hiking

views

forest

lake

camping

backpacking

nature trips

wild flowers

wildlife

birding

walking

trail running

river

waterfall

dog friendly

dogs on leash

fishing

Waterfalls, alpine lakes, crashed aircraft, boat-in camping & bald eagles are just a few things found in these mountains Desolation Wilderness is an area in the Sierra Mountain range where natural beauty abounds.  The elevation ranges from roughly 4,000 ft. to roughly 9,700 ft (Pyramid Peak). The weather can be extreme and flash storms happen unexpectedly. Camping, hiking, snowshoeing and rock crawling are just a few examples of the outdoor activities that we enjoy here in "Desolation".  If you're used to the big city you'll find Desolation to be a freeing experience. This wild open area has few rules by comparison to most of California. It's pet friendly and you can plunk down camp in many waterside locations without paying a dime or dealing with neighbors. The elevation is above where poison oak grows and this means bush whacking is a little less worrisome. Ample lakes and trails can make for a whole lot of entertainment. Trail hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and motorcycle touring are some of the most popular. The Rubicon is a trail that runs west from the Lake Tahoe shore and 4X4 drivers seem to have a blast there. Day hikes can be coupled with kayaking in places like Wrights's Lake, Loon Lake and Echo Lakes. In the spring, roughly March through May, snow melts in the high country and creates majestic waterfalls throughout this region. Horsetail falls and Bassi Falls are two of the best. In Tell's Creek, just off Icehouse Rd., there are remnants of a crashed B-17 that's a bit spooky to see.  Paved bike trails span a portion of Union Reservoir and this provides a very fast way to see a large piece of the wilderness with a few hours of riding. A weekend in Desolation Wilderness can be a very affordable way to get away for a while. Be sure to visit the ranger station in Fresh Pond on your way up. You can get a free campfire permit here along with the latest printed information pamphlets for the area. The folks who work there can even help you plan your trip into this wonderful backcountry area. Tips Breaking an ankle or wondering into an area that you're unfamiliar with can mean an unexpected overnighter in the woods. Freak weather changes and even wild animals can create survival challenges for people and their pets. Having communication systems like radios and cell phones that are fully charged can make all the difference in getting to safety after an emergency situation in Desolation. Hazards: Mountain lions, bears, and coyotes rarely attack people but carrying a bit of pepper spray may help you feel more confident if you're confronted. Avalanches, whiteout snow storms and heavy rain storms can leave you cold and wet. Slippery granite near waterfalls have caused injury and death. Unlike in the Mokelumne Wilderness, cell phones actually work in Desolation Wilderness. There are cell phone towers on top of Big Hill and locations from Ice House rd over to Wright's Lake get excellent reception (at least with AT&T).  At Loon Lake cell phones become useless though.  When all else fails, an amateur radio license and a decent portable HAM radio can be a life saver. If you're a licensed HAM then you can use the 2 meter, 146.805 repeater in the event of emergency. An alternative to ham radios are the Garmin Rino series GPS/radio combinations. They will allow you to communicate with your group and even send your GPS coordinates to each other.

on Island and Twin Lakes

hiking
13 hours ago

This hike is the one I have enjoyed the most, the hike encompasses all kinds of terrain. It was too windy when I reached the lake and could barely stay for 15 mins by the water. The trail is not well marked and uses cairn as trail marker, As the 2nd half of the trail is through rocky terrain and has scattered stones, it is very easy to miss the cairn especially while on the return and possible to get lost. It is advisable to have the compass and Map and rely on that for this hike.
All said and done, The hike is more pleasurable for a moderate hiker than the scenery around the lake. One must hike this trail at least once.

hiking
1 day ago

This is a very nice easy trail. We encountered a grizzly bear on the way and were lucky enough that he decided to go the other way!!! It was awesome !!

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

We did the exact same route as Emily Collins. Check in the recordings to find her trail.
We kept on going after the eagle lake and we did a loop via the granite lake. There was nobody on the trail after we passed the lake.
About 11km loop, such a good loop! Thanks Emily!

on Eagle Lake Trail

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

Yesterday we again did the round trip from the Twin Bridges lot, down the highway and up the Rocky Cyn trail to the summit, then SE along the ridge and dropped down scree slopes and cross country to descend along Horsetail Falls. 9.3 mile RT in 7 hrs. This is much more varied, interesting and fun than simply going up and down Rocky Cyn. I'm 64 and my bud Jeff Risser is 42. We've done this route in reverse too. One of my favorite hikes !

Excellent hike! Beautiful views. Would do this again for sure!

Easy trail, beautiful view of lake on top, a bit rocky at the very top.

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

camping
7 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
11 days ago