This loop is best accomplished in 2 days, spending a night at either Ralston, Tamarack, or Cagwin Lake. This trip can easily be extended to an overnight backpacking trip with a stay near Lake Aloha. There are large and small sizes, but since we were going for a week I opted for the larger one. … When camping and backpacking, visitors are required to bury human waste, pack out all garbage, and practice all Leave No Trace methods. There is a decently sized parking lot at the trailhead, but parking is also available on the road up. While my wife Liz, our dog Loosey and good friend Karyn had the privilege of spending 5 relaxing nights out in Desolation, my brother Joel, his girlfriend Nicole, their dog Gus and I only had the time to share their last nights camp … I find a spot not far from the lake and with enough breeze to keep the mosquitoes at bay (as well as keep me cool). Desolation Wilderness is accessed through 13 trailheads: Loon Lake, Van Vleck, Rockbound, Twin Lakes, Lyons Creek, Pyramid Creek, Ralston Peak, Echo Lake, Glen Alpine, Mt. Perhaps if we had entered from the west side we would've been successful, but the lost city of "waterfall camp" has yet to be proven real. The easiest way to start this hike is to start at the Echo Lakes. Named after its unmistakable shape, from a distance it looks like a huge granite pyramid. Share on LinkedIn. WILDLIFE VIEWING. After a hot day of hiking, there is no better way to relax than with a swim in beautiful Lake Aloha where you can spend hours swimming from island to island. If you want to extend your trip, these are fantastic places to camp and are extremely accessible. Overnight camping will still be permitted in Desolation Wilderness and within 500 feet of the Pacific Crest Trail. Search campgrounds, glamping, and hotels near Echo Lake. Because desolation is a wilderness area, you must fill out a permit before entering the area. Desolation Wilderness is one of the largest wilderness areas near Lake Tahoe at almost 64,000 acres. Located at the southern end of the Crystal Range, at 9,983 feet Pyramid Peak is the alpha peak in Californias Desolation Wilderness Area. Alpine lakes, boat-in campgrounds, and bald eagles are just a few of the amazing things that await visitors. #4 - Lake of the Woods via Pacific Crest Trail, #5 - PCT: CA Section K - Echo Lake to Highway 80. Although this hike can be done as a day hike, there are incredible camping spots near the lake. Ralston Peak is a classic south Lake Tahoe backcountry skiing and snowboarding area, and is excellent for hiking in the summer, too. The lowest elevation in the park is about 4,000 feet and Pyramid Peak reaches up to 9,7… The trail from Dicks Pass to Susie Lake drops 1590 feet of elevation in 2.93 miles. Share on Facebook. Desolation Canyon. It was nuts and we were lucky to find one of the last spots on the road. At waterfall camp, you'll have the opportunity to explore over 50 waterfalls. Will be back in the future to track this down! Although this hike can be done as a day hike, there are incredible camping spots near the lake. Pyramid Peak is a prominent Tahoe landmark, which can be seen from as far away as t… The sunrises here are incredible as the sun will rise above Lake Aloha which you will have views of if you camp on the bench. Permits are required in Desolation Wilderness. Desolation Wilderness is jointly administered by both the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. At 290,845 acres, the Desolation Canyon Wilderness Study Area is the largest WSA managed by BLM in the contiguous 48 states. The taxi costs $12 round trip. It is important to do a small amount of scouting before you commit to one route. Snow Camping at Lake Aloha in Desolation Wilderness Sometimes a last-minute planned trip doesn’t go the best, but we managed to pull this one off! The trail head is southwest of Fallen Leaf Lake. During the winter months, most of the trailheads are covered by snow and are not accessible. Although this route is similar to hiking Ralston Peak in the summer, the trails are completely covered by snow so solid navigation skills are n... You'll start the hike at the Echo Lakes trailhead, just off of Highway 50 in Lake Tahoe. The Wilderness sits on the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountain’s Crystal Range, west of Lake Tahoe, and north of Highway 50. The trail meanders past Lower and Upper Echo Lakes, slowly gaining altitude as you pass a smattering of summer cabins. adventures and follow local regulations. It is located west of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50 in El Dorado County. The maximum group size is 12 people, and leashed pets are allowed. I wish you luck on your journey. Not a bad end to the day. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your Desolation Wilderness is a 64,000-acre forest area near Lake Tahoe, California with a generous amount of alpine lakes, running creeks, and hiking trails to explore. The hike to Lake Aloha is the ultimate day hike in Desolation Wilderness. If you decide to go, please practice Leave No Trace. Many topo maps will actually show the small pool that is present at the top of the waterfalls. We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Route Name: Bayview Trailhead Location: South Lake Tahoe, California Duration: 3 days minimum Length:22 km / 13.8 miles There is ample parking above the marina and you even have the option of taking a water taxi across the echo lakes to cut off around 2.5 miles of the hike. Desolation Wilderness is open for foot traffic and equestrian use only—all means of mechanical transportation (including snowmobiles) will not be allowed. I camped at what used to be called John Allen's camp, which had been developed in the 1930s by the neighbor below our cabin on Stanford Hill, Fallen Leaf Lake. There are many large boulders to hurdle along the way. Backpack to this secluded destination that's hidden from most of the traffic in Desolation Wilderness. Keep walking around the western shore until you find an area where a considerable amount of water is flowing into the Lake and there is a sharp juxtaposition between the granite flows and a lush green area. HIKING. This hike starts by steadily climbing the PCT towards Lake Aloha. Note: As of 10/3/2020, users have reported that Wrights Lake Rd is gated off just past the equestrian camp, so parking is limited. The Outbound works best with JavaScript enabled. Although this hike can be done as a day hike, it is an awesome place to camp. The easiest way to start this hike is to start at the Echo Lakes. Day 3: PCT / TRT back to Echo Lakes Trailhead. - John Muir . If you're looking for a weekend backpacking trip with the most bang for your buck, look no further than Desolation Wilderness. Desolation Wilderness contains 100 square miles (63,960 acres) of gorgeous mountainous terrain on the southwest side of Lake Tahoe, above Emerald Bay. Lake of the Woods via Pacific Crest Trail, PCT: CA Section K - Echo Lake to Highway 80. We did this hike on our second trip backpacking. The lakeside eating is pleasant as the sun sets. This nature wonderland is exactly what its name suggests, wilderness and desolation. The hike up was less than 4 miles with an … Desolation wilderness is not so desolate Signed up for a meet-up hike to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower. CAMPING. Don't overlook other areas of the … Trailhead approximate address: Fallen Leaf Lake, Glen Alpine Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150. Because of its beauty and accessibility, Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the United States. There is a trailhead with parking on the north side of Hwy 50 at Camp Sacramento. There is ample parking above the marina and you even have the option of taking a water taxi across the echo lakes to cut off around 2.5 miles of the hike. Lake Tahoe is one of our favorite places on … Most people do this route as an overnighter, camping at either Lyons and Sylvia Lakes. I did it (with a friend--I can't recall) without a backpack because it was just a day trip from my campsite. While I can see a couple of people camping around the lake, none are very close. Make sure to call ahead to the Placerville Ranger Station in Camino, CA to reserve a wilderness permit ($6 reservation fee plus $5/person for the 1st night, $10 more than 1 night). Pyramid Peak is a prominent Tahoe landmark, which can be seen from as far away as the Coastal Range, and on clear days it can be clearly seen from Sacramento, almost 100 miles away. Lake Tahoe Desolation Wilderness – The Snake Range Hiking Camping, Great Firebox Food! The one-way distance is about 5.7 miles, with about 3,300' of elevation gain. Though 10 miles from the trailhead, it’s still a popular spot. In order to protect its unique beauty and wilderness character, human access is limited and certain activities are restricted in the Desolation. Elevation 7800 feet. There is a lot to explore and you will want to spend as much there time as you can. In fact, there were no bears in the Lake Tahoe region from the late 1940s thru the 1960s. Explore the most popular camping trails in Desolation Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. When there isn’t a global pandemic and it is the summer season, you can shave nearly 2.5 miles off of your hike … WATER SPORTS. This 12 mile loop starts at the Fallen Leaf Lake Tamarack Trail Head and intersects with the Pacific Crest Trail. Desolation Wilderness has been my favorite destination for backpacking lately since it’s so close to home, and there are so many spots and trails I still want to explore. The best place to camp is above most of the waterfalls at a beautiful alpine pool. Note: Wright Lake Road is closed during the winter when it snows. This means packing out all your trash and camp at least 100 feet from any lake shore. Is pleasant as the sun sets to extend your trip, these are places..., start heading north following the water taxi, add 5 miles the... 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