Category Long Lake
Upper Relief Loop
Deer Lake to Wood Lake to Karls Lake Jct
11S0258005 4229564 11S0258833
Main trail junction Campsite
East/West trails Jct Jct (west)
Campsite w/fire ring Campsite w/trees Jct at Wood Lk
Jct east of Deer Lk Jct Wood Lake north Jct Wood Lk @ Crk Jct Wood Lake post Jct to Karls Lake
Description In 2005 I camped at Long Lake. There are several large campsites along the northwest border of the lake. Although these camps are fine, they don’t get afternoon sun and water access is tricky. A better choice may be a campsite near the dam at the south side of the lake.
This trip was my first adventure to Upper Relief Valley. Although the trip for its scenery was worthwhile, it was not a place I recommend to camp. The (unnamed) lake is more a bog around it’s perimeter, there is little easy access to the lake, and even though there is adequate flat ground to set up camp there are no decent campsites. If doing Upper Relief as a loop, I strongly recommend traveling from the east junction to the high meadow & lake and returning via the west junction. It is this path which will provide the best enjoyment upon reaching the meadow.
The not signed junction on the south side neck of the two main bodies of Wood Lake is difficult to observe when traveling east, but is easily found when traveling west. As indicated on the map, the junction is located between two granite knolls above Wood Lake after it necks down. The trail from here is easily followed over peaty soil, it travels up to a saddle and then down the other side over open granite by following ducks. I took three GPS marker settings to help me find the right set of ducks on return. While scouting the lake, I found an established campsite, although there are likely others.
It took me two trips to Emigrant before I successfully made it to Karls Lake. Start by going east at the junction of the Wire/Long Lakes trail at the north side of Deer Lake. In about 1/4 km you will cross the outlet creek to Long Lake, stay right (south), the other trail leads up to the Long Lake dams and secluded campsites. After another 1 km you’ll reach a junction east of Deer Lake, go south towards Wood Lake. From here you’ll loose about 200 ft elevation in about 1-1/2 km when you reach a campsite at the north end of Wood Lake and a confusing set of trail junctions. At the campsite the trail (Jct Wood Lake north) immediately turns 180 degrees to the west to climb over a granite knoll overlooking the lake, whereas the lower trail takes you to a peninsula campsite (which may not be legal). Follow the trail about 3/4 km west to a creek crossing (Jct Wood Lake @ Crk) and cross the creek. From here the trail follows the creek for a short distance (or alternately you can climb the trail through a campsite which ultimately intersects the main trail) until you reach the junction with the Wood Lake sign post. At the post follow the trail east around the western lobe of Wood Lake, then up as you parallel the neck of the lake to the junction for Karls Lake. Follow the instructions above to find the junction and to reach Karls Lake.
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