Explore To try with TJ - 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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hiking
5 hours ago

Super easy, flat trail. Brought my dog as there is lots of water for her to play.

2nd time around..get up there to see a fire at around donner lake or hwy 89 yesterday..makes u realize hikers vulnerabilities..great views and great scramble up once you get up past first turret..not a trekking pole hiker but they may come into play on way down..

backpacking
7 days ago

Amazing trail!

mountain biking
9 days ago

This trail was perfect for my wife's first time on a mountain bike, easy ride with only 1 spot that was challenging for her.... A great trail to walk or run.

My boyfriend and I hiked this trail in early Oct 2018. For fitness context, I am a mid twenty year old who goes to the gym 2-3 days a week and is active during my job and my boyfriend is in his early 30's and goes to the gym 4 days a week. We found this trail really great and got a nice workout in without feeling spent or crazy sore by the end. As people have mentioned, the bouldering is the main challenging part of this hike, but it's pretty short and surprisingly easy. For example, several dogs were able to do it. It took us from around 1:00-5:00 for the whole hike, but we stopped and explored the area around Cleo's Bath a bit. Also, the trail isn't incredibly well marked once you leave the pinecrest lake loop, so watch for the blue areas and stay with your group! We picked up a lost hiker on the way back to the lake so it definitely can happen. there was no place to get portable water along the trail but there was a flowing river so bring water or a filter. The only bathrooms were at the beginning of the trail.
Overall, a very beautiful hike for a wide variety of fitness levels.

Quite windy today, but beautiful skies and miles and miles of visibility. Trail is in good condition, although a bit loose going up the last 3/4 mile (all walkable if careful)

hiking
13 days 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
16 days ago

Completed this trail with two friends and small dog. Nothing major for the majority of the way. Typical desolation hike in that the trail is a lot of large rocks and dirt.

Trail head at the end of the parking lot with a vehicle gate across it. First two miles are pretty uneventful with only the soda springs and old resort to be seen. Preservation work is going on at the resort. Please be considerate of that.

The rest of the trail is switch back upon switch back until you reach the top. Coming from the east coast, I was fairly used to this.

The lake is as beautiful as the pictures show. Crystal clear, blue, rimmed with mountains. The water is still as glass and cold as ice.

Stayed up there for about an hour.

Total trip about 6 hours.

Beautiful high mountain terrain, pretty easy going. Looping round via the Woods Lake Rec Area results in having to climb 2 miles back up the 89; not recommended.

This hike has great views. It's pretty moderate until the last mile, then it's steep. Bring poles, it can be pretty slippery. Lots of loose gravel and sand.

I’ve walked this trail many times. Love it. I haven’t checked out the new paved section yet.

hiking
21 days ago

This path is beautiful but beware.

If you are comfortable with steep climbs then go for it. My family and I love trails but we are from Florida and this was a big challenge for us.

I did make it to the top and the pond just perfect.

Very beautiful trail with panoramic views. We loved the trees with bright green moss. Nice trail for the dog too.

backpacking
22 days ago

I've done this as a snowshoe day hike in the winter, an overnight backpacking with snowshoes in the winter, and a spring/summer hike. All times have been great with different experiences! One of my favorite go-to's when I need a quick hike that I'm familiar with and won't get lost.

Fun little hike before the snows return. If actually trying to bag the true summit keep in mind it’s the easternmost crag. Def a bit of exposed class 3 climbing to get up top but we still managed to get up in a little under two hours.

hiking
25 days ago

I did this trip on 8/23/18. This was my first time in the Desolation Wilderness and I loved every minute of it. The hike to Gilmore isn't too hard and the trail is easy to follow. Lake Gilmore is a beautiful lake and when I was there I was the only one around. I went to Mt. Tallac from Gilmore and it it sure easier than the North side of fallen Leaf Lake. Of course the views are spectacular and for me especially viewing the mountains looking toward desolation wilderness. i went back to Gilmore and returned the same way. Great hike and not too hard.

three of us plus one dog and had a lovely time. nice Meadow and then you got some shade and Creek. good day

hiking
26 days ago

It was a windy September Saturday when we hiked to Ellis Peak. Great trail with truly beautiful views all around. After leaving the peak make sure you look out for the smaller trail leading back to Barker Pass - crossing the Ellis Lake trail. Met a couple of friendly and helpful trail bikers, but it was mostly hikers on the route.

Kind of a disappointing backpacking trip. The permit system kinda sucks if you want to be secluded...After the first night, backpackers can camp wherever they want, not just in their zone. Cathedral Lake ended up being extremely busy and there are only two decent places to camp. Also, be very aware that people will be hiking up the the peak of Mt. Tallac as early as 3 AM to catch the sunrise. I understand hikers need to be loud to warn bears, but blasting electronic music and hollering was a bit much.

backpacking
1 month ago

Camping here was pleasant, but only because we were able to find a spot away from the crowds as there were probably 7 or 8 other groups of people camping here. The lake was swimable and drinkable (with filter), but kind of scummy compared to other Sierra lakes I've visited. If your primary goal is swimming, I would look elsewhere. The hike itself, although short, was enjoyable and offered surprisingly diverse scenery. The trail was easy to follow, but would be a bit more difficult if there was snow. Our hike began with a hail storm at the trailhead haha, but it was clear skies and sunshine after that blew through. Despite the fire ban, one of the groups camping here (a dozen large young men with fishing poles) decided to have a large fire. It was disappointing and frustrating to witness. Please obey the restrictions in place. You don't have to burn things just because you're camping.

*good for walking, dog walking, little kid hike, flat trail running.
*very easy, very pleasant, flat.
*nice creek runs through it year around

Great hike with amazing views! Going down was a little tough/slippery... bring gloves!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike. Easy to find the trailhead. The trail is well used and easy to follow. Already frost in the morning.

hiking
1 month ago

I have done castle Peak at least 5 times. I have completely circled it and spent a night at Warren lake. I have also done Andesite and Basin Peaks.This is an amazing area. It is loose and steep up the final ridge. Bring poles. Also you can park closer if you have a high clearance vehicle. We mad a video of our last ascent it can be found on YouTube at Chris and Bobs adventure channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpJF3zCamY0

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. I like to do this as a training hike followed by a swim. This is not a super hard hike and it can be done in either direction. I have a video of swimming in the river at the park at Chris and Bobs adventure channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uyGtgFQLEM&t=16s

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked with the kids... some rock scrambling which is just what they wanted! Great hike, well marked, good 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!

About 3 miles one way, with the usual detours. A beautiful little lake.

Very beautiful, but hard. There are multiple starting points to reach the Sierra Buttes look out but starting from Sardine Lake area you take the Tamarack Lake Trailhead that is on the right before you reach the campground based on the directions from the app and then continue past Upper Tamarack Lake towards the lookout. My friends pedometer clocked us just under 14 miles round trip for this hike. My dog was a champ but the trail is very rocky and she was unable to do the stairs up to the lookout at the end, so hiking with a buddy is helpful so one can go up and enjoy the look out while one stays with the dog - then swap so you both get to enjoy the beauty at the end of the uphill climb. Hike is very hard, but very rewarding! Bring LOTS of water!

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