Explore dog friendly - 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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Completed on 1/2/19. Was able to make it all the way up on snowshoes. Only one on the trail all day, great solidarity and pretty views. Snow was pretty deep and there was one sketchy river crossing, but other than that it was overall very easy.

backpacking
19 days ago

Pretty hike! Get to the parking area early to get a spot and make sure you park in an appropriate spot, as the rangers do ticket. We went in mid-November....Lake Aloha was great when we went plenty of water, but very cold when the sun went down. I imagine it would be absolutely perfect in the spring and fall!

backpacking
1 month ago

One of my favorite short trails! Gorgeous mountain and lake views with abundant water sources (passing through seven lakes in 3.5 miles)! Nice campsites along Heart Lake, Chickenfoot Lake and Gem Lake. Fishing is good in most lakes. Perfect for older dogs. Very crowded and hard to find parking during summer. Permits are hard to come by, but walk-ins are very doable.

hiking
1 month ago

So you thought the sequoias on the California redwoods were the oldest trees around... not so, the Ancient Bristlecone Pines take the honor! And the gorgeous White Mountains take the exoerience to another level!

1 month ago

great hike

Pretty lakes & mountains with snow caps

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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.

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
1 month 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 is a moderate trail only if you are agile and fit. I have a fit dog, Shepherd, and it was a scramble for him with a couple of spots where I had to lift him to get him over some rock and log obstacles. It is NOT suitable for horses by any stretch of the imagination. There are some semi-steep portions of this trail that are more rock than trail, littered with volleyball sized rocks along sloped granite faces in some places and precarious dead fall bridges in others. If you don't do rocks or high steps, this is not the trail for you. Horses would not be able to negotiate these obstacles safely, regardless of whether you dismount or not. If you have little ones it will be a scramble for them too. We went in mid-November so the bogs, marshes and intermittent streams were dry or frozen allowing us to avoid the bugs. If you are looking to back country camp be aware that there are a lot of dead standing trees that are potential widow makers. Also be aware that regardless of fire conditions, the amount of deadfall and standing dead trees in the area make this bowl a tinder box.

2 months ago

Probably the most beautiful lake in the Desolation Wilderness area. The stark, granite landscape and the crisp, blue waters of the lake make for a breathtaking sight.

Outstanding hike and views! We missed the fall color up here but still well worth the trip!

Oh yeah. Trail starts you at 10000 feet and hikes you incredible views of the eastern escarpment of the Sierras. Not bad for a 7.4 mi day hike.

One of our favorites

Be sure to watch for cairns otherwise the trail is hard to see.

hiking
2 months ago

This was an okay hike for me. No amazing views on the trail except for at the lake itself since you're in the forest majority of the time. There are some small Aspen groves, which makes this hike better because fall foliage is always awesome. The trail is pretty easy to navigate and the weather was rather pleasantly cool today.

hiking
2 months ago

Favorite hike of the year so far! I wouldn’t say it’s a difficult hike, more like moderate. The uneven rocks in the middle section will wear you out quick though. Views are amazing and once you get to Lake Aloha you’re totally secluded. We did take a wrong turn at the little loop near the end and it wound up being a short cut. Pay attention to the markers and your map because it’s not super well marked

Road marked closed at entrance as of 10/9.

We loved this trail! Great for a hot day. There are clear cold lakes to jump in every half mile or so. There were a lot of people but everyone was very friendly and didn’t even make comments about my dog off leash. My pup is very friendly but she is a pit bull so many people make incorrect assumptions about her. We all had a great day. I was wishing I had brought sleeping gear. I wanted to keep going and going!

Easy to moderate hike, about 5.14 miles long. Started at Red Meadows Resort (stop 10), hiked to Rainbow falls, than to Devils postpile and returned to stop 10. The trails are maintained very very well.

Beautiful trail, the lakes are amazing,our dog enjoyed it too. The trail starts at mosquito flat, just follow the rock creek road to the very end, the road to parking lot gets narrower but the parking lot is huge.

Beautiful!! Offering different scenery’s

Ancient Bristlecone’s are truly majestic, come enjoy this sacred grove ❤️

Gorgeous, well maintained trail with lots to see. Beautiful views and varied terrains make this one an excellent trail. Good for all levels of hikers.

Ok hike. To many people

Best hike ever, you will not be able to take a bad picture, the whole trail is huge a scenic view, each lake different, each unique.
Highly recommended!
Not a difficult hike, but moderate rating is correct

hiking
3 months ago

generally: gorgeous loop of many lakes (echo, lake aloha, lake of the woods) in desolation wilderness, with decent distance, manageable elevation, great scenery the whole way, decent trail conditions, would love to return and backpack (permits required in peak season, no fires)
parking: at upper or lower lot, free, no passes, road: mostly paved, doable in any vehicle
trail conditions: packed ground/rocky in some parts, easy to follow, not overgrown
scenery: gorgeous lake views the whole way
saw dozen + people on a nice weekend day, ferries run along echo lakes in summer, not running while we were there

For those who’ve been on the trail recently, what are the weather conditions at the top of the mountain, ie lowest Temperature, wind speed, rainfall?

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