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Well worth the time. Start early, it gets pretty busy as the day goes on.

hiking
13 hours ago

WOW! What an incredible hike!!! My brother and I did this not really knowing what to expect (we looked at the mileage/elevation gain and knew it was gonna be tough) and yes it was tough but well worth the effort! If you aren’t in shape, I probably wouldn’t recommend this hike, but man was this one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done. I lived in Yosemite for a week so I feel like that says a lot. Keep your eyes peeled... we did see three bears on this hike! The first one we almost walked into in the woods coming down from the rock face, and it was a HUGE brown bear! Then, not 10 minutes later we saw a different mama bear and her cub! It was quite the experience. Keep your eyes open and ALWAYS look ahead of you. :)

hiking
20 hours ago

TL;DR: it’s hard, but worth it. The views are unbeatable. If you have a pet, might be a good idea to have puppy shoes. There’s a lot of rocks.

The first half of the hike was great. It’s a manageable hike along the ridge parallel to Fallen Leaf Lake. From the ridge, we started moving more and more at in incline, passing a stream, then a pond, then another pond shortly after that. From the second body of water, there is no longer water until you reach the top (if there’s still snow at the top). It’s also a pretty steep incline from there on out, and very rocky. The rocks vary in size; sometimes rock steps like a stair master, sometimes smaller rock, and lots of large rocks all the way up the mountain. When you finally reach the top of the rocky part and think you’ll be able to meander your way up around the backside of the mountain until you reach the top, you’re mistaken. It’s more of a fairly steep incline up until the top. Thankfully, there were tons of wildflowers all around to distract us for the next mile and a half or so. Finally, we started seeing people at the top of the rocks and got our second wind to hustle up to the top and look out over the entire Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevadas surrounding it! Finally, that sense of accomplishment after 3K feet increase elevation! From the top, there’s an amazing panoramic view all around; from lakes in Desolation Wilderness, to ski runs in the distance, it’s breathtaking (mostly because my breath was gone from the hike :] ). All in all, I’m so glad we did it, but I don’t know if I’d do it again any time soon without being more in shape. :]

Absolutely breathtaking views. Easy to moderate at times, but thoroughly enjoyed the hike. Would recommend you don't pass this one up!

Great hike despite the smoke from the Ferguson Fire. We left at 6:30 am and returned at 12:30 pm. Definitely pack enough water especially if you have dogs, there was no snow packs. I have runners knee so the walk down was a little tough for me. Amazing views along the way and especially at the top of the summit. I recommend leaving early to avoid hiking traffic and the heat.

I went back to hike this trail the second time this summer and there are more wildflowers past Twin Lakes due to snow melt. The small ponds/giant puddles are fully evaporated by now, making is easier to hike. The path up to Island Lakes is difficult to find, but once you see the trail, it's all good from there!

hiking
3 days ago

Really enjoyed this hike. Tons of beautiful wildflowers and even more views. We were supposed to do Clouds Rest after Whitney, but with the Ferguson fire, the valley was smoked out—took it as a sign to catch up on a hike my brother and I missed last year and glad we did. Enough elevation and distance for a good workout and the talus field added a bit of additional fun. Loved the hike on all fronts.

Sweet views from the peak!

hiking
4 days ago

Awesome hike... long, strenuous at times, but great views of the lake from the top.

Great hike. We were headed to campers flat for an over night. We did encounter a mountain lion in the rock field before the creek prior to Middle Velma. We did see a ranger the next day on the way out and he confirmed that there was one in the area. It was a great weekend and recommend this to anyone. Bring water and/or water filter. If your in good condition this is a fun hike if not you may have a time of it. Remember - enjoy the journey.

Such an amazing hike! Full of gorgeous wild flowers currently.

hiking
5 days ago

Absolutely beautiful. It took me and two others a bit longer to hike than anticipated, but we live at sea level and have no exposure to any hills, let alone mountains, and this was my first ever "real" hike. It took about 8.5 hours, with about a 30-45 min break at the top. The rock face was incredibly challenging and I don't know how anyone does it in running shoes without wrecking their feet. Bring sunscreen and lots of water. We each brought about 4L and my husband had about one gulp left at the end and I had about 1 liter left. All of our GPS watches said something different, but mine said 10.6 miles round trip (highest said 13 miles round trip).

This is an Absolutely gorgeous hike. Fun scrambling up and down. It was very quiet and peaceful at Ropi lake.

I haven't been back here for many years, but it's still the same..and that is a great thing! (Considering how much foot traffic this trail gets)
Nice and easy trail to the Falls.

Last weekend (7/7-7/8) backpacked from the Bayview Trailhead to Middle Velma for the night. Great hike! Definitely a steep incline going up, but beautiful views and flowers along the way. Be sure to stop at the lookout halfway up the initial incline for a stunning view of Emerald Bay. We took a detour to Dick’s Lake (not on this map), then continued on to Middle Velma to camp. Once we got to Middle Velma, we had a beautiful view, great swimming, and a warm evening. Bugs didn’t come out until sunset. Beautiful hike back down— recommend poles. Definitely a great weekend trip!

absolutely amazing!

hiking
7 days ago

This challenging, yet doable trail left me and my girlfriend feeling accomplished and well worked! We started at 6:50am, summitted 3.5 hours later, took an hour at the top, and took 2.5 hours to get down. Bring 3 liters per person for hot day hikes, sunscreen, and some bug spray. The best part was relaxing in the lake afterwards staring up at the mountain and thinking, “we hiked that!”

Challenging but invigorating hike, with an incredible reward at the top! I took my 9 and 13 year old kids with me and they did very well. Loved all the other hikers cheering them along the way. We got up to the summit in four hours (including one 30 minute break at Cathedral Lake). The trail was clear the whole way. There were also enough people on the trails so you never felt isolated—but it also didn’t feel crowded. It was a test in endurance as the climbing rarely lets up. But hearing how incredible the summit is from all the hikers coming down was motivating. As others said, the right equipment helps. We took polls with us (very helpful), enough water and we all wore boots. We left the summit at 12:30 and I never felt we were boiling on the way down even though it was an 80 degree day. It took a lot longer to get down then I thought due to the rocks. My feet would’ve been stumps without the boots! Definitely a challenging hike but don’t be afraid to try it. Its not that it is unusually steep or anything, it’s just that you are climbing with no let up on a lot of rocks. Start early—tons of cars in the parking lot already by 7:30am on a Thursday. I think many. people start this hike even earlier.

hiking
8 days ago

An absolutely gorgeous trail that has magnificent views of Tahoe and Eagle Lakes and neat seeing Cali and Nevada from here. From the parking lot to the peak is more like 12 miles, but don't let that stop you. Prepare for it to last the whole day, definitely took my two friends and I longer than we expected, and pack more food than you think you'll need. And once you get to the top of the rock piles, you have about an hour left, don't listen to the lies.

hiking
9 days ago

Great hike! Worth the hype for the sense of accomplishment and views. I was nervous about it (weekend warrior type, decently in shape mid-20s) and I’m glad I went. The hike took 7 hours. Left at 6:50am, arrived at summit by 10:00, spent an hour there and then returned to the car by 1:50. Get an early start, because the sun is hot and the summit would be crowded about 1-1.5 hours after I was there. I drank 2.5L of water and could have had another L more. The rock face after the second lake is tough! Good boots with ankle support are important here, though we passed someone doing the hike in Vans. Save some gas in the tank for the trek down! There are lots of rocks and it would be easy to slip if exhausted.

backpacking
10 days ago

Backpacked to Island Lake July 6-8 and loved it. The area is super beautiful and is only a 3-4 mile hike from the trailhead. One day we did a day hike up to Mount Price and get a look at Lake Aloha. Overall a great place for a low mileage backpacking trip! Here is my full report with pics: https://backpackersreview.wordpress.com/trip-reports/desolation-wilderness-twin-lakes/

Clearly the trail is hard to find. I was off course a few times. Keep the river to your right as you go up and on your left as you come back down.
However, the scenery more than made up for that. The river flowing by on the right as you go up toward the falls was awesome. The sounds of this river flowing is hard to describe. As you get further up you will see the Horsetail Falls flowing from the top and you can hear that as well.

hiking
10 days ago

This hike was insane! The view from the top was completely worth the steep trek. Be careful if you bring dogs on this trail because the granite can blister their paws(happened to my pup). Took us about seven hours with almost an hour break at the summit. Definitely recommend this hike!

Beautiful! Where a good pair of boots

hiking
11 days ago

Started our hike around 6:40 this morning. Only a few cars already there. Glad we started early because the sun was brutal on our way down. Took us about 3 hours going up, 20-30 minutes taking in the amazing views at the top, and a little over 2 hours coming down. Difficult hike, but worth the experience and views. Bring lots of water and sunscreen.

backpacking
11 days ago

Backpacked in on the 3rd and out on the 5th. Wrights Lake Road is now open again for access, so you don't need to go through Ice House Road. it's a much shorter drive to and from US50 from Wrights Lake Road to the trailhead. The trail is pretty clearly marked, and parts where it wasn't, we went ahead and rebuilt some of the cairns that had appeared to have fallen apart. When you get closer to the lake, there are 2 paths that will take you on either side of the lake. Do not attempt to go around the lake, since there are unstable boulders and no clearly defined path. Instead, go back to the area near the shallow water fall just below the lake, and go in either direction, you should be able to find the trails easily from this point. I brought my ultralight fishing gear and caught a lot of brook trout. Luckily the fishing was good because we had left a few packs of food at home so we were a bit short. There wasn't much in the way of wildlife up there, but we saw some marmots and chipmunks. The wind up there was pretty bad over the few days, but otherwise it was a beautiful, relaxing time at this less populated lake in Desolation Wilderness.

Have done this hike about a dozen times. Found it easiest to stay closer to the falls when scrambling up to Avalanche Lake. Look for the heavy brush area once you're at the top of the main fall and remember that trail that goes through it on your way back! I see a lot of people miss it and stick too close the water, hit a dead end and have to hike back up. Personal opinion is don't bring a dog if you're going this route up to the lakes.

hiking
11 days ago

This trail took my mother, son (8 years old) and I about 10 hours to complete. We started at 8:45 mainly because we wanted to be around people as we hiked (for safety reasons) and we took about an hour worth of breaks in all. My mother exercises moderately and I exercise 5 days a week with weights, high intensity work outs, and long distance running. Still, it was difficult because of the terrain.

I recommend hiking boots with ankle support. I hiked up in Solomon running hike shoes which usually do well over gravel but for this trail in particular I would bring some with ankle support. I would also bring more than 2 liters per person as some people recommended prior. We were down to our last bottle going down. We didn’t run out of water but got close!

It was a wonderful hike with spectacular views. Well worth it! I only wish we could have stayed at the peak longer!

nature at its best!

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