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.

9 hours ago

Wow, what a location. Backpacked in with 3 boys ages 13,12,11. Fantastic hike, not too hard but hard enough for them to accomplish something cool. The lake is amazing, fantastic day hiking. Caught tons of trout. All the boys got big brook trout, more than enough for dinner.

on Eagle Lake Trail

15 hours ago

Fairly easy hike through the rocks. Mostly stairs. Eagle lake is refreshing.

The trail to Eagle Falls is pretty easy, kids were hiking with their parents. Once you get to the water falls, which is gorgeous, there is a big beach area with breathtaking views of the lake! The hike back is moderate, due to going up hill a bit. But it’s not to long...worth it!!

3 days ago

Beautiful view for a 4 mile pretty moderate level hike. Goes in a big loop, this way there is a different view coming back down the mountain. While we went there was a deceased horse on one of the trails that they warn you about on the message board before the trails begin. Be careful if you’re sensitive to that kind of stuff. They will probably let nature take its course for a while before they can get it out of there. Otherwise, highly recommend the hike.

on Lake Aloha Trail

4 days ago

Very beautiful hike! Some snow left but mostly melting. Water proof shoes recommended. Not a lot of shade so apply sunscreen. Aloha lake is beautiful right now with some snow left.

The Wright's lake recreation area was still closed so we parked in parking area just outside of gate. made our hike about 1 mile longer but it was a flat easy mile. once you hit the trail head its up hill pretty much the whole way. mostly sunny hiking with some shady spots. 2 small creek crossings. Some areas the trail is easy to follow. other areas you have to stop and look for cairns or follow. Not to difficult to keep on trail if you are observent. Strenuous hike but well worth it especially when you get to twin lakes. Amazing views at the lakes.

horseback riding
5 days ago

I would recommend an experience horse and rider on this trail, we were 15 minutes into the ride when we encountered granite as in the trail turned into granite and one of the horses slipped and fell maybe 40 feet below and stopped before going over. it took Cal Fire over 2 hours to extract the horse with the help of an equine veterinarian. If you don't like cliffs, this is not the ride for you.

Amazing views from the peak. The trail to the peaks is left, off the trail that goes down into Desolation. Just follow the stacked rocks. Snow basically gone for the season. Excellent place to have your lunch or just look down into Cascade,Fallen Leaf and Tahoe. Also a great view of Tallac. Trailhead parking goes fast so get there early.

6 days ago

Just hiked this 3 days ago. The snow was melting quickly and made for some sketchy steps. Overall very nice backpacking location. Did well fishing Aloha as well. The only thing I would have done different is if you’re planning on bringing a dog consider bringing boots for them. The granite was tough on my pups feet after the hike up and out and a couple days at the Lake.

Left thinking I'd come up to echo lake to kayak. thought the hike was great. Very peaceful up at Aloha Lake. Yes, you are not alone out there. Plenty of people make the hike.

Great hike. There is still some snow, but nothing too difficult to cross or very long. There are 2 larger creek crossings in the upper loop that are not too difficult but require some caution. On one crossing we needed to remove our shoes/socks to avoid getting wet, but it was still easy to cross and not dangerous. This is a beautiful area and well worth the effort. Poles will help with the snow and creek crossings.

9 days ago

I hiked this on June 10. Still some snow from about the Woods Lake turn off, the snow is melting quickly from underneath so you need to take care not to post hole. The water from the melting snow is mostly running down the trail so expect to get your shoes wet and muddy. I took a left turn at the Aloha Lakes sign (past the Woods lake turn off), lost the trail had to use the GPS to find again. Would recommend going straight at that sign, trail much easier to follow. Aloha Lake is not longer frozen but still a lot of snow on the Crystal Range which makes for pretty scenery.

9 days ago

This is a great trail. I've been doing it for many years. It's also fun when covered in snow. In the summer, eagle lake makes for a great spot to stop and take a swim. It's really just the gateway to all the other trails in desolation wilderness.
Instead of doing an out and back, you can head towards Bayview and make it a full loop. Keep in mind that if you park near Eagle falls trailhead and you exit at Bayview, you will need to walk along 89 back to your car. It's pretty safe, but I'd recommend walking on the east side of the road (with traffic) to avoid all the potential falling rock on the west side.

We did this on June 8th. Patches of snow on the PCT after lake of the woods crossing but easy to through. The trails are full of running water from the melt off around Aloha so waterproof shoes or extra socks recommended. Overall a gorgeous trail and great backpacking trip to take first timers too.

11 days ago

Beautiful trail! Amazing views everywhere! I was pretty the only hiker on the trail on the way up until I ran into some backpackers. Perfect trail to enjoy some solitude. There are not many signs, but I just followed the stacked rocks and found the trail fine. Also, the trail is pretty much snow-free, but the road to the main parking lot is still closed so I ended up hiked a mile from overflow parking lot to the trail head.

Great hike with amazing views at the end. Last push to the top was a little tricky due to snow, but just went straight up. Grade is gradual to the end so quite doable.

long and strenous, very easy to get lost due to knee-deep snow after mile 4. the views are magnificent!
would come back for overnight camping trip, not another day hike

Beautiful views!!!

13 days ago

Easy hike to get to the bridge with the falls, after that you have to climb a bit to get to Eagle Lake. Nothing terrible and there are several spots that you can hang out on the side if you need to catch your breath or snap some photos. Make sure you bring $5 to pay for the parking at the bottom or have a friend drop you off and pick you up. You could even take the trolley if it is running.

family loved it, well worth the hike.

Long day hike. Still quite a bit of snow as of 6/3 with some post holing around deeper rock patches but most of it is walkable/not frozen. Definitely no need for snowshoes or any traction really for vast majority... extra weight not worth it for where it could help.

Absolutely beautiful hike. Lots of waterfalls on the way up to the lakes and not too many hikers in the late spring. Parts of the trail are not well marked, which can get confusing at times. Fortunately, the trail follows a river most of the way, so it’s hard to get too lost. The views of the peaks and lakes at the end of the trail are well worth the trip!

16 days ago

The snow is melting fast. There is still a little left towards the top but nothing to worry about. I decided to do this to get ready for some bigger mountains and this is now my favorite hike I’ve done in desolation wilderness so far. The views are awesome at the top!

Awesome hike! Still quite a bit of snow to cross up at Upper Velma and Dicks. Still fairly stable snow, but you will fall through up to your waist in places.

17 days ago

Definitely a rock scramble after the waterfall, but views are worth it.

Completed this hike yesterday. Decent amount of snow past the Lake of the Woods cutoff trail but easy to follow the trail with all of the foot traffic. Ton of people on the first section of the trail but thinned out after Tamarack Lake. Such a beautiful hike and Lake Aloha was gorgeous with snow still covering portions of it.

Great hike with amazing views. There was snow towards the top, but easy to get around.

18 days ago

This hike is beautiful, well marked, used by many, but also quiet and contemplative. The views are rewarding and following along the creek and seeing the falls reminded me of Eagle Lake's hydrological connection to Lake Tahoe. Once at the lake, we managed to find a spot to picnic between rocks where we could not see any other people. Really rewarding and nice. We took this hike thinking we were going to hike the Rubicon Trail but couldn't because we had our dog with us. She loved this hike, made it the whole way with enthusiasm despite her age and relative inactivity.

21 days ago

Beautiful views of both Echo lakes and Aloha, along with several other lakes. Aloha was partially frozen over and worth the hike through the snow.

Great hike we didn't really follow a trail just scrambled up and down. Definitely worth it for the views.

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