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The trail is seemingly impossible to follow, especially on the way down. The hike was definitely fun (lots of scrambling and adventuring on the rocks) and I would do it again, but it only gets 3 stars because the "trail" was so hard to follow.

Great trail. Walked with my 10 years old daughter and her friend. Good walk out.

The ideal introduction to hiking trails in Tahoe. Spectacular views begin almost immediately. Granite Lake, about half way up, is charmingly picturesque, and there are more stunning views nearing the saddle. You can stop and go back at any point and have a pleasant hike. You can do it in 3 hours but why not take longer and enjoy it.

hiking
17 hours ago

Amy, I strongly urge you to contact Animal Control, which is the correct agency to handle the issue of the pit bull on this trail. Pit bulls are not inherently or naturally vicious, they have to be mistreated in order to become vicious. Often they are intentionally mistreated so that they can be used in inhumane dog fights, other times they are mistreated and used to deter detection of other illegal activities that people might be engaged in. Additionally, this poses a HUGE public safety risk. Your friend got bit and apparently not too badly, but a smaller human being could have their throat ripped out and every year people die from pit bull maulings. Please take action now!

Good Long trail steady climb. And obviously the awesome photo opp at the end

This was a beautiful hike to Heather Lake. Trailer is well maintained, and smooth. We took the Hump Trail to Heather Lake as the sign stated the Watchtower was closed due to snow and ice, even though we knew there was none of that this day. This part is beautiful, but steep. Very Picturesque at the Lake. Returned via the Watchtower, and can see why this would be closed in the winter. I am not a fan of heights, but this trail although has steep drop offs, it wide enough to allow even the heights challenged to pass. Recommend the Watchtower trail for the scenic outlooks that are just magnificent!

This trail is definitely on our do do list to continue further to Pear Lake and Beyond.

Pretty. Wasn’t overly populated. Easy to get off trail here.

If you’re considering it, go for it! If you can make it to Heather Lake with plenty of energy, you’ve competed most of the elevation climb so consider continuing to Emerald and Pear Lakes. All 3 are rather different in their view/surroundings.

Best part of this hike is the return trip out is mostly all downhill! Pit toilets are at both Emerald and Pear Lakes.

Note that the Watch Tower Trail has a sign after Oct. 15(?) that says it’s closed due to winter weather. This may not realllllly be accurate if the weather is great. There definitely wasn’t any snow when I took the trail on Nov 2nd — it was in the 60’s. So I waited at the intersection of the Watch Tower Trail and the other trail until a group came down the Watch Tower Trail and confirmed the conditions were perfect and there’s no reason not to take that option. Traffic on the Watch Tower Trail was reasonable — I’d pass someone/a group heading down about every 5 minutes once I hit the Watch Tower part of the trail.

A few spots on the trail are narrow with a notable steep drop off to one side, but it wasn’t enough to concern me (I’m fairly afraid of heights ). Just bringing that up since others mentioned it in other reviews.

Also note: the first few miles (and thus the last few miles) of the trail are dense forest, so be mindful that when it nears sunset the trail will get much darker earlier than you may anticipate. Pack flashlights/etc. accordingly if you may wrap up this trail in the late afternoon/early evening.

hiking
2 days ago

Thanks to an unusual delay in winter storms, we got to enjoy this hike in mid-November. Although it is late in the hiking season, we still saw a number of other hikers on the trail. We knew Lake Aloha would be drained, but other lakes on the way still provided beautiful scenic views, Lake of the Woods in particular. To see this one, you’ll have to add a small loop with a steep climb, but it’s worth it!

As far as the hike itself, it was not terribly difficult. I didn’t enjoy hiking on the scree, but it is par for the course in Desolation Wilderness. The trail is well marked; just keep an eye out for the wooden posts marking various converging and crossing trails. Some people had their dogs, but I was glad I left mine at home since it is primarily an exposed, rocky path.

All in all, a great hike that I look forward to doing again in the summer!

hiking
2 days ago

Enjoyed a beautiful day on this trail, unusually warm and sunny for mid November. A fair number of people were out today, but most that we encountered were within a mile or two of the trailhead. Lake Aloha is drained at the end of the season, so we missed out on experiencing it in its full glory, but the other lakes did not disappoint. Lake of the Woods is worth the uphill climb you’ll encounter after you visit, so I recommend adding a loop on to see it.

Great hike, lots of elevation gain. It took us and a dog about 3 hours there and back. Be aware that out and back is almost 6 miles to top of the peak. The view was incredible and worth it!

Nice climb but no way is it 2.7 miles total. Closer to 5-6 miles up and back. Beautiful and green. Water just trickling right now. Need rain!

Great hike up. Was disappointed that there was not a good view into the next basin. The last steep part was the most lovingly cared for trail I have seen in years.

Hard at times due to continued climbing up, but it’s worth every step because of the amazing views at the very top.

I’m always looking for trails to take our horses on and this is not one of them. Mostly an easy hike with the exception of 2-3 granite areas that would be nearly impossible on horses. Too many hikers for my likes as well.

trail running
3 days ago

There is nothing moderate about this hike! It’s definitely an easy one! Perfect for trail running and great for dogs with water along the way and plenty of shade. Reward of beautiful lake at the end! Highly recommend.

This hike is amazing! Highly recommend! Dog friendly. Lake along the way for pups to swim and cool off.

Love everything about this hike.

hiking
3 days ago

I loved this trail. Very well maintained and there were informational signs (Ecology, geology facts) at most of the switchbacks. There was snow at the end of the trail; you had to cross it to get to the peak, but it was easy. Would definitely do this again. I was there in August 2018 and it was smoky, you could just barely see the top of Mount Shasta peaking out from a layer of smoke.

hiking
4 days ago

Mid-November 60 degree weather bluebird day. Riding the crest of the best that the Anthropocene has to offer. Get out there while you can ladies and gentlemen it’s going fast.

Great hike. It was a little longer, but worth every step. The most beautiful hike I’ve ever done. Go early in the morning to be beat the crowds. Brings at least 2 L of water if you’re an experienced hiker. Go all the way to the top! Definitely bring proper gear, food & plenty of water.

hiking
5 days ago

moderate to hard hike..harder on descent then cardio on way up as a lot of shale on trail..where as elevation gain is gradual..thighs will feel it on way down..trekking poles not my thing at this stage..but be sure of footing due to rocks..couple spots trail does somewhat disappear..but not hard to rediscover..fantastic weather for mid November and great views..at summit as well as ridgeline at start along fallen leaf lake..couple smaller lakes along way up for h20..but overall I would rate it moderate..and Jessie hope u were ok on descent..

Challenging hike. Wear proper gear and bring food, and water. When hiking in the fall or winter, start early or you will be hiking in the dark. It can take 5 to 7 hours to complete for an average hiker while taking time to appreciate the views of Lake Tahoe, Fall Leaf Lake and the surrounding evergreen forests

The road to the trailhead for this hike is closed this time of year, so park when you get to the locked gate and then either walk on the road or take a loop trail around Wright’s Lake to find the start of the trail. It’s really beautiful this time of year, and not very busy. The trail is hard to follow at times, but you can keep your bearings by the prominent peaks and rock formations, plus the cairns, as you hike. Highly recommend!

The day hike was amazing! We went on Veteran’s Day and took the hump trail because the watchtower trail was closed for the season. Although people prefer the watchtower, the hump was tiring, yet still amazing. We got to see a family of deer along the trail and enjoyed the scenery.
If you do a day hike around this time of year, I recommend leaving pear lake by 2:30 to get to your car by sundown.

Cool short hike. The only problem is since it’s so short, it’s very popular so you can’t really hike your speed because of the crowd.

This is a good trail to build up your stamina, it’s not super long but definitely a workout, in my opinion the most difficult way up Mt Hood

easily accessible

One of my favorite hikes! It’s beautiful the whole time you’re hiking, lots of flowers, wild life, and water (ponds, creeks). Definitely a harder hike but well worth it.

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