OverviewGianelli Cabin is a very popular summer time trailhead in the Emigrant Wilderness. Located only a few miles East of Dodge Ridge ski area and Lake Pinecrest it is a popular place for both dayhikes and overnights of all lengths. It offers a much higher starting point than the nearby trailheads of Crabtree(7100ft) and Bell Meadows(6500ft).
The main trail out from Gianelli Cabin starts by gently climbing through the trees up to Burst Rock. Here the entire upper reaches of the South Fork of the Stanislaus River open up. Views of Cooper Peak, Castle Peak, and the Three Chimneys are excellent. A short distance away(1.5miles) Powell Lake offers a nice swimming hole. Chewing Gum Lake is another nice destination for those looking for a moderate dayhike(3.4miles). There are endless opportunities for multiday hikes from Gianelli Cabin, try heading toward Long Lake(10miles), Deer Lake(11miles), or Emigrant Lake(15miles) for some solitude, fishing, and excellent swimming/cliff diving. These can also be reached from the Crabtree Trailhead.
The trailhead is usually accessible staring in late June to early July. Due to its higher elevation and the fact that it's a dirt road, it usually takes longer than other trailheads to get open.
I am in need of pictures anyone that can help please post or PM me.
Getting ThereTo reach the Gianelli Cabin trailhead take highway 108 toward Pinecrest and turn East onto Pinecrest Lake Road(right for those coming from the West). Follow Pinecrest Lake Rd past the old firestation and take a right onto Dodge Ridge Rd. Follow this past several campgrounds toward the Dodge Ridge ski area. Before you reach the Dodge Ridge ski area you'll want to turn right onto forest road 4N26 toward Aspen Meadows. This junction will be signed. Head toward Aspen Meadows staying left at the pack station. After another 2.5 miles you will come on the signed junction for Crabtree and Gianelli Cabin, head left up the hill toward Gianelli Cabin. The road is in pretty good shape most of the way and usually passable to all vehicles.
If you get off route and take one of the alternate roads to Gianelli Cabin(on top of the ridgeline) they become deeply rutted and 4wd/high clearance only. There is a good sized signed parking area at the trailhead, though it can be full during summer weekends. By my recollection there are no facilities or water available at the trailhead(anyone want to confirm that?).