Explore the most popular hiking 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.

great hike

it was a great snowy winterland. it was a wonderful trek and not to long. it is also pretty well marked except after the waterfall. then it got tricky so I decided not to continue and headed back down.

Recently I had the great fortune of hiking to Lake of the Woods with two of our sons. We took a chance, late in the hiking season, to travel a small portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. This wonderful little trail offered a variety of terrain, lakes and foliage. While challenging, in my current athletic ability, this well-traveled trail gives the day hiker and backpacker stunning views and beautiful scenery.

We had the lake to ourselves for two days. Clear sky and beautiful weather with temps in the sixties daytime and low thirties at night, made for a fantastic trip!

We will be back to this little gem again!

Went up yesterday & it was very snowy!! Totally beautiful though maybe not all cars could make it on the snow covered road to get to the lake.

Amazing hike!

Beautiful trail - tried to do after a big snow storm and lost the last mile of trail. Still had great views and would recommend.

hiking
24 days ago

Loved it. Great views. A good amount of uphill climbing on the way up to Eagle Lake but well worth it!

hiking
25 days ago

Amazing views all around, watch your step, & keep your kids away from the mountain edge, lots of slippery loose rocks. Parking is sheer luck if you get one. So much beauty here, enjoy!

Beautiful lakes; nice easy to follow trail; interesting granite formation; only thing missing is a waterfall

Great trail for families. Kids loved climbing the rocks. Beautiful views.

5 stars for beautiful family trail but had to only give 3 because waaaay too crowded

Easy and pretty, perfect for acclimating to the elevation. We cut down to Upper Echo Lake and relaxed there for a bit.

hiking
27 days ago

nice hike, uphill, theres a cute bridge for pictures & leads you to the lake

hiking
27 days ago

Thanks to an unusual delay in winter storms, we got to enjoy this hike in mid-November. Although it is late in the hiking season, we still saw a number of other hikers on the trail. We knew Lake Aloha would be drained, but other lakes on the way still provided beautiful scenic views, Lake of the Woods in particular. To see this one, you’ll have to add a small loop with a steep climb, but it’s worth it!

As far as the hike itself, it was not terribly difficult. I didn’t enjoy hiking on the scree, but it is par for the course in Desolation Wilderness. The trail is well marked; just keep an eye out for the wooden posts marking various converging and crossing trails. Some people had their dogs, but I was glad I left mine at home since it is primarily an exposed, rocky path.

All in all, a great hike that I look forward to doing again in the summer!

hiking
27 days ago

Enjoyed a beautiful day on this trail, unusually warm and sunny for mid November. A fair number of people were out today, but most that we encountered were within a mile or two of the trailhead. Lake Aloha is drained at the end of the season, so we missed out on experiencing it in its full glory, but the other lakes did not disappoint. Lake of the Woods is worth the uphill climb you’ll encounter after you visit, so I recommend adding a loop on to see it.

great view, kids and dog friendly, the lake is an amazing meditation place

on Echo Lakes Trail

hiking
28 days ago

This was such a wonderful easy hike. Great for families with kids. Our 8 year old did it with a little help on the way back.

Great hike, the rock scramble by the waterfall is terrible. Once you get through it evens out a lot and is so much better.

On the way down you can crab walk or butt scoot next to the waterfall for the first portion. Its a little dangerous and I only recommend it for advanced hikers. You get down a lot faster and its so much more fun than the rock scramble. Be safe and watch out for smooth granite. This hike is great and is really pretty. Goodluck and have fun!

You’ll definitely loose the trail a bit. Great swimming holes to explore near Ropi.

hiking
1 month ago

The road to the trailhead for this hike is closed this time of year, so park when you get to the locked gate and then either walk on the road or take a loop trail around Wright’s Lake to find the start of the trail. It’s really beautiful this time of year, and not very busy. The trail is hard to follow at times, but you can keep your bearings by the prominent peaks and rock formations, plus the cairns, as you hike. Highly recommend!

It wonderful trail. Took us about 45 mins walk wonderful view the lake

hiking
1 month ago

This was a very challenging hike all trails has it at 7 1/2 it’s closer to 10. There is a choice to make either to go to Tamarack Lake or head up to Loop, Trail it was a very fun hike lots of use. Admittedly in some areas I was lost all trails seemed to be lost as well.Fortunately we ran into a few other hikers and we lead the way down I would not recommend this hike if you were not in hiking shape we made it but nothing like no other choice lots of loose gravel and very dangerous areas once again a great hike we loved it had a great time again very challenging and it’s some parts very dangerous.

Nice easy to moderate hike with lovely views. A little busy on a Sunday but it was also a holiday weekend. Try to go early! No smoke from fires when we went today (11/11/2018)

hiking
1 month ago

We had to park about a half mile before the trail head. The gate is closed for the winter. The trail in was pretty nice. The lake was very low and a disappointment.
Some water and Lakes are starting to freeze over so watch the weather.
For some reason my phone decided to stop recording for a period of time.
Time for a new phone!

hiking
1 month ago

What a hidden gem! This hike was a gorgeous trek through Desolation Wilderness across huge slabs of sparkling granite. At this time of year, the lakes were frozen, but so clear you could see through to the bottom. The views were spectacular even though it was a bit smoky due to a wildfire elsewhere in California. The trail can be difficult to keep track of, especially in the open granite areas. Keep an eye out for cairns to mark the way. While it wasn’t too strenuous, there was some loose talus and shale, making me wish I had my trekking poles on the way down. It is clear that this area is popular in the peak season, so we were happy to have the trail almost entirely to ourselves!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike

Absolutely gorgeous, the views are incredible throughout. The first two miles are definitely the hardest part and the rest of it has a good variety of uphill and downhill. The terrain is super varied which I loved and it switches between forests and rock piles. We did the trip in two days and it was amazing, I highly recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this trail, went during the off season and was able to have the trail to ourselves. Easy walk, beautiful views. Took us 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to the furthest lake and around 3 hours (with side hikes) to complete. You can get this trail done in 2 hours if you go straight there and back.

went counter clockwise on the loop and definitely recommend having a GPS locator and offline maps so you can keep on the right trail. we made mistake of following some hot pink flags up when we got on the loop section which takes you too far left. maybe that is another trail but we managed to find our way back to the right trail with our GPS. tough but fun if you like a challenge. hot on a good section of the trail and did not see any reliable water sources so would recommend extra water on a hot/sunny day. some fun rock scrambles so make sure you are in shape for a little climbing in areas. recommend layers, as with most mountains the peak was windy and a bit chilly. exhausted at end but such a beautiful hike!!!

gorgeous hike and the lake is amazing! might have been because I went on a Saturday, but it was incredibly crowded all the way up and down. Still a good one!

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