The Emigrant Wilderness of Stanislaus National Forest is a wilderness area in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, USA. It is bordered by Yosemite National Park on the south, the Toiyabe National Forest and the Hoover Wilderness on the east, and State Route 108 over Sonora Pass on the north. It is an elongated area that extends northeast about 25 miles (40 km) in length and up to 15 miles (24 km) in width. Watersheds drain to the Stanislaus and Tuolumne Rivers. This area is entirely within Tuolumne County, California and is approximately 140 miles (230 km) east of San Francisco, California and 50 miles (80 km) south of Lake Tahoe.
The Emigrant Wilderness is a glaciated landscape of 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. To see that contrast, compare the red volcanic rock in the image of Emigrant Meadow (below Right) with the granite in the other images.
Elevations range from below 5,000 feet (1,500 m) near Cherry Reservoir to 11,570 feet (3,527 m) at Leavitt Peak, but the elevation range of most of the popular areas is 7,500 to 9,000 feet (2,300 to 2,700 m). Precipitation averages 50 inches (1,300 mm) annually, 80% 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.
From Sonora Pass in the north, the Pacific Crest Trail follows a scenic route at the east edge of the Emigrant Wilderness along the high ridge past Leavitt Peak, turns further east from Kennedy Canyon to Bond Pass, and then heads south down Jack Main Canyon.
Many other trails crisscross the Emigrant Wilderness, from Leavitt Meadow on the East side, Kennedy Meadow on the West side, and other trailheads. Highlights include cliffs in the Granite Dome area and lakes such as Emigrant Lake, Huckleberry Lake, and Lake Lertoria.