Permits are required year-round for both day and overnight use. On the southern shore of Gilmore Lake, we made a right turn on a very narrow - almost hard to see - trail and followed it down. We completed this short distance backpacking trip over 3 days in July of 2018. This may sound strange to some ears, but I will always prefer snow over loose rocks and brushes. The following is a list to better prepare you for your next Desolation Wilderness adventure: For a list of Desolation Wilderness trailheads, click here. I would rate this as a class 3. We had a great time exploring this region of Desolation Wilderness. After studying various maps and talking to rangers, we set a route. Fallen Leaf road is not plowed during winter. From there, the road becomes unmaintained, yet still manageable for non-SUVs. Please follow my adventures and news content by visiting Calexplornia daily or clicking on one of my Social Media accounts below. If going during peak season, I highly recommend reserving your permit in advance as it fills up quickly. Samuel Loy About Companies Adventure Reports Contact Companies Adventure Reports Contact However, since it was August, we opted for a late evening swim in the fresh water lake, before setting our tent and getting ready for the night. Permits are capped for each wilderness zone. Description: The Desolation Wilderness encompasses 64,053 acres of rugged alpine terrain in the Tahoe region of the Sierra Nevada. 2020 Season: Hard-copy Day Use Permits will be temporarily suspended in Desolation Wilderness for the 2020 season, due to the current COVID-19 situation. Desolation is a popular backpacking destination, with much barren rocky terrain at the edge of the tree line. For day hikers, permits are free. The proximity to the lake makes it a popular destination. The campground offers dozens of campsites for tent and RV camping. The Tahoe Rim Trail and Pacific Crest Trail pass through the wilderness. It was Tuesday, September 15. Lake Aloha quickly became one of my favorite backcountry lakes in the Sierra. The few bouldering sections are relatively easy and display large grips. 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. After scrambling a few more hundred feet up through loose rocks and dense brushes, we made it to the top of Jacks peak. It seemed that the obvious way to get back to our car was to join Glen Alpine Trail, however we usually prefer doing loops than going back the way we came from. As a consequence, there are endless possibilities for exploring the backcountry. Camping and Lodging near Pyramid Peak Camping Desolation Annual Pass Holder: Free. 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. Located west of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50, the Desolation Wilderness is a spectacular area of subalpine and alpine forests, granitic peaks, and glacially formed valleys and lake basins. https://www.gaiagps.com/hike/united-states/california/desolation-wilderness Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Desolation Wilderness Area ─ Use Permits. 3) Dogs must be on a leash at all times. The area is well-known for its hiking, wildflowers and birding. We hiked this section at the end of the day and I found the colors to be stunning. The remaining 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. The permits list your information, where you are going and allow rangers to know where you are hiking. 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. I plan on backpacking for a two night trip in Desolation Wilderness starting at the Pyramid Creek Trailhead with a few friends. View of north side of Aloha Lake while climbing Jacks Peak, Resting before the final push towards Jacks Peak, View of the ridge from Jacks Peak to Dicks Peak, View of Dicks Lake from the summit of Jacks Peak, View of Dicks Lake from eastern ridge of Dicks Peak. Make sure to empty your car of all food items (this is prime bear country), take your permit, and you are good to go ! Taylor Creek Station. We packed our gear and headed north of Aloha Lake towards the base of Jacks Peak (see the map for more details). The crest of the Sierra Nevada is found here. 50% of the permits are available to reserve beforehand and the other 50% are available the day of the trip at the ranger station near Pollock Pines. Desolation Wilderness. Desolation Wilderness Volunteers is a volunteer organization that works directly with and under the USFS. Phone: (530) 644-2324 4260 Eight Mile Road Camino, CA 95709. 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… Dates: June 27-28, 2009 Duration: 2 days, 1 night Mileage: ~?? This adventure can be done throughout the year. Map. As the sun sets, the last dim of light slowly vanishes behind the surrounding peaks and is slowly replaced by a red glow that surrounds the lake and provides magnificent colors to that environment. A list of other trailheads that provide access to the wilderness follows. • Consider the size of your group and the skill level of the least experienced person in your group. When we got to Tahoe Ranger STation… It is accessible from the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin. From there, we followed the PCT trail to Gilmore Lake for another 2.5 miles. 14 Tips for hiking in Desolation Wilderness, The Underwater Forest of Fallen Leaf Lake, Fallen Leaf Lake: How this Sierra Mountain Lake got its name, Glen Alpine Trail: From Lilly Lake and Modjeska Falls to the Old Resort and Grass Lake, Modjeska Falls: a seasonal beauty with a historically famous name, The Maiden’s Grave: A story of hope, loss and mistaken graves, The Murderous Tale of Tragedy Spring and the Mormon Emigrant Trail, USOUTDOOR.com Sale! During peak season, the parking lot fills quickly and it can be tricky to find a spot. 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