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Although not as immediately grand as Lake Aloha or Clyde Lake, Lake of the Woods is really just as beautiful and has the added bonus of feeling even more secluded and peaceful. Plus you can always add Lake Aloha to this hike as it isn't much further.

hiking
20 days ago

This is a really good trail, with outstanding scenery.

Like Albert below, I did this trail in reverse and started with the steep ascent up to the saddle. I didn’t actually find it hard to spot the trail at all, although I did it today (October 22) and it was fairly well worn in after a season. I think going uphill makes the trail easier to spot too. In spring or summer the leaves on the bushes might make it a little trickier. Either way, don’t be put off by the reviews below.

After reaching the saddle the rest of the route was mainly downhill, with the additional advantage that most of the views are in front of you as you walk.

It took me 7 and a quarter hours with plenty of breaks, and my watch says that my moving time was 5 and a half hours. My watch recorded the route as 22.3km or 13.8 miles, which is a bit longer than AllTrails describes it.

Thoroughly good trail, and I’d love to do it again.

hiking
28 days ago

Amazing, beautiful, majestic! Mellow climb the entire way, nothing to make the rating more than moderate. BUT!!! Beware the last two miles unless you have the gift of clairvoyance and are a mountain goat. The trail becomes hard to find along a steep cliff side. I lost the trail multiple times whilst crawling along the mountain slopes. It was difficult but the views.... the views were amazing. I would recommend the last stretch only for serious hikers/climbers.

backpacking
1 month ago

Amazing trail!

hiking
1 month ago

This was an amazing trail. It's a great deep dive into Desolation with visits to multiple lakes and sweeping views, despite not including scaling a peak. Each leg of the trail is more spectacular than the last, and it's gorgeous from the start. The view of Lake Aloha from the top of Mosquito pass is stunning. There's still plenty of water in parts of Aloha despite it being so late in the season. I'm looking forward to doing this one again early next summer.

hiking
1 month ago

Note about the drive to trailhead: Fallen Leaf Lake Road is overdue for some maintenance, get ready for some giant potholes and bumps.

This is a trail I've overlooked for years. While the lakes aren't too remarkable you will have a pleasant time arriving to them - the series of switchbacks are mild and elevation gain is gradual. This is a good hike to introduce someone who isn't yet an avid hiker (the views may transform them). A benefit of this trail is that it connects to turnoffs that link to Mt Tallac and Lake Aloha.

The Desolation Wilderness hikes near South Lake Tahoe always seems to be the more crowded option. If you are in the mood for solitude you may want to go elsewhere.

hiking
1 month ago

I did this hike two weeks ago and it was great! I starting in the direction of the Tamarac Trail instead of Glen Alpine and I was glad because the trail is kind of tough and hard to follow till you get to the top. I would rather get the hardest part of the hike over early when I have more energy, wouldn't have wanted to come down this way after a long hike. The view of the Echo Lakes and Tamarac and Ralston Lakes are great. I also stopped by Lake of the Woods, it hardly adds much time to the trip and is well worth it. This was my first time seeing Lake Aloha and I think it is spectacular. The water level was pretty low but i think it made the visual impact even more dramatic. l'm looking forward to going back in the late spring to see it with more water. Heather and Suzie Lakes are great as is the rest of the trail to Glen Alpine Trailhead.I thought only the Tamarac trail was hard and the rest of the trip is moderate hiking. This is one of the best hikes I've had and I love the Desolation Wilderness.

Lovely fall hike with awesome lakes and big views

1 month ago

We just walked 2 1/2 miles out and back - to the top of the Meiss Valley - but the views are spectacular!

backpacking
1 month ago

This is one of my favorite places in the world.... if camping, I highly recommend going past the end of the trail to this private campsite near several lake inlets. Truly stunning. The water was some of the warmest I’ve felt in the area in July

this was a easy hike,the last two miles was uphill,it was crowded this pass weekend,we camp near the lake,few hikers show up late with head lights on,and since it was dark they saw my camp first and decided to came feet away,had no respect for other campers

Beautiful wildflower display right now in mid July!

2 months ago

What a gem of a lake. well worth the hike.

Loved this backpack trip. Did a slight detour up to gilmore lake for lunch then back on trail to Half moon. Fairly steady incline the whole way there, so if you like hiking up with little relief this is your trail. Had place to ourself and actually camped at Alta Morris, a bit of scrambling to get to alta and loss of trail but geographic markers and following edge of half moon lake helped with direction across granite boulders. Alta was well worth it, had the whole lake to ourselves, saw two couples in the distance the whole weekend.

This was a great trail with amazing views. We took our dogs who did great. Went clockwise which seemed like the right choice at the end. The decent to adventure mountain was a steep decline. Adventure mountain was closed for the season but there is a small parking lot just before the gate. We parked at Johnson Pass rd. And added about another 2 mi. to the trip. I wasn’t a fan of the several freeway crossings or the fact that I camped right next to a coyote den in big Meadow. But other than that it was great!

We were aiming for Aloha but decided to head down to Lake Of The Woods en route. So glad we did! Despite all the smoke from the CA fires, it was a beautiful lake that we pretty much had to ourselves :) I can’t wait to do it again on a clear day! Rocky trail would benefit from hiking poles....

3 months ago

Wow. A great hike.

Great not only dogs allowed but Lama’s

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful wildflowers. After Gilmore Lake split it’s pretty much flat. If you want to swim not the lake for you. Lots of grass along the shores and felt more like a very big pond. Not like your typical alpine lakes you see in Tahoe. Still a great workout. I clocked 11.5 on Strava.

Great hike, be sure to go past the lake about 1 mile during flower season for the best display in the entire basin.

Went to Lake of the Woods then Lake Aloha. Fantastic day hike. Took the water taxi both ways so it was only 7.3 miles. I've seen most of the eastern part of Desolation Wilderness and this was as good a day hike as I've done. Beautiful lakes, views, wild flowers. Highly recommend it.

hiking
4 months ago

Perfect trail up until the point where you go off the trail and head east towards the lake. Could not find a trail to the lake and it is very marshy and hard to walk. Would recommend remaining on the trail and going to Showers Lake.

Went clockwise: correct choice! It ends with some crazy downhill. Great meadows and variety of views across the trial, there's no one view that stands above the rest

This hike is superb - well worth the beautiful drive from South Lake Tahoe. Mid July wildflowers were off the hook - as were the views. Loved hiking up through an aspen grove at the start, then up and over a ridge with spectacular 360 views. Beautiful creeks, meadows, snow capped mountains peaks, iris fields, waist high lupine, endless awesomeness.

The instructions shown for parking for this hike are odd - just park at the well marked Meiss Trailhead lot. Follow the pct to showers lake. $5 day use - self pay post at the trailhead.

backpacking
4 months ago

Pretty lake, secluded. Tougher hike than I expected. Map shows it as 5.5 from Glen Alpine but it felt more like 7. Could just be my lack of conditioning backpacking though. Wildflowers were outstanding. Loose rock on parts of trail were tough on feet.

Amazing wildflowers today. Just stunning! Highly recommend this gem of a hike!

Beautiful hike. Wildflowers everywhere and they smelled wonderful. Pretty good incline at the end before arriving to the lake. Some spots of shade along trail but lots of exposed areas.

Wildflowers! A great hike for July! Mile 1-2 and 4-5 is uphill, but doable even for me. So beautiful the entire time. About 8 tiny streams that you can hop over. Showers Lake is picturesque.
When you arrive, there is Carson Pass trailhead with bathrooms and a ranger station. It’s better to park across the street and pick up trail there.

This was a gorgeous hike! Meadows with lots of wildflowers and many lakes to look at along the way. It’s a rocky trail for the most part with narrow passings. Lots of overnight backpackers on the trail. Recommend really good hiking boots.

the most beautiful wildflower hike i’ve ever done anywhere in the world. Acres of lupine, angelica, corn flowers, paint brush, Jacobs Ladder, valerian, mariposa and more. Many reaching heights of 4’. The peak is now and it won’t last so go.

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