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Day 1, Day 2

Permit - A permit is required for all overnight stays in Emigrant Wilderness. Permits can be obtained in person at the Summit Ranger Station at 1 Pinecrest Road in Pinecrest off Highway 108. There are currently no trailhead quotas or fees for the permit.

Mileage/Terrain - Day 1 was Kennedy Meadows Trailhead to Relief Reservoir, approximately 4.25 miles (your mileage will vary based on site selection). There is a net elevation gain of approximately 1,100'. Terrain varies from nice tree cover to exposed dusty sections. The trail has some steep sections with steps. Day 2 was a 5.75 mile day hike to Grouse Creek and Summit Creek. See map/profiles below.

Camps/Water - There is a bathroom and trash cans at Kennedy Meadows Trailhead, no water. The first part of the hike takes you past the Kennedy Meadows Pack Station (has store and restaurant). You an likely get water from the river (depending how high it is running) or one of the campsites/cabins.

Hazards - Black Bears, creek crossings, snow, mice/squirrels, and mosquitoes. Nearest Ranger # 209-965-3434 (always check with ranger ahead of time for current water/trail conditions - this season it is simply a must because of the long wet winter and massive spring runoff).


Tyler and I woke up and had a good breakfast and then packed up our ten essentials (and lunch) to head out for a day hike further south along the trail. Here is the map and profile of the trip in and the day hike the next day. It was already warming up fast with it forecast to be close to 90 degrees again today. The trail continues to head up with some great views (at the expense of no real cover). We were able to find a couple patches of snow right along the trail. Here is Tyler with his snow smile on.



You eventually reach the high point on the trail and then head down now. The trail remains open with great views. You are headed down now to a good river crossing (good meaning you will have to get your feet wet).



I forgot to take a picture showing the extent of this creek crossing. I honestly was more concerned with safely crossing the creek and forgot. The creek is wide through here but still fast moving. Luckily the highest spots were still below your knee. We took our time and put on sandals and slowly crossed Grouse Creek. The water was seriously freezing. It only hurt for a little while though as it quickly numbed your feet. I would say there were 4 sections like the one you see below that had to be crossed in succession.



After we safely made it across we dried off our feet, put on our boots and continued down the trail. The trail is more covered now and there are several small creeks to cross (actual creeks now, not creeks that look like rivers). Here is a shot of the trail through this section. There were tons of pine cones. I would say we had a plethora.



This shot shows the next junction with Upper Relief Valley. We stayed right and went toward Lower Relief Valley. We were curious what the next creek crossing might be like (Relief Creek after it combines with Summit Creek) so we continued on.



It was a little hard to take a picture that showed you the amount of water in this creek. The section in front of Tyler is moving, but it is backed up some as the white water through the trees is the main part of the creek and not letting much of this water in. We heard this creek ripping through here much sooner than we could see it. We didn't try to wander further upstream to see if there is any way to continue on the trail that is on the other side of the white water



If you look close at the white water section on the right through the gap in the bushes you can tell it is headed downhill toward the reservoir. Should you be unfortunate enough to fall in through here I am sure you would end up in the reservoir. So we decided to head back to have lunch on a nice log before crossing Grouse Creek again and heading back to camp.



We only saw one other group on the trail that day and they were headed out to the point past Grouse Creek. This section has some nice tree cover and likely has some nice camping spots. None of that area would have as nice a view as our site did, but the water access looked good. Here is Tyler on the way back to our site, pretty close now.



We still had time to head down the to the water. I thought about going in, briefly, but the clouds were picking up again so I decided against it. I did have some time to grab some cool shots on the way back up to camp. I like this one with the piled rocks in the foreground.



Here is camp. I brought my older REI Halfdome as it breathes better than my Scout UL2. With the forecast of "HOT" I thought it was well worth the extra weight. I had to leave the rainfly on because of the threatening afternoon clouds.



Here is the creek we usually filtered our water from. No trick photography here, it was really flowing that fast. I actually took this on the way out.



Here is the Fire Marshall at camp tending to his fire. Good job with the fire Tyler. It also gave me chance to use my collapsible bucket. We had it filled and ready. Luckily it cooled down quite a bit that night (once the sun went down) so we could have a little fire. This was an awesome trip with lots of water. I recommend that you make a point of getting out to the Sierras this summer to experience it. Tyler and I stayed up for a while looking at the stars (no moon to spoil the perfectly clear sky. I was able to see a few satellites and a couple shooting stars as well. I will leave you with a few shots that didn't fit into the trip description.


Glowing tree...


The view to the west from camp.



The wildflowers are not out here in force yet, but I am sure they will be soon enough.


Go back to Page 1 by clicking here. Scroll down for map and elevation profile.


Red line shows the section we hiked with packs.
Blue line is day hike on day 2 to Grouse Creek and Summit Creek (and return trip).
Elevation profiles below map.

Click on map or profile for larger version.

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