Emigrant Wilderness

Area Status: Open

Emigrant Wilderness Page


The 113,000 acre Emigrant Wilderness; bordered by Yosemite National Park on the south,the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest on the east, and State Highway 108 on the north; is an elongated area that trends northeast about 25 miles in length and up to 15 miles in width. Watersheds drain to the Stanislaus and Tuolumne Rivers.

 Congress designated the Emigrant Wilderness in 1975, but most of the area was protected as a Forest Service Primitive Area since the 1920’s. The Emigrant Wilderness is a glaciated landscape of great scenic beauty. The northeastern third of the Wilderness is dominated by volcanic ridges and peaks; the remaining areas consist of many sparsely vegetated, granitic ridges interspersed with numerous lakes and meadows.

 Elevations range from below 5000 feet near Cherry Reservoir to 11,570 feet at Leavitt Peak. Precipitation averages 50 inches annually, 80 percent of it in the form of snow. Snowpacks typically linger into June, sometimes later following very wet winters. Summers are generally dry and mild, but afternoon thundershowers occur periodically and nighttime temperatures could dip below freezing anytime. The mosquitoes are thick near wet areas during June and July. Some of the Emigrant still includes cattle grazing allotments, and you may encounter cows or their signs from July to September.

Please take a moment to learn our wilderness regulations and review Leave No Trace methods before visiting this outstanding national resource.




Purchase maps at any Stanislaus National Forest Ranger Station or the Forest Service online store.

View a  map of the wilderness.

View a  map of trail distances in the wilderness.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Summit Ranger District (HWY 108)
Permit Info: A Wilderness permit is required for overnight visits to the Emigrant Wilderness. 
Closest Towns: Pinecrest, Cold Springs, Twain Harte, Sonora.
Information Center: Please read the information about Traveling in Bear Country.

General Information

General Notes:

For more information please visit the Stanislaus National Forest Recreational Opportunity Guides listed below:

 [Symbol]: horseback 

For guide services contact: 

Kennedy Meadows Resort

Aspen Meadow Pack Station   

Operated under special use permit within the Stanislaus National Forest.



Lake and Pond Fishing

River and Stream Fishing


Horse Riding

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Featured Events