Explore the most popular dogs on leash trails in Desolation Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike to beautiful lakes. We swam even though the water was freezing!

Great little hike, decent incline with a beautiful, clear blue lake at the end. Bring a picnic! Get here early or go mid week as it gets crowded and parking can be difficult. Make sure to park legally, they will tow you. Trail is marked well but the trails that link up from this trail can be hard to spot.

Echo Lake to Lake Aloha to Gilmore Lake to Dick’s Lake, exit Bayview Trail. This was a great summer trip with adults and twelve-thirteen year olds. Beautiful lakes, marmots, pika, osprey, and flowers in August.

hiking
16 days ago

Ample parking available, fee and permit required (both supplied at trailhead). Lot filled up by mid-morning on a Sunday in early April, so arrive early, especially in the summer.

As of 4/8, the falls are at peak flow. The trail up to Vista point and the Eagle Creek Bridge is mostly clear of snow. Past the upper falls, the trail is ~90% covered in snow, but easily followable due to heavy traffic. Snowshoeing is an option, but it's entirely doable in hiking boots and trekking poles.

The lake is still frozen over with some flowing water near the Eastern tip of the lake. Snow covers the surrounding bowl and peaks, while the Eagle Lake Trail continues up (to Dicks Lake) through snow and ice. We turned back after reaching the lake despite our initial plan to ascend to vista point at 7,300; snowshoes would help that climb.

Though the waterfall was great and the gorges remarkably powerful, the trail was travelled and lacked the Tahoe backcountry feel. It's a great opportunity (especially when the snow melts) for families, dogs, etc. to visit an alpine lake, but full-day hikers should look elsewhere. Nearby Dicks/Fontanillis Lakes, Lake Aloha via Ralston Peak, or Tallac via Gilmore Lake are quality alternatives.

Keep in mind that the trailhead is near Lower Eagle Falls, Vikingsholm, Emerald Bay, and Cascade Falls. Pairing this hike with nearby landmarks would make for a full day.

walking
17 days ago

Lovely loop walk, currently still covered in snow so wear good shoes!

snowshoeing
20 days ago

Absolutely beautiful trail! We tried it out last weekend (beginning on April) and brought snowshoes. I don’t think you necessarily NEED snowshoes but I think it made it a lot easier and more fun because we were sliding around or falling into the slush. This trail is dog friendly and my dog had a BLAST. The views on the way to the lake are breathtaking, and getting to the lake was so gorgeous. My dog got to swim around a bit and it was just a 3-ish mile hike round-trip. There are a few parts that have slight incline but overall it was a pretty mellow hike. I will definitely be back!

Beautiful and a butt kicker! We did this as a point to point hike starting out at Echo Lakes parking lot and ending at Inspiration Point overlooking Emerald Bay (via the PCT/TRT and Granite Lakes TR).
The early morning start of the beautiful sunny day was clear but cold - my beanie and gloves came in handy!
The trail starts out on granite following along the Echo Lakes (where You'll see many private homes along the shoreline), then the trail takes you in/out of woods at Woods Lk and Lk Aloha. You then pass more beautiful pines, some wildflowers and a couple more alpine lakes (Heather and Susie Lks). I would suggest filtering water at Susie Lk, as the trail actually passes right next to it and Gilmore lake would take you .5 mile up and off trail. The next few miles are up, up, up and over Dicks Pass. Make sure to bring your camera!...and your trekking poles - as the descent from the 9,400' Pass will be hard on your knees.

High return on investment in this short hike to a beautiful lake. Right now there’s a lot of packed snow and some ice on the second half of the trail. Micro spikes were helpful.

Did this yesterday, 2/18/2018. The trail starts off slow along the stream. Then at the base of the waterfall there's not much of a trail, go your own way, It's a rock scramble up the side of the waterfall. Not too difficult, but very fun. Then you reach the first lake/pond. There was snow up at this elevation. Great views of the valley, Pyramid Peak, and Ralston Peak.

The way down though... huge pain scrambling down the waterfall. I got stuck twice where I had to then scramble back up about 100' the come down a different route. I tried coming down literally along the waterfall. Bad idea. I suggest going over to the waterfall for some photos, but then go lateral back away from the waterfall. Dont try going down the waterfall.

This is the second time I have been on the trail. Two days ago the weather was perfect but yesterday it warmed up and the snow melted and turned to ice. The entire trail was icy and dangerous. We made it there and back and still had fun but just a warning to be careful after warm days!

Still beautiful and would do again!

Completed on 2/18/18. Used microspikes for a little more than half of the hike, snowshoes for about the last quarter mile. Saw many people without spikes or snowshoes that were hiking so doable just harder. Great views at the top.

hiking
2 months ago

I loved everything about this trail. It's right behind Emerald Bay and you can view the Vikingsholm at the bottom. The drive alone was worth it. The trail was easily accessible even with the snow. It lead to Eagle Lake which was entirely frozen over. The trip took about an 1.5 hrs, and we took our time and made a few stops! Really enjoyed this trail and would love to do it again.

hiking
3 months ago

This was a beautiful and fairly easy trail. Most of the beginning is uphill, with lots of stone steps that are covered in icy snow right now. We got lucky because the trail was fairly easy to see even though it had just snowed the day before. The lake is completely frozen over right now, so it’s definitely a beautiful sight. Would highly recommend!

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike / snowshoe if you're up for an adventure and don't mind route finding to make it happen. The views of the SIerras from the top are impressive as are those of the adjacent peaks / ridge lines which look incredible in snow. Little tricky to follow the established route and it differs a bit from what you'll see in most maps currently.

Current conditions: Snow starts a few hundred feet into the trail and becomes consistent around 1,500' up. The final climb was partially covered and required careful attention to avoid postholing around the rocks -- descended down the backside for deeper snow. Slopes were pretty solid in the morning (just shy of needing to put on traction) but soft by noon for turns or snowshoes.

Route: Park right past the highway sign a few minutes outside Strawberry (*may not be acceptable with snow on the road*) and walk up a few hundred yards to reach the "trailhead" which is little more than a footpath in the dirt. Take note of where you cross the stream as it's tricky to track on the return.

Absolutely stunning views. Hiked this 1/6/18, there's snow past granite lake and the last 1/4 is about 1' deep. It was worth it.

hiking
3 months ago

We walked this trail last summer with our little ones in the backpack carriers. It was beautiful and the lake itself was perfect for the babies to play in.

Great lil hike, brought my 8 year old son on his first two nighter backpacking trip and granted some of the uphill realllyy wore on him, I prepared ahead and planned to carry his tiny lil backpack for him for parts of the way. Dogs allowed, but definitely no fires allowed. Was out there for a meteor shower and while I didn’t see anything, it was beautiful at night

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike with views of Tahoe and Eagle Lake. The lake itself was still frozen and was stable to walk out on. The trail has some extremely icy patches, with the worst section right after the bridge crossing at Eagle Falls - make sure you have hiking boots and take it carefully!

Very beautiful hike,but need to be careful with icy paths.

hiking
3 months ago

12/29/17- Solo hiked this route at 7am and finished by 12pm. I clocked 7.4miles RT with 4,200ft gain. The route was clear of snow up to mile 1.4~, then you hit thin hard pack. Snow was fairly hard pack up to the summit. Follow the cairns the whole way. Only wore boots w/gaiters, thermal top, beanie, soft shell pants and thin gloves. Used poles for the gain/lose.

Be prepared. Icy in spots but lots of snow at top.

Make sure to wear micro-spikes or similar if you’re doing a winter hike. It gets icy! Worth it to go to the vista and out to the lake, but you’re asking for a broken arm if you don’t have spikes!

Great trail! There was lots of snow and beautiful views!

hiking
4 months ago

I will never forget this as it was my first ever and favorite hike. It was breathtaking every step of the way!

Beautiful hike. A bit icy in parts making some parts a bit treacherous. I guess that's one (only) advantage of a dry December that you can get to experience this area. Once it starts snowing the road can be closed. Amazing views on Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, and this entrance to the Desolation Wilderness. Hockey players were enjoying the lake in the am but right now I wouldn't go out on the ice after midday.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike. There are some icy parts now (mid Dec) - but the extra caution in those areas is well worth taking for the view of the lake. Ice skaters were enjoying the lake as well. Don’t be put off by the numerous cars - most visitors don’t go beyond the entry to the park.

Beautiful!

backpacking
4 months ago

Beautiful hike along the PCT. Unfortunately the trail right before Tamarack Lake was covered in about 2 feet of snow. Not knowing this, we only had hiking boots. Ended up camping the night at Tamarack Lake which was just as gorgeous and isolated.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful! Well worth it. Definitely going again.

Beautiful trail! The lake on the way to the top is great and there are a lot of early vistas to keep you interested. In late November there was a significant amount of snow as you move past the lake and towards the top though so definitely wear hiking boots and start earlier than us (1pm) if you’re trying to go to the top.

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