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Re: Leopold Lake, Emigrant Wilderness

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Leopold Lake, Emigrant Wilderness
July 30, 2014 09:40AM
Gianelli Trailhead is actually a bit easier than the Crabtree Trailhead, in that the trails are not as steep. But the lakes here are not along the trail---they are off to the side---so it's not quite as rewarding as the Crabtree to Deer Lake route. ON the other hand, it is easier to cover a lot of ground along here.



Whitesides Meadow

We hiked to Leopold Lake the first day, passing by the turn-offs to Powell, Chewing Gum, and Y Meadow Lakes, all of which seemed pretty crowded on a July weekend. Even Toejam Lake had about twenty people camped in different places around the lake. At least one of whom was cutting dead branches off a tree for firewood. Doofus.



Leopold Lake



View to the South., with the El Portal Fire in view from Leopold Lake

All of these trails were clearly marked...but that's not true of the cross-country route to Leopold. There is a significant series of granite ledges between Toejam and Leopold, and it takes a bit of route-finding to get through them. It wasn't exactly difficult, it just took some time to find a route. But once there, it is worth it--a stunning lake high on a ridge, with views in all directions if you just walk a few yards up the slopes. No people, probably because there are no fish. But well worth the hike. (There are fish at Toejam, which may explain why there are more people.)



Toejam Lake

On the way back we stopped at Y Meadow Lake. We had heard it was very crowded on Saturday night, but by Sunday afternoon we were alone there. No fish, but a shallow, warm lake that had some in our group swimming like Naiads. The lake was low, with a 3-5 foot rim around the bathtub from high water. We camped on the ledges to the West of the lake, with lovely views. But dusk came early there, as we were in the shadows of the cliffs. No worries, the sunrise got us up before 6:30...



Y Meadow Lake in the smoke



Y Meadow without the smoke

This area gets a lot of traffic, both from hikers and horse packers, but you can find your spots to get peace and quiet if you are willing to go a step further than most people. This was 23 mile total, including the sightseeing day-hikes.



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: Leopold Lake, Emigrant Wilderness
July 30, 2014 10:23AM
There was no one at Toejam when we went by July 4th timeframe...
no one at Long Lake...
but one party at Leopold when we came back that-a-way... so we just went to pond nearby...
and only one party on way out past Toejam..

http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,75510,75510#msg-75510

What do you expect for no quotas in July?

I have desire to eventually check out Chewing Gum ... and hike around 3 Chimneys...

Honestly I heard Leopold was so nice...

I'll leave it at that



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Leopold Lake, Emigrant Wilderness
July 30, 2014 10:53AM
I think a lot depends on the horse packers at Aspen Meadows. They packed in a group to Granite Lake (usually one of our choices to avoid people) and another to Wire Lakes. And for some reason this weekend, there were scouts trooping around as well.

If you didn't like Leopold, I doubt you will enjoy Chewing Gum more...plus the traffic there includes dayhikers from both trailheads: Gianelli and Crabtree.



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
avatar Re: Leopold Lake, Emigrant Wilderness
July 30, 2014 11:36AM
It's all about timing. I'll go there in December.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Leopold Lake, Emigrant Wilderness
July 30, 2014 11:16AM
I went out to chewing gum for the day last monday and while the Gianelli trail head was packed with cars no one was at the lake or even in the meadow. I have to say right now the meadow out to chewing gum is very very pretty. Everything is still green and lupines and several other flowers abound. I don't normally post Trip reports or pictures or anything of my little day hikes but if anyone of you would like to see some pics let me know and I'll put em up.


Anyway with that aside it sounds like you had a very nice trip, one that I would like to take in the near future if at all possible.
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