Phone: (530) 293-3510 . Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. John Muir referred to the Sierra Nevada as "the most beautiful of all the mountain chains" or, more poetically, "the range of light." 4) Check in with the ranger stations for campground restrictions. However, since Desolation Wilderness is filled with lakes, mountain peaks, changing weather and wildlife, it can also be a dangerous place for those who are inexperienced. The fishing in all the Lakes is supposed to be quite decent. This trail crosses a beautiful forrest of pines for 1 mile. All funding comes from the USFS via donations in the box at the Pacific Ranger Station, overnight permit fees, parking fees (Twin Bridges and Eagle Falls), and grants written by the USFS on behalf of the Desolation Wilderness Volunteers. https://www.gaiagps.com/hike/united-states/california/desolation-wilderness This trail (which remains anonymous as of the time when this is written) was very secluded and showed significant signs of bear activity - testimony of the very few people who seem to use it. The trail from Glen Alpine to Lake Aloha is well marked and quite easy to follow. Day use is not subject to fees nor limited by quota at any time of the year. Permit information., Planning tips, Routes and Maps Desolation Wilderness - Pyramid Lake. The proximity to the lake makes it a popular destination. How to Obtain an Overnight Permit for Desolation Wilderness 1) Pre-trip Planning: • Carefully review Desolation Wilderness rules and regulations. I plan on backpacking for a two night trip in Desolation Wilderness starting at the Pyramid Creek Trailhead with a few friends. The climbing never got difficult to the point that we would require ropes and climbing gear. As a consequence, there are endless possibilities for exploring the backcountry. Being the good law-abiding firearm owner that I am, I called the NF office to assure myself that open carry in the Eldorado National Forest is legal and allowed. I would rate this as a class 3. Snow chained may be required. Our intention was to blend regular trail backpacking and off-trail exploration. After studying various maps and talking to rangers, we set a route. At waterfall camp, you'll have the opportunity to explore over 50 waterfalls. You must camp in the designated zone on the first night but are free to camp anywhere on the nights that follow. Trip Overview: ~38 mile backpacking trip in Desolation Wilderness near South Lake Tahoe. Today was our last day on the trail and we had planned to go back to the parking lot. From there, the road becomes unmaintained, yet still manageable for non-SUVs. Phone: (530) 543-2674 . The few bouldering sections are relatively easy and display large grips. Highlights include alpine lakes, granite peaks, and expansive views of Desolation Wilderness. My goal is to inspire you to get out there and explore this amazing state. This wilderness area is in the Sierra Mountain range where rugged natural wonders rule. We figured this would be an unofficial “off the beaten path” trail and enjoyed the idea of going back this way. The Desolation Wilderness lies in the north of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, close to Lake Tahoe. It then turns onto a steep and stunning canyon with expansive views of the southern flanks of Desolation Wilderness. The permits list your information, where you are going and allow rangers to know where you are hiking. Permits are required – day use permits can be issued at the trail. It is located in a steep bowl that offers very few visible flat spots. I started complaining about the fact that the section we had just done would have been much easier, safer and quicker, if covered with snow. I was driving on Highway 50 to the Pacific Ranger Station at Pollock Pines to pick up my permit for the Desolation Wilderness for the week. From South Lake Tahoe, get on Highway 89 heading north and take a left on Fallen Leaf Road. Wrights Lake Campground is situated in the timber belt, close to the lake shore, looking up at the majestic rocky peaks of the Sierra Nevadas and Desolation Wilderness. We set up our tent and called it a night. Make sure to empty your car of all food items (this is prime bear country), take your permit, and you are good to go ! You will need to obtain backcountry permits at one of the 3 Ranger Stations (two of them being located on the south shore of Lake Tahoe). The coordinates are 38.877214, -120.080302.Warning: This trailhead is quite remote. Taylor Creek Station. After many years of being a full time freelance writer, and a long time resident of this state, I've decided to turn my full attention toward California by exploring all that it has to offer. On river left, 68.8 miles of the 84 miles are managed by the Uintah-Ouray tribal government and 13.8 miles are within that portion of the Desolation Canyon Wilderness Study Area managed by the Moab Field Office. We headed out on a sunny Sunday to Lake Aloha. After 3 miles, you will pass a lodge. My conclusion of this summer trip was that this is a great area for winter snowshoeing and backcountry skiing. We packed our gear and headed north of Aloha Lake towards the base of Jacks Peak (see the map for more details). A list of other trailheads that provide access to the wilderness follows. Several sites offer sweeping views of Wrights Lake. Description: The Desolation Wilderness encompasses 64,053 acres of rugged alpine terrain in the Tahoe region of the Sierra Nevada. It is part of the Eldorado National Forrest and managed by the Forrest Service. The Mount Rose Wilderness is located southwest of Reno, Nevada. It required going a few hundred feet down, then going back up. The adventure starts at Glen Alpine Falls. Alternatively you can fill the wilderness permits up in any major trail head. Along the route you are treated to amazing scenery with highlights including: alpine lakes, granite peaks, meadows, waterfalls, and expansive views of El Dorado National… We made our way up, sometimes hiking steep uphills, sometimes doing actual climbing. From there we could see Dicks Peak and Dicks Lake in the distance. But don’t let this scare you away from enjoying 64,000 acres (100 square miles) of subalpine and alpine forest, granitic peaks, meadows of wildflowers, 75 glacially-formed lakes with names, and countless ones without names. Top. The high grade and loose rocks made the crossing long and frustrating. From there we could see Jacks Peak’s summit. Past Susie Lake, the trail follows its path towards Heather Lake and climbs another 600 ft for 2 miles towards Lake Aloha. There is no official sign at the top. The crest of the Sierra Nevada is found here. Overnight permits must be reserved in advance and picked up at the ranger station. Desolation Wilderness Thanks to it’s breathtaking granite landscape and easy accessibility, the Desolation Wilderness is one of the most popular wilderness areas in the country. The unmaintained trail goes past Horsetail Falls (a neat destination itself) up to several beautiful lakes in Desolation Wilderness. If you choose not to take the water taxi, add 5 miles to the overall trip. the Desolation Canyon Wilderness Area for 43.7 miles. • Consider the size of your group and the skill level of the least experienced person in your group. … It sits well above the tree line, making it a perfect spot to enjoy 360 degrees views of the surrounding mountains. You can get one at the Pacific Ranger District Ranger station in Pollock Pines. Most of the hiking is done between 6,000 and 10,000 ft. Fallen Leaf road is not plowed during winter. From Jacks Peak’s summit, the ridge towards Dicks Peak made itself quite obvious. Continue towards the fire station. Hikers climbing out of the densely wooded Lake Tahoe basin are often startled by the Desolation Wilderness' sudden expanse of … The trail going down the canyon was exceptionally steep and took us 1,600 ft down for about 1.5 miles. We completed this short distance backpacking trip over 3 days in July of 2018. If the first section up Jacks peak consisted of an easy class 3, I would rate the way down towards the ridge as an average to difficult class 3.We really wanted to make it up to Dicks Peak, but it started getting late in the day. For day hikers, permits are free. After studying our maps, I had decided we would travel off-trail and join Dicks Lake (our destination) by way of two-mountain passes: Jacks peak and Dicks Peak. This wilderness straddles both sides of the Sierra Nevada, averages 12.5 miles in length and eight miles in width, and has elevations ranging from about 6,500 feet to over 10,000 feet. The first mile consists of a unmaintained concrete road winding up past Lily Lake. The remaining This adventure can be done throughout the year. The Pacific Crest Trail passes through the length of the wilderness, and its proximity to roads makes it one of the more easily accessible wildernesses in the Sierra. Desolation Wilderness. You can fill out a permit at the trailheads. 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