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Bay Area Backcountry Buddies Message Board › Emigrants for the Perseid meteor shower--Thursday night through Monday Aug 8-12

Emigrants for the Perseid meteor shower--Thursday night through Monday Aug 8-12

user 61862262
Richmond, CA
Post #: 1
I got a start on organizing this at the NorCal Hikers 20's/30's group, but as it's short notice and one or two more folks could be nice, I'm cross-posting here. (As of posting it yesterday, I've got one for-certain sign-up and one if-I-can-make-it sign-up. My ideal for a group size is 3 to 5--small enough for simplicity, big enough for variety.)­ or email me and I can add a +1 to my own RSVP.

The Perseid meteor shower peaks between the 11th and 12th, and the Emigrant Wilderness, with altitude, low light pollution, and lots of magnificent open places with wide sky views, is an ideal place to see them. This trip will be loosely scripted, exploratory, paced for stopping to smell the flowers and climb on the cool rocks, and more about soaking up the beauty of the wilderness than going for the endorphin highs. I've never been to this area. I've got maps, photos, lots of suggestions from friends who've been there, and experience in similar terrain. Let's go exploring!

Thursday evening we'll drive to the Crabtree Trailhead at the end of Crabtree Road just south of Pinecrest and camp there. This will give as a night to acclimate to the altitude (7160' at the trailhead, and the trip will take us to or near 9,000'--nothing extreme, but enough that we sea-level dwellers will feel it) and spare us a crack-of-dawn Friday drive. Since this trip is partly oriented around stargazing, there will be no crack-of-dawn anything and plenty of space to sleep in and/or have leisurely morning coffee before the day's adventures.

Friday we'll hike 4.5 miles with about 1700' elevation gain to Chewing Gum Lake, which has been very highly recommended to me as a beautiful and serene spot with few visitors. My tentative plan (I like to keep wilderness plans tentative) is to make Chewing Gum Lake our base camp and devote Saturday and Sunday to day hikes--the area is packed with beautiful lakes and places to explore both on- and off-trail. One hike I definitely want to do is to head cross-country to intersect the use trail that runs from Bear Lake up to Granite Lake, a mountaintop lake with wonderful rock formations. (An alternate possibility we could consider would be to camp at Granite Lake on Saturday night.)

Monday will be a fun hike out, *not* a death march toward restaurants and showers--let's enjoy our last day in the wilderness! We can break up the drive with a dinner break along the way and aim to get back to the bay area in the late evening but not the middle of the night.

Bear canisters are highly recommended in the Sierras. I have no idea how good the food-hanging opportunities would be at any of our potential camping spots here, and I'd encourage bringing a canister, but if you're thoroughly knowledgeable and confident about proper hanging techniques, you can consider it.

I'll be departing from the east bay after work on Thursday with somewhat flexible timing. Google makes it less than a 3 1/2 hour drive, but add a bit for traffic and another bit because I've been warned that the last couple miles of Crabtree Road are full of potholes. There's a very small detour to pick up a free wilderness permit at the Summit ranger station just off the highway at #1 Pinecrest Lake Road, Pinecrest, CA. Permits are free and can be picked up after hours. My Corolla will take three passengers comfortably.
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