Parking is a little tricky. Trail was easy to follow. Some parts of the trail were very narrow. The views were amazing.

off trail
over grown
washed out
1 day ago

After reading some reviews of this loop, i decided to give it a try, starting on the Tamarack Trail and making my way towards Lake Aloha clockwise. I chose this due to the many reviews stating this section of the trail is not only extremely difficult to follow, but also quite steep and tough to navigate, so if needed i could turn back early on. First off, the start of the trail is quite reasonable, and i was thinking these reviews were absolutely ridiculous, but the trail quickly became a waterfall with gushing water and a steep trail, as well as many moments where you are struggling to push past overgrown bush while attempting to climb, which can seem a bit scary. However, i was able to complete this section, and did not seem to lose the trail until the snow completely covered it close to the top. The views from this section are phenomenal, and i was quite excited to be hiking that side of desolation and I am normally on the Tallac side. The top intersection leads a few directions, and not only did i want to avoid the snow, but I was attempting to visit as many Alpine Lakes as possible, so i chose to head down towards Echo lake at this point, so i am unsure how the trail is from the top of Tamarack to Lake Aloha. I climbed back up the PCT from Echo and continued towards Tamarack lake as well as Lake Of The Woods (both super gorgeous!) then finally was able to join back with the trail at Lake Aloha (easily one of the gems of Desolation) The trail around Aloha was tricky to navigate with the amount of snow still at elevation, but once rounding the turn towards Heather Lake it all became a ton easier. Super fun loop with a huge challenge, be ready for a long day out there! Total took me roughly 7 hours, and i normally hike quicker than average

Great hike to Dardanelles lake than over to Round lake Cool weather. Nice breeze. Pasted about 8 sets of other hikers/biker. Trail dry except for little patches of snow towards round lake. Hiked in hiking tennis’s. Bug we’re to a minimum. Beautiful!

Great place for an easy-moderate hike. Little muddy in places, I wore Nike runners and I didn’t get wet or muddy. Great lake views, water was not cold and it felt good to dip the feet in before the long hike back.

2 days ago

Beautiful day..waterfall is rushing...go early...gets crowded

excellent trail but extremely busy avoid if you're looking for a secluded hike but the waterfall was worth the trip to me!

Did this in two days this past weekend. SO MUCH SNOW. Would have been totally lost/in big trouble without the Guthooks app, because I could not see the trail probably 90% of the time. Microspikes were a big help, but when it warmed up the snow got so soft I was falling through it often. Should have brought more socks. Amazing views, great hike, but those were tough, tough miles at this time of year. Also, there were bear tracks.

I'm new(ish) to the area for summer hiking. Upon a recommendation from workmates, started at Big Meadow Trail head with boyfriend and doggo for a birthday hike on the eve of Memorial Day Weekend. Phenomenal hike. Could not recommend more. Moderate hike, out and back with steady elevation gains. Meadow views, valley views, and the lake is breathtaking; pictures don't do it justice. Snowy patches, but I hiked this in shorts with no problem. This trail is now the site where we GOT ENGAGED! These trails will forever be a part of our story <3 Started around 0900, only a a few people on the way back to the trailhead. Highly recommend.

Amazing hike. Didn't see another soul the entire hike back from the lake. There was patchy snow from the meadow to about half a mile from the lake and then the trail was totally covered. The snow is melting fast-and I mean there was a noticeable difference in the snow between the way up and the way back fast- so it should be ready for family hikes soon. It will still be a while before the high country melts out though, so the likelihood of an early summer up there is probably pretty small at this point. Probably around a late June start date for peak bagging if I had to guess.

Beautiful hike as always, and what a difference a day makes! Following up from Zach's post, the snowfields approaching Dardanelles today are melting, minor, and easily traversed in hiking boots. The meadow is wet in the usual spring spots. Small fish are enjoying the afternoon sunshine under the bridge entering the meadow... enjoy!

15 days ago

Wonderful hike today, started snowy and ended with a bit of sun. The falls are rushing at the moment, so be careful when getting those photos :)

18 days ago

I love this trail but haven’t been in years. Not to difficult since there is little elevation change and the beautiful waterfall at the end is so worth it!

All snow is gone, super pretty views!

Dig your toes in, or heels, depending on which way you're heading right now. Best to either have snowshoes or waterproof pants, and a second pair of socks for the way home! Otherwise, wait a couple more weeks for the snow to melt completely.

25 days ago

Can be a technical trail in this shoulder season. After the big meadow, I stayed high along the valley wall to avoid big patches of snow but this is pretty steep and mostly loose rock, pretty sketchy. If you try and follow the trail in the next week or so, expect to encounter lots of snow. It’s almost not enough for full time snow shoes but as the snow softens, you can sink up to your knees in places so definitely be careful. Not kid friendly this time of year in my opinion. Probably a bit early in the season for most dogs. The lake was still frozen over, and peaceful, so still worth it, but if you’re looking for big views, look elsewhere. Overall good trail if you just want to get someone without a lot of hikers where it’s peaceful.

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