Explore Desolation Wilderness - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Reviews (787)
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Chance Hollingsworth reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Backpacking
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Sophia C. Watrous reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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SnowshoeingFeeIcySnow

Definitely a hard hike! My boyfriend and I packed in to camp along the trail. A couple tips, if you go in the next few days make sure to bring snow shoes! The middle part (ending of echo Lake all through Tamarack) of the trail is completely covered by snow and I estimate that it won’t melt for a month or so! There were some spots by rocks where we fell through the snow to about waist deep. Echo Lake and Upper Echo Lake are still completely frozen as well. Don’t expect many markings along the trail and follow fresh foot prints. It took us way longer than expected to even get halfway, yet again we did have huge packs and weren’t prepared shoe wise for the snowy trail. It could use much more markings, but maybe they’ll appear once the snow melts. Make sure you get a permit for the hike, for overnight backpacking for my partner and I it was $16. Be prepared and have a permit for the Sno-Park parking or park off road. During this time of the year, you have to hike a mile in to get to the trailhead as well! Overall, I would definitely do this trek in late Spring, early Summer!

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Golden Eagle reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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HikingGreat!

Hard but very rewarding. Lake Aloha is beautiful and magical. We went November 2020, and were a little unprepared for the cold. Carry bear spray. Partial rocky.

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Kellen Broemmelsiek reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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HikingIcy

Gorgeous this time of year. The area is cold and a little bit unforgiving.

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Tammy Sanders and Harlan White reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Snowshoeing
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Esther Findley reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking

Hard

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Vitalii Hrybkov reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking

wonderful hike! but it is not necessary to make a loop because it is very easy to pass the turn. we did it, we had to improvise and do the loop more than necessary!

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Andrey Tagintsev reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking

Started the hike around 5:30am, and let me tell you it was worth it! Not sure why we were told this hike would take 10 hours. It took us a little less than 6 to do the full loop and we took our sweet time. Had two major stops, and stopped frequently to intake the beauty around us. It started snowing today! Was unreal:)

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Robert Jorgensen reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking
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Andrew & Greta Wilson reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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HikingGreat!

This is an amazing trail and covers at least 5 lakes and quite a few periods of escalation. The trail is long and varies a lot. The middle section which is a long climb up from Echo Lake to the desolation wilderness is very rocky. Wear good shoes. Or have sore arches. But once you get through that and cross the ridge the going is great. The approach to Lake Aloha is amazing. It’s a great small stretch of the PCT. at this time of year the lake is drained...and to me this makes it even more exciting as you can scramble across the exposed rocks to the centre of the lake. Something you could never do in the spring. The extension down to Lake of the Woods is a great add on...but if you do this in an anti clockwise direction there is a killer 1/2 mile steep climb up to get back. Just what you need after 8 miles of hiking. There is a lot of bear activity so be wary especially if you start early or return late. It’s a long day if you really want to enjoy it. You can cover up to 15-16 miles depending on how far up the lake you want to go. Allow 8-10 hours

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Dima Tsoy reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking

Unbelievably beautiful!! The weather was perfect! Watch out tho it’s going to snow next week!!

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Ann Koffler reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking

Woke up at 4am, hit trailhead at 6am. 10 hours!!!!! Beautiful hike but hella long! Lake Aloha was drained not much water and I wasn’t trying to go further. We looped around to Lake of the Woods and let me tell you...it is freaking worth it! Just stunning! Highly recommend this trail just start early.

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Consuelo Chavarria reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking

Very well marked trail. Beautiful views, lots of lakes to stop by. Make sure you bring fitter or plenty of water.

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Lauren Campbell reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking
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Rob Campbell reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking
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Padma Diamond reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking
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Arnyl Raymond Barot reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking
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Jesus Barot reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking
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Kelly Cavolo reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking
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Alexis Reid reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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HikingGreat!

GORGEOUS hike. Still totally worth it even after Lake Aloha has been drained for the winter. we accidentally added a few miles by hiking down the shore of Lake of the Woods but it's beautiful and worth the detour if you have the energy. We carried lots of layers and were glad we did - lake aloha was pretty breezy and chilly.

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Parker W reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking

Nice trails and views. Honestly though I prefer hikes in the area that give you a top down view of Aloha.

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Brian Voelker reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking
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Shalyse Ahl reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking

Didn’t make it to the end but will be back to finish!!

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K P reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking

Beautiful hike along the entire trail, even with the smoke. As other reviews mentioned, there are a few miles where the trail is covered in rocks, some are larger and can be quite slippery, so exercise caution. Lake Aloha is drained already, but Lake of the Woods was lovely.

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Kathleen Tang reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful trail! You pass by a few lakes heading to Aloha. The incline is steady, but not rough. Only downside is there is about 3 miles where it’s straight rocks so it can be tough on your feet. Also, a lady on the trail wanted me give a PSA “everyone should carry a bag when you hike so you can pick up your trash or others”

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mel l reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking

Beautiful trail that passes several lakes. Lake aloha and Lucille we’re drained so water levels not as high. Looking forward to doing it at regular levels!

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Ryan Moore reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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Hiking
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J. Lori reviewed Lake Aloha Trail
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This area is stunning! Echo Lake seems to get a decent bit of foot traffic, particularly on the weekends, but as you get 4+ miles in the trail gets into solitary, wild and beautiful landscapes. Very refreshing contrast to Tahoe proper! There are a lot of rocks on this trail, so it helps to have walking sticks or shoes with a decent toe buffer. We noticed several backpackers in the higher elevation remote areas before Lake Aloha. Lake Aloha itself is so much fun to explore - a very mountainey lake with a wild, raw panorama. Would love to do again sometime!

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