Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Emigrant Wilderness - Chewing Gum Lake

I just finished my second trip to Chewing Gum Lake (8700ft) in Emigrant Wilderness. Six weeks earlier, I enjoyed the abundant wildflowers of Emigrant Wilderness, the reflective waters of Chewing Gum Lake and the voracious blood thirsty mosquitoes. Now that September is here, most of the wildflowers are gone but so are the mosquitoes. The skies were clear for the weekend, but a steady wind met us at the lake Saturday evening and blew harder on Sunday. One advantage of all that wind is it provided incredibly clear skies and the best stargazing I have ever experienced in the back country. The photo below is an eleven minute exposure taken Saturday evening before the wind started to blow. The tree was briefly highlighted by my son's headlamp.

(click on image for a larger view)

Why hike to Chewing Gum Lake? At 4.5 miles, this destination is perfect for those who would prefer a leisurely hike (700ft elevation gain, 600ft elevation loss) as opposed to a death march! Hiking in early to mid summer will surround you in the wildflowers (vibrant Mule Ears pictured left) of Emigrant Wilderness. Even though the lake is a popular destination spot, it is a big enough lake that you can find isolation even on a busy holiday weekend.

Trailhead: HWY 108 East towards Pinecrest. R on Pinecrest Lake Rd. R on Dodge Ridge Rd. R on forest road 4N26 toward Aspen Meadows. Turn L at the signed junction for Gianelli Cabin and Crabtree Trailheads. Continue on dirt road approximately 2.5 miles to Trailhead. Note: Free Wilderness Permit must be obtained at Summit Ranger Station (Corner of Hwy 108 & Pinecrest Lake Rd) for any overnight stays. Also, there are no services at the trailhead, water or toilets. Plan accordingly.


Anonymous said...

5/30/14; Just got back from Chewing Gum Lake.Very cold at night.Started from the Gianelli Trailhead,up to Burst Rock,down to Powell lake and then back up and down to Chewing Gum Lake.Bring trekking poles/walking sticks and good hiking boots. The "snow fields" on the trail can be treacherous.

Dave Miller said...

The snow can definitely affect the trails this early in the season. Hope you had a good time. I'm thinking of heading back out there this summer.