascades in West Fork Cherry Creek

Cascades in West Fork Cherry Creek

More Fall Color

More Fall Color

Descending into Pine Valley

Descending into Pine Valley

Grouse Lake

Grouse Lake

I arrived back at the Crabtree Trailhead about 4:20 pm and was back home in the Bay Area by 7:30 pm Sunday night. All in all a great, quick mountain fix.

Edited by rgless on 11/04/2009 00:04:29 MST.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Piute Lake - Gem Lake Loop - Emmigrant Wilderness 24-25 Oct 2009 on 11/04/2009 08:13:07 MST Print View

Did the same hike last year with Jay and Josh. Nice late season trip. Glad YOU did not get snowed on. Cherry Crk with water??

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Piute Lake-Gem Lake Emigrant Wilderness on 11/04/2009 10:26:16 MST Print View

Cool stuff Richard, I was there this past Sunday and went out to Bear Lake...It was 75-80 degrees--- very warm for the first day of November.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Piute Lake-Gem Lake Emigrant Wilderness on 11/04/2009 14:22:28 MST Print View

Jay,

Great trip report with lots of photos and narration!

Weird weather this year in that the temps are so warm/mild.

Thanks for sharing.

One of these days, I will get the trip report done on our TRT trip.

House is going thru a remodel and wife is hogging the computer working on her Master's Degree.

-Tony