Emmigrant Wilderness: Pinecrest Trail"CENTER">
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Trip Mileage: approximately 30 miles
We made the long drive up to Emmigrant wilderness after work. We picked up Matt and
headed to Carl's Junior for a loading of camping calories. We finally arrived at the
park near 11PM and had no trouble finding a place to camp with plenty of parking right in
front. We unloaded the Jeep and got stuffed away in our bivy sacks for a good rest before
We finished loading up our packs and checking all out gear to make sure we would
leave nothing important beheind. We forgot to bring the silverware, we had to share
two spoons between the four of us. Jerry packed his half dozen flashlights and several
boxes of power bars in his pack and downed a RED BULL. Jerry purchased a new hat on the
way to the camp site and for the entire trip we called him "Jar-Jar".
We saw a snake on the first days' hike. As for terrain, the Emmigrant wilderness is as
hilly as they come. The elevation for this trip was approximately 8,000 ft and I think we
were all feeling it. AFter a few hours on the trail we managed to get ourselves lost. Matt
had the GPS going on and kept telling us about is 'radius of accuracy' and other mumbo jumbo.
I kept going with the map and made us more lost. After climbing a few hundred extra feet I
guess everyone got tired of me not being able to read Mr. Map and we let technology take
control as the GPS got us back on the trail. We hit the lake late for lunch and tired from the
extra elevation; we had a long ways to go to Deer Lake. We ate our lunch and headed back
down the trail. We continued our hike past several clear cold lakes; in some we could even
see trout from the trail. The gang was making pretty poor time with the elevation and everyone
was very glad to get to Deer Lake after 10 miles of hiking for the day. I immediately stowed my
gear and fixed up my fishing pole. The live red-worms I packed in for 10 miles were instant
success as I reeled in the tirp's first rainbow trout. We slept well that night.
We got up early to do some more fishing and then began discussing the plan to hike an additional
5 miles to Emmigrant Lake, the largest body of water in the park. Considering that we were so
beat the day before and made pretty poor time (we had hardly fished Deer Lake at all) we decided
to pass up Emmigrant lake and stay at Deer for a full day of relaxation and fishing. I think this
was a very good choice! I fished all day from my inflatable trail boat and caught quite a few trout.
I brought back only 1 to camp, as I expected the others to have had similar luck with the fish.
But it seems that I had outfished everyone else at camp, I think Matt had a few on the line but
none in the bag. I think Jerry spent the entire day sleeping in his hammock.
So we cooked my 1 fish up on the fire on a rock; the taste was nice.
The plan was to do a short 2 mile hike back to Gem Lake and spend another day fishing in the sun.
Jerry, Brent and I headed for Gem Lake while Matt took the long way around to Wood Lake. Gem
Lake was also hot for fishing. Occasionally after I had tossed my small red and white bobber
in the clear water a fish would even try to eat my bobber. The worms seemed to have lost their charm
on these fish after about 15 minutes for for the rest of the day I picked dragonfly nymphs off the
bottoms of rocks. The trout really loved these things! I floated around this small lake in my raft
and found a place in the middle of the lake that was shallow enough to get out and fish knee deep on some
rocks. I caught a great pile of fish that day, Jerry brought in one and maybe the rest got the skunk again.
That night we had a large fish cook around the fire.
Hit the trail early in anticipation of a long haul back to the car, and it was. We stopped for lunch
at bear lake and Matt managed to give his last meal to the ground. Luckily for Matt, the rest of us had
food to spare. We made it back to the car in the early afternoon and saw that now the place was packed
with campers and cars. We packed our stuff in the car and drove back to the coast.
Page created: 05/12/06
Last updated: 05/12/06
Copyright 2006, Greg Miller