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I did this as my first day and night in Desolation Wilderness. Short hike so I poked around for awhile after setting camp at Tamarack. Nice spot with crazy trees that I photographed for an hour before hanging out by the Lake processing water and meditating (aka napping).

hiking
5 days ago

Good solid grind going up. Still hazy but the view is still amazing. Bring water! I brought 3 liters and drank 1.5. Always have more then you think you’ll drink. Having less is horrible

Kicked my butt trail. Nice elevation change. Wish the smoke wasn’t there right now. A lot of the normal views were not visible but the hike was a lot of fun and I’m so glad that people have kept the trail so clean.

Super nice and diversified trail! We did it as a half day hike (a little bit under two hours to the highest lake). In my opinion more a MODERATE then a hard hike (there for sure is a rocky section tho). The first 0.5 mile of the trail is a little tricky to follow, I was glad I brought my phone for GPS. Bring your dog and plan on taking a dip in the lake(s)!

I agree that it is a hard hike, especially coming back down. If you have a knee issue, use poles to soften the impact on the rocks, tree roots and just altogether steep and rugged trail terrain. The lakes are worth all the hard work to reach them. Middle Loch Leven is about 6 miles RT, but don’t get fooled by the shorter mileage. It’s still tough go. I have thought to make it a shuttle by putting a car at the Salmon Lake TH & hiking out by way of Salmon Lake & in at the Loch Leven TH. This would make hiking out less strenuous on folks with knee problems like I have.

Wouldn’t be a bad way to do it if you didn’t have to trespass. All trails should not show this as a route. The beginning location is silly since you shadow the road for 2 miles. I’ve past the private property it is fine primitive trail up to the pass. Then from the pass to the summit it is a well maintained trail.

This trail kicked my butt! Thankfully I went with a group who knew the trail, otherwise I never would have been able to stay on track. There are portions where you’re climbing/hiking over big slabs of rock and I still have no idea how they knew which way to go. I’d definitely recommend having this mapped out before losing service (although my phone worked the whole time). The views were beautiful at the top, but this is definitely strenuous; it was uphill the entire way. My group hiked up to the second lake because it wasn’t much further and it was worth it. We stopped there and had lunch, got in the lake, and then went back. Be prepared to work hard and bring lots of water because you’ll need it! The way down was a little rough too just because it’s very steep and my poor knees felt the impact the next day. Overall- great workout and beautiful lakes.

Climbed to the rocky peak without any difficulty. So Smokey at top due to Yosemite fire could barely see the lakes below.
Ran into very large rattle snake on trail. 11 rattles.
Climbed Whitney 2 days later.

mountain biking
18 days ago

Do not attempt on a mtb. I couldn't find any info saying it's not allowed. You'll find yourself carrying your mtb 80% of the time and that's from RR tracks and down. Was not fun.

backpacking
18 days ago

This trail was great. Signage was lacking in some spots, so have a reliable GPS on hand (Gaia GPS). Beautiful views and sawmill lake was a great spot to camp. This was my first backpacking trip (day one of three was on this trail) and moderate is accurate in my opinion as someone who cycles/runs/hikes 5/6 days per week. We were on this trail on a Weds and didn’t see a soul. It was amazing!

backpacking
22 days ago

Took my kids up to the middle lake for two nights. The lake was beautiful and perfect for swimming with some great jumping rocks. Trail was rocky and steep at times. Did it in running shoes and regretted not having hiking boots. We were tired so decided not to head up to the upper lake, also heard it was pretty crowded up there. The lakes were beautiful but the rocky trail was tough on the feet. Would do it again!

hiking
23 days ago

I agree with other reviews; nice hike, rocky and loose rocks make some sections a little difficult but not bad. The worst part is the number of people, many who have zero awareness of trail etiquette. We loved the lake on this hot day. Spent time relaxing and sun bathing. Water taxi is a great option for the return trip $14/person.

backpacking
26 days ago

Up hill to lake..lake seemed to be dead ( no fish) pretty but better hikes

Great hike, but hot this weekend (Mid July). Bring lots of water. Plan to swim or bring a float to enjoy the beautiful lakes.

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful high Sierra hike.

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

recently backpacked loch levens for an overnighter. trail is mostly uphill and rocky, but not horrible. The hike was quick and lower loch leven had a great camping spot towards the back. Overall, was a great hike and camp.

Day hike, over night camping, fishing, dog friendly and beautiful granite basin lake to swim!

hiking
1 month ago

Ralston is without a doubt one of my favorite trails around Tahoe, at least for summit views. The trek up is pretty straight forward starting as a dirt hike across moderate switchbacks before kicking up to a more aggressive mix of loose rock and more dirt as you leave the treeline. Given the consistent exposure and fairly steep upper section, be sure to bring plenty of water (see many people hiking this as if it's a couple city-miles rather than mountain ones.) For the effort, the view up top is all the reviews say and then some with so many lakes, peaks and forest lands to take in at once.

Conditions as of this post: All dirt, no major obstacles, fairly easy to follow the trail though do pay attention on the upper sections as the path can fade out over the boulders. Bring extra water, good shoes for the steeper climb, layers for the exposed summit.

on Ralston Peak Trail

hiking
1 month ago

An excellent trail with great rewards. We took off at 7:30am which was perfect. You start by working your way through the trees and meadows which isn’t too hard. The next stretch is the hardest as you wind through a part of the trail with lots of rocks and loose dirt. The final climb is steep but the ground is solid so it’s easy to keep your footing. The last 1/10 of a mile you need to maneuver over lots of rocks but just take your time. Great views of Echo Lakes, Lake of the Woods, Aloha, Lake, Fallen Leaf and Tahoe. Took us about three hours with a few breaks to enjoy the views.

hiking
1 month ago

If you’re looking for a difficult hike with lots of climbing, this trail is it. This trail was all uphill right from the beginning and gets even more steep when you get to the top, but it was definitely worth it for the need view of the beautiful blue lakes. There were a lot of bugs everywhere, and even more bugs up at the top, so make sure you bring bug spray!

backpacking
1 month ago

Started at Lindsey Lakes trail, down past Penner and Island Lakes, then back up the Grouse Ridge trail. Mostly downhill the way we went. Nice forest views, rock formations, and wildflowers. Not much water on the trail so make sure you have enough with you. Shotgun Lake was marshy,
filled with lily pads, and smelled like poo. The sign at the connector between Grouse Ridge and Lindsey Lakes trail is wrong. It’s says 1/2 mile, but it’s likely 1 1/2.

hiking
1 month ago

I thought this trail was difficult due to steepness, but so worth the views at the peak! First 1.5 miles isn't bad but when you get to the fork and turn right, you're looking at a steep climb. Bring poles! They saved us. At the peak, we saw at least 9 lakes. Gorgeous. Great mix of sun and shade throughout the trail. Bring more water than you think you'll need!

hiking
1 month ago

Good work out with payoff of excellent views at the top!
It has a fair amount of sun exposure so bring lots of water and sun screen.

backpacking
1 month ago

This trail was very challenging, but also rewarding. We went on a Saturday in June , and saw a lot of hikers on the way up, but not so much that I would call it crowded. Everyone was conscientious and kind, good hiking ethic all around. I didn’t see any trash and didn’t see any signs of irresponsible hikers. (According to the forest service, Campfires are allowed with a permit, which you can pick up at any ranger station and online w CALFire.) A wonderful trail to explore! We did it as an overnight backpacking trip and I’m glad we did, because we needed the rest in between. The hike back was also challenging, although mostly downhill, because of slippery rocks and steep terrain. Come prepared with a lot of water and a strong will to succeed, it is worth it. Ps- the trail can be easy to lose at parts, especially around the granite rocks. They have painted orange marks on the granite to help guide the way. A map is helpful.

Thigh burner strenous steep hiking. Amazing view from peak

hiking
2 months ago

Perfect day hike. Trail completely open from trailhead to summit now. Wildflowers everywhere especially near summit. Creek is still full and flowing.

Desolation Wilderness is perfection right now, get out there.

This was a good go, up to the three lakes. But, VERY rocky and rooted in sections. If you're looking for a decent hike to a couple of beautiful alpine lakes, consider the Azalea/Flora lake trail which TH just east of Boreal and behind the Donner summit rest area. MUCH better and shorter trail and the lakes are not as big, but very pretty and swimmable.

No snow. beautiful hike.

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