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desolation wilderness ranger station

This adventure can be done throughout the year. After scrambling a few more hundred feet up through loose rocks and dense brushes, we made it to the top of Jacks peak. Maps and trail information are available at the Carson Ranger Station. The two most convenient are on Highway 50 near Placerville (916-644-6048) and in South Lake Tahoe (916-573-2600). I complained again that if done in the winter, this crossing would have been a breeze using crampons and an ice axe.We finally made it to the ridge east of Dicks peak. This trail (which remains anonymous as of the time when this is written) was very secluded and showed significant signs of bear activity - testimony of the very few people who seem to use it. The proximity to the lake makes it a popular destination. Hikers climbing out of the densely wooded Lake Tahoe basin are often startled by the Desolation Wilderness' sudden expanse of … A large field of sharp granite seems to dominate the landscape. The high grade and loose rocks made the crossing long and frustrating. After many years of being a full time freelance writer, and a long time resident of this state, I've decided to turn my full attention toward California by exploring all that it has to offer. Taylor Creek Station. Without any climbing gear whatsoever, we proceeded carefully. We had a great time exploring this region of Desolation Wilderness. Permits are required year-round for both day and overnight use. When we got to Tahoe Ranger STation… At one point, we had to lower our packs in order to safely climb down without that weight on our back. The few bouldering sections are relatively easy and display large grips. This loop traverses over Rockbound Pass and Dicks Pass on its way to the beautiful Lake Aloha. The scenery is breathtaking and difficult to describe with words. Finding a good campsite is hard around Dicks Lake - I recommend the northern and eastern shores. It is also a popular section for PCT thru-hikers. I plan on backpacking for a two night trip in Desolation Wilderness starting at the Pyramid Creek Trailhead with a few friends. The Desolation Wilderness is located just to the southwest of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50. The Mount Rose Wilderness is located southwest of Reno, Nevada. This wilderness straddles both sides of the Sierra Nevada, averages 12.5 miles in length and eight miles in width, and has elevations ranging from about 6,500 feet to over 10,000 feet. As I like to say, the Sierra never disappoints. The area is well-known for its hiking, wildflowers and birding. After studying various maps and talking to rangers, we set a route. Make sure to empty your car of all food items (this is prime bear country), take your permit, and you are good to go ! It then turns to an actual trail and winds up through beautiful forests and meadows. Desolation Wilderness Area ─ Use Permits. Several sites offer sweeping views of Wrights Lake. The first mile consists of a unmaintained concrete road winding up past Lily Lake. Description: The Desolation Wilderness encompasses 64,053 acres of rugged alpine terrain in the Tahoe region of the Sierra Nevada. However, the $6/permit reservation fee still applies. From South Lake Tahoe, get on Highway 89 heading north and take a left on Fallen Leaf Road. Today was our last day on the trail and we had planned to go back to the parking lot. The Pacific Crest Trail passes through the length of the wilderness, and its proximity to roads makes it one of the more easily accessible wildernesses in the Sierra. Lake Aloha quickly became one of my favorite backcountry lakes in the Sierra. You can pick up permits at ranger stations or fill out overnight ones online. Desolation wilderness is not so desolate. The trail from Glen Alpine to Lake Aloha is well marked and quite easy to follow. Past Susie Lake, the trail follows its path towards Heather Lake and climbs another 600 ft for 2 miles towards Lake Aloha. You can fill out a permit at the trailheads. It then turns onto a steep and stunning canyon with expansive views of the southern flanks of Desolation Wilderness. 2) The maximum number of people per group, day trip or overnighter is 12. Alternatively you can fill the wilderness permits up in any major trail head. We figured this would be an unofficial “off the beaten path” trail and enjoyed the idea of going back this way. Crystal Info Center. We completed this short distance backpacking trip over 3 days in July of 2018. … After following the ridge for a few hundred feet, we joined the PCT heading down towards Dicks Lake, In hindsight, climbing Dicks Peak would have been a lot of fun and might have taken less time than the crossing we went through. For day hikers, permits are free. Permits are required – day use permits can be issued at the trail. It is part of the Eldorado National Forrest and managed by the Forrest Service. It was Tuesday, September 15. 2020 Season: Hard-copy Day Use Permits will be temporarily suspended in Desolation Wilderness for the 2020 season, due to the current COVID-19 situation. Lake Aloha is a large Alpine Lake which sits at 8,100 ft. Nearest Nevada Towns: Reno and Incline Village We hiked this section at the end of the day and I found the colors to be stunning. Desolation is a popular backpacking destination, with much barren rocky terrain at the edge of the tree line. Overnight Recreation Fee: There is a per person fee for a Desolation Wilderness Overnight Permit. Located west of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50, the Desolation Wilderness is a spectacular area of subalpine and alpine forests, granitic peaks, and glacially formed valleys and lake basins. Backpack to this secluded destination that's hidden from most of the traffic in Desolation Wilderness. Trip Overview: ~38 mile backpacking trip in Desolation Wilderness near South Lake Tahoe. The climbing never got difficult to the point that we would require ropes and climbing gear. We set up our tent and called it a night. This trail crosses a beautiful forrest of pines for 1 mile. We headed out on a sunny Sunday to Lake Aloha. Phone: (530) 293-3510 . The terrain consisted mainly of loose rocks which made our feet quite sore. We packed our gear and headed north of Aloha Lake towards the base of Jacks Peak (see the map for more details). The Desolation Wilderness lies in the north of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, close to Lake Tahoe. The photographs below are a small testimony of what we experienced. 3) Dogs must be on a leash at all times. The following is a list to better prepare you for your next Desolation Wilderness adventure: For a list of Desolation Wilderness trailheads, click here. I was driving on Highway 50 to the Pacific Ranger Station at Pollock Pines to pick up my permit for the Desolation Wilderness for the week. Forest ranger Miranda Leconte prepares a meal while working in the Desolation Wilderness. Snow chained may be required. Phone: (530) 543-2600 35 College Drive South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150. Get Your Permit – Never hike in Desolation Wilderness without filling out your permit. Just west of Northern California's Lake Tahoe is a remarkable landscape, mostly devoid of dense vegetation but overflowing with alpine lakes. If going during peak season, I highly recommend reserving your permit in advance as it fills up quickly. We made our way up, sometimes hiking steep uphills, sometimes doing actual climbing. From there, the road becomes unmaintained, yet still manageable for non-SUVs. On the southern shore of Gilmore Lake, we made a right turn on a very narrow - almost hard to see - trail and followed it down. There is no official sign at the top. Day use is not subject to fees nor limited by quota at any time of the year. If the first section up Jacks peak consisted of an easy class 3, I would rate the way down towards the ridge as an average to difficult class 3.We really wanted to make it up to Dicks Peak, but it started getting late in the day. The permits list your information, where you are going and allow rangers to know where you are hiking. After studying our maps, I had decided we would travel off-trail and join Dicks Lake (our destination) by way of two-mountain passes: Jacks peak and Dicks Peak. Easy marked dirt trail then on the granite there were stones lined along the way to … You will need to obtain backcountry permits at one of the 3 Ranger Stations (two of them being located on the south shore of Lake Tahoe). Endless camping opportunities and is spacious enough so that you will experience true backcountry solitude up past Lake... Canyon with expansive views of the Sierra Nevada is found here Alpine to Lake is! 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