dogs on leash
Great hike. Picked a perfect day, nice and sunny, but not too hot. Start early or it really heats up when you get above the tree line. We hiked with 3 liters of water and had it been hotter, we would have needed every drop. Chose to have lunch before the peak as the chipmunks and yellow jackets wanted to share it with us. It was a good call. Beautiful views from the top and the trail was very easy to follow. Only complaint would be the amount of people that were out there. Would be a great decision to hike on a weekday. The weekend is very busy. Great hike!
Went on a backpacking and fishing trip here in August. If camping and you are able, do yourself a favor and try to go midweek, it gets packed on the weekends and suddenly Desolation Wilderness isn't so desolate.
A few tips: you'll want to wear sturdy hiking boots as the landscape is almost entirely granite shards of every conceivable shape and size. It's not hard to imagine turning an ankle. Bring rope to tie up your food well out of the way of marmots and bears. No fires permitted (for now) so a backpacking stove or a middle finger to the rules is a must (we used a stove). For anglers, black and yellow panther Martin was gettin em all day but very consistently at sundown. Some really beautiful brook trout in all the creeks and lakes here.
Would love to come back and explore the numerous other lakes out here. Great rock jumps into water too!
My Fitbit tracked this as an 11 mile hike in and out (11.3 if you count the walk back to the car), and it was quite the trek up to the top! However, the view from the top made the up hill climb well worth it! Bring plenty of water, you'll definitely need it.
Hiked the trails last weekend. My Watch showed 5.1 miles one way. Probably the most beautiful and toughest hikes I have ever done but the view from the top is worth every step. The trail from cathedral lake to the summit made me feel like quitting so many times but the views kept me going (and am glad for it). Take at least 2L of water, between my wife I and if we used up around 5L. We packed a sandwich for the summit and carried trail mix for the road. Other than yellow jackets you may also find squirrels at the top trying to be friendly with you for food.