Crabtree Trailhead to Gem Lake

July 22, 2016 · Emigrant Wilderness


19.5 mi

Elevation gain

3,172 ft


3 days

The trail

Check out the route in detail on AllTrails.

Fri Jul


Traffic, Thai, and Trailheads

The scouts left (or attempted to leave) the city around 6:30pm after work, but the bridges were packed with other folks who also wanted to escape the city. After about 35 minutes of sitting in traffic and traveling about 4 blocks, we finally got moving. We drove for about an hour and stopped at a Thai restaurant around Livermore. With our bellies full, we continued for around 3 hours until we arrived at the Crabtree trailhead and set up camp around 12:30am.

Sat Jul


The dusty trail

We awoke in nature (a parking lot/campsite) and cooked up some breakfast burritos. After our heafty meal, we packed up, moved the car to a parking spot, and set off along a dusty trail around 10am. It was hot, so when we passed by a nice looking lake, we took advantage and had a little picnic and swim. There were a few groups on horseback, which we had to navigate around every so often.

After a decent slog, we arrived at Gem Lake, and found a spot on the far side of the lake around 4:30pm. It was a great camping spot just up from the lake. We spent the evening swimming, cooking, and watching the stars.

Sun Jul


Lake chillz

After a simple breakfast, we packed up, and headed along the northern section of the loop. The alpine seems endless in this area. About 40 minutes from the parking lot is the awesome, very swimable Camp Lake. We stopped for a long dunk and dried off in the sun. The last section of the trail was quite dusty, so we were back to our regular dirty selves by the time we got back to the car. Sad to be done, but happy to have spent the weekend in such a beautiful place, we returned to the city.

Trip posted by KP