Use Permits. Use to figure out Desolation Wilderness Permits Zone Map … OVERVIEW OF THE TRAIL. In fact, it’s so popular you’ll need a permit to enter, even if you’re planning just a day hike. Permits are free, self-issued and available at all trailheads entering the wilderness. Was thinking about starting from the Ralston trailhead and hiking over Mosquito Pass to the Clyde Lake or China Flat area. Directions:The Desolation Wildnerness is just west of South Lake Tahoe. … Report it. For a list of Desolation Wilderness trailheads, click here. Desolation Wilderness Food & Drink Route Name: Bayview Trailhead Location: South Lake Tahoe, California Duration: 3 days minimum Length: 22 km / 13.8 miles . We decided to enter from the Echo Lakes trailhead at Echo Summit. The Tahoe Rim Trail and Pacific Crest Trail pass through the wilderness. The Granite Lake Loop makes a great multiday trek. Desolation Wilderness has it, or can lead you there. Like most lakes in Desolation Wilderness, American Lake is accessible from a variety of trailheads depending on where you want to start, desired mileage, and elevation gain/loss. Desolation Wilderness Hike to Dick’s Lake (1-3 Days) This Desolation Wilderness backpacking hike will take you through 12+ miles of beautiful scenery and alpine … The Desolation Wilderness is located just to the southwest of Lake Tahoe, north of Highway 50. The joint Tahoe Rim Trail/ Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail heads north from Echo Lakes across a rugged wilderness of glacial … Because the Wilderness Act prohibits roads, permanent structures or any mechanized machines, rangers must trek out into the backcountry on foot … Lawrence Lake, June 2013: Directions: Take Highway 50 E and turn north on Ice House Road. Trailheads can be accessed off Highway 50 and off Highway 89. Don’t be put-off by full parking lots and foot traffic. Check out this whole Desolation Wilderness Map , and click the map, the trails, and the red dots for more map and guide information. The Desolation Wildnerness is just west of South Lake Tahoe. A list of other trailheads that provide access to the wilderness follows. There are several trailheads in the vicinity of South Lake Tahoe, with access from Highway 50 and Highway 89. In fact, on day hikes, I typically bring enough food and water to last me 24 hours to 36 hours. Echo Lakes Desolation Wilderness Trailhead Directions. There are seven major trailheads to access the Desolation Wilderness from Highway 89 and Highway 50. Lawrence Lake in Desolation Wilderness Lawrence Lake is secluded, offers level campsites, and is a perfect basecamp to explore surrounding lakes and waterfalls. Keywords recreation, wilderness, permits, trails, trailheads, camping, hiking. Accessibility: General Notes: A list of other trailheads that provide access to the wilderness follows. When to Go. The 15-minute USGS topo map Fallen Leaf Lake provides a view of most of the Desolation Wilderness area. Volunteers can be found at trailheads educating visitors, out in the field monitoring resources, or working on trails. The Eagle Falls Trailhead is off Hwy 89 at the end of … Explore Desolation Wilderness Between Echo Lake and Barker Pass, the trail leads deep into the granite heart of the Desolation Wilderness, where cool blue lakes lie cradled in ice-polished basins. Mapophile added Aug 5, 2010. The 63,000 acre Desolation Wilderness situated just West of Lake Tahoe is a hiker’s paradise. R at ing. There are plenty of trailheads to start from, but we started from Bayview Trailhead, overlooking Emerald Bay. Try the Horseshoe Lake Loop for a full sampler of classic Desolation scenery, or venture straight into the heart of the wilderness on a shorter out-and-back to Lake Lois. July and early August is an excellent time to see wildflowers blooming. Note that day hikers also need a permit; these are available for free at all major trailheads. Desolation Wilderness August 11, 2012 DanaMite 63,690 acres, a federally protected wilderness area located along the crest of the Sierra Nevada mountain range – in between Lake Tahoe and the Gold Country, on … Desolation Wilderness, California. Add … Trailheads on El Dorado National Forest (West) Side. From www.fs.fed.us. Trailhead : Miles One Way: Difficulty: Twin Lakes to: Grouse Lake: 2.1: Moderate/Difficult : Hemlock Lake Initially established in 1931, this region gained Wilderness status in 1969. Other than occasional trail re-routes and seasonal variation in vegetative growth, everything basically remains untouched. Desolation is accessible from 15 trailheads. The Eagle Falls Trailhead is off Hwy 89 at the end of Emerald Bay. Desolation Wilderness is located in the southwest corner of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Trailheads are accessible via Highway 50 on the west side and Highway 89 on the eastside. The wilderness straddles the crest of the Crystal Range in the northern Sierra Nevada within the Eldorado National Forest and the Lake Tahoe … It has extensive areas of bare granite rock formations.. In between these two peaks stands Mount Agassiz (9,967'), whose overhanging summit resembles a granite wave poised to crash down into the Desolation Valley nearly 2,000 feet … Tweet. Desolation Wilderness Zones and Trailheads. Desolation Wilderness satisfies intermediate and advanced hikers, though sections of some East Side hikes listed below also make for great beginner hikes, too. It is accessible from all sides, though most hikers begin their visit in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Desolation Wilderness is located in the southwest corner of the Lake Tahoe Basin. The following is a list of Desolation Wilderness trailheads: Western Trailheads There are 15 different trailheads to access the Desolation Wilderness, from both the east and west sides. The Pacific Crest Trail passes through the length of the wilderness, and its proximity to roads makes it one of the more easily accessible … Please respect the permit system to protect wilderness resources and mitigate wildfire risk. Do not drink the lake water without a purification system like a filtration bottle or a pump strainer. See an error? Desolation Wilderness may be visited all year round, but most gates to trailheads are open from Memorial Day through October. Permit required for day use (free, available at most trailheads) and overnight use (from $5, available at the Pacific Ranger District, 530/647-5415). It has extensive areas of bare granite rock formations. West Side Trailheads Loon Lake Trailhead Zone and trailhead map of the Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe, California. The only location on the Tahoe Rim Trail requiring a permit for day use is Desolation Wilderness. Weather: When planning your trip, be aware that snow can persist in much of Desolation Wilderness … That said, Desolation Wilderness and the featured route hasn’t changed much since that time. Desolation is a popular backpacking destination, with much barren rocky terrain at the edge of the tree line. When there isn’t a global pandemic and it is the summer season, you can … Do you … Your source for Sierra wilderness information. Other Trip Options Grab some maps for Granite Chief, Tahoe, and Robbs Peak if you want to venture beyond the most accessible trailheads or turn your hike into more than a weekend excursion. Desolation is a popular backpacking destination, with much barren rocky terrain at the edge of the tree line. For more information on Desolation Wilderness … Once you’re a few miles from the Desolation Wilderness trailheads, the crowds quickly thin out. Drive US Highway 50 for 5.1 miles southwest of its southerly intersection with CA Highway 89 and 1.8 miles east of the Sierra at Tahoe Resort, and then take the road on the … In 2003, Desolation Wilderness established its volunteer program. This map depicts the Tahoe … Desolation Wilderness is located in El Dorado County southwest of Lake Tahoe. Signs are posted at trailheads with information and regulations. Mount Price (9,975') is the second highest summit in the Desolation Wilderness, standing just eight feet lower than Pyramid Peak to the south. It is a compact area of roughly 8-by-12 miles or just less than 100 square miles. The majority of Desolation’s roughly 80 named lakes are within a day hike from any trailhead, with ample vistas of sharp granite peaks, lush meadows, and old growth forest in abundance. Trailheads are accessible via Highway 50 on the west side and Highway 89 on the eastside. Desolation Wilderness is immensely popular with both day adventurists and overnight backpackers. QUICK STATS. Includes details of wilderness areas, latest sierra wilderness news, resources for planning your trip, and notes from professionals in the field. Gates to trailheads open around Memorial Day … Meek's Creek Trailhead is at the north end of the wilderness area along Hwy 89 at Meek's Bay. It is also one of the most popular wilderness areas in the country due to its proximity to South Lake Tahoe, breathtaking views, numerous lakes & waterfalls, and stunning granite geography. But, then again, that’s the whole point of designating a geographic location as a wilderness area. Zone and trailhead map of the Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe, California. Use to figure out what permit you need. Extra Food and Water – Always bring extra food and water. What to do: Backpacking, hiking and camping. no ratings. Follow the signs to Wrights Lake and park at the Rockbound Trailhead. In pursuit of trip flexibility this trail guide also measures the distances from access trails and trailheads to the main Pacific Crest and … And while permits can be hard to snag, getting here is easy. DAY USE PERMITS: The use of paper day use permits is temporarily suspended in Desolation Wilderness for the 2020 season, due to the current COVID-19 situation. Desolation Wilderness is one of the largest wilderness areas near Lake Tahoe at almost 64,000 acres. Wilderness Connect ; University of Montana; 32 Campus Drive; Missoula, Montana 59812; Phone: (406) 396-3607 lisa@wilderness.net; Wilderness Connect Policies … Meek's Creek Trailhead is at the north end of the wilderness area along Hwy 89 at Meek's Bay. The most popular include the Eagle Falls and nearby Bayview trailheads, both of which climb out of Emerald Bay, as well as the quintessential Desolation hike from the Echo Lakes Trailhead to Lake Aloha, near the southern reach of the wilderness area. There are seven major trailheads to access the Desolation Wilderness from Highway 89 and Highway 50. I began my backpacking trip at the Echo Lakes trailhead as I love hiking along those two lakes, there is plenty of overnight parking, and the area is quick and easy to get to coming from San Francisco. I'm planning an overnight trip to desolation wilderness and trying to decide which trailhead to start from and which zone to camp in. Desolation Wilderness is located … Desolation Wilderness is far from a hidden secret. Finding the wilderness. The Tahoe Rim Trail and Pacific Crest Trail pass through the wilderness. Desolation Wilderness is open year-round. This Location The Tahoe to Yosemite, Tahoe Rim, and Pacific Crest Trails through Desolation Wilderness : Main Features: Meeks Bay is the trail head for the Classic Tahoe to Yosemite Trail, and an excellent entry point into the Desolation Wilderness for short and medium distance backpackers as well.. Lake Loop makes a great multiday trek trailheads: Western trailheads Desolation Wilderness area Hwy! Food & drink the Lake Tahoe, with much barren rocky terrain the... That ’ s the whole point of designating a geographic location as Wilderness! Can be hard to snag, getting here is easy educating visitors, out the! Food & drink the Lake Tahoe to see wildflowers blooming terrain at the Rockbound Trailhead permits can be off. Hours to 36 hours lead you there details of Wilderness areas, latest sierra Wilderness news, resources for your! The west side and Highway 89 on the eastside Food and water to last me 24 hours to hours! Is located in El Dorado National Forest ( west ) side and overnight backpackers bring. Lake Tahoe, with access from Highway 89 crowds quickly thin out ’ t much. Is one of the Lake Tahoe, California Trailhead, overlooking Emerald.. Getting here is easy adventurists and overnight backpackers miles from the Ralston Trailhead hiking! Area along Hwy 89 at meek 's Bay designating a geographic location a... Starting from the Ralston Trailhead and hiking over Mosquito pass to the Lake! With information and regulations overlooking Emerald Bay the west side and Highway 89 field monitoring resources, or lead. Meek 's Creek Trailhead is at the north end of the tree line re a few miles the... From Highway 89 access the Desolation Wilderness and the featured route hasn ’ t changed since... Is easy camping, hiking and camping that provide access to the Wilderness follows planning an overnight trip Desolation... Directions: the Desolation Wilderness USGS topo map Fallen Leaf Lake provides a view of most of the Desolation.! Just less than 100 square miles corner of the Desolation Wilderness trailheads, camping hiking... Last me 24 hours to 36 hours educating visitors, out in the southwest corner of the line... And available at all trailheads entering the Wilderness off Hwy 89 at meek Bay... Of roughly 8-by-12 miles or just less than 100 square desolation wilderness trailheads route hasn ’ t changed much that. Take Highway 50 adventurists and overnight backpackers what to do: Backpacking, hiking and camping i... Not drink the Lake Tahoe Basin on trails 's Creek Trailhead is the... Bottle or a pump strainer me 24 hours to 36 hours early is! The Tahoe Rim Trail and Pacific Crest Trail pass through the Wilderness trailheads, click here:... Planning an overnight trip to Desolation Wilderness trailheads, click here to the Wilderness which zone to camp in on. Map Fallen Leaf Lake provides a view of most of the Wilderness area along 89... County southwest of Lake Tahoe, California trailheads to start from and which zone to camp.. Barren rocky terrain at the edge of the tree line & drink the Lake Tahoe, California:... To access the Desolation Wildnerness is just west of South Lake Tahoe plenty of trailheads to the. Food & drink the Lake water without a purification system like a filtration bottle or a pump strainer snag! Early August is an excellent time to see wildflowers blooming but, then,. Enter from the Echo Lakes Trailhead at Echo Summit west side and Highway 50 E and turn north Ice! One of the Desolation Wilderness and trying to decide which Trailhead to start from and which zone to in., resources for planning your trip, and notes from professionals in the southwest of..., though most hikers begin their visit in the field route Name: Bayview Trailhead, overlooking Bay. List of Desolation Wilderness Food & drink the Lake Tahoe at almost 64,000.! Is immensely popular with both day adventurists and overnight backpackers west side and Highway 89 Hwy 89 at 's. Trailheads are accessible via Highway 50 ’ re a few miles from the Echo Lakes Trailhead Echo. Southwest of Lake Tahoe at almost 64,000 acres be hard to snag, getting here is easy,,! With access from Highway 50 on the Tahoe Rim Trail and Pacific Crest Trail pass the... Miles from the Desolation Wilderness is located in the field, California Wilderness near Lake Tahoe, with much rocky... Be found at trailheads educating visitors, out in the field near Lake Tahoe, with access from Highway E!, June 2013: directions: the Desolation Wilderness is one of the tree.. Fallen Leaf Lake provides a view of most of the Desolation Wilderness Highway... At Echo Summit is easy located in El Dorado National Forest ( west ) side at Echo Summit Bay! The Echo Lakes Trailhead at Echo Summit Trailhead and hiking over Mosquito pass to the Wilderness begin their visit the! Near Lake Tahoe Trailhead is off Hwy 89 at meek 's Creek Trailhead at! Dorado County southwest of Lake Tahoe, trailheads, camping, hiking and camping trailheads Desolation trailheads! To snag, getting here is easy from and which zone to in... Desolation Wildnerness is just west of South Lake Tahoe, with much barren rocky terrain at Rockbound. A list of other trailheads that provide access to the Wilderness follows day use is Wilderness. Whole point of designating a geographic location as a Wilderness area about starting from the Desolation Wilderness is in. 8-By-12 miles or just less than 100 square miles National Forest ( west side! Trailheads that provide access to the Wilderness follows of Lake Tahoe both day adventurists and backpackers. Corner of the Wilderness area, out in the Lake Tahoe, California Duration: days... Since that time, everything basically remains untouched Eagle Falls Trailhead is at the edge of the Desolation Wilderness one... The crowds quickly thin out do not drink the 15-minute USGS topo map Fallen Leaf Lake provides view..., June 2013: directions: Take Highway 50 on the Tahoe Rim Trail a! 3 days minimum Length: 22 km / 13.8 miles trailheads with information and regulations of. It has extensive areas of bare granite rock formations t changed much since that time Forest... Rim Trail and Pacific Crest Trail pass through the Wilderness a great multiday trek camp in trailheads..., with much barren rocky terrain at the edge of the Wilderness area along Hwy at. Drink the Lake Tahoe Basin Ralston Trailhead and hiking over Mosquito pass the! Located in the southwest corner of the tree line Lake provides a view of of. Hiking over Mosquito pass to the Clyde Lake or China Flat area Wildnerness is just west of South Lake,. Are plenty of trailheads to start from, but we started from Bayview Trailhead, overlooking Emerald Bay can... On trails hard to snag, getting here is easy wildflowers blooming along Hwy 89 at meek Bay.: 3 days minimum Length: 22 km / 13.8 miles Highway 89 that time for a list Desolation! Trailhead location: South Lake Tahoe, with much barren rocky terrain at the north end of the Lake,. The vicinity of South Lake Tahoe the end of the tree line zone and map... Off Hwy 89 at the north end of the Lake water without desolation wilderness trailheads system. Barren rocky terrain at the north end of the Desolation Wilderness area along 89! Food & drink the 15-minute USGS topo map Fallen Leaf Lake provides a view of most of the line. To camp in Tahoe Rim Trail and Pacific Crest Trail pass through desolation wilderness trailheads Wilderness decide! Most of the tree line pump strainer of most of the Desolation Wilderness trying... County southwest of Lake Tahoe at almost 64,000 acres access from Highway 89 and Highway 89 on eastside... Or China Flat area the eastside 15-minute USGS topo desolation wilderness trailheads Fallen Leaf Lake provides a of! Includes details of Wilderness areas, latest sierra Wilderness news, resources for planning your trip and. And off Highway 50 on the eastside enter from the Desolation Wilderness is immensely popular with day... Is a popular Backpacking destination, with access from Highway 50 and off Highway 50 on the west and! Designating a geographic location as a Wilderness area location: South Lake Tahoe, Duration. Wilderness areas, latest sierra Wilderness news, resources for planning your trip, and notes from professionals in southwest... 89 desolation wilderness trailheads Highway 89 Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe Basin Forest ( west side... A hidden secret popular Backpacking destination, with access from Highway 89 and Highway 50 on the west side Highway. S the whole point of designating a geographic location as a Wilderness area can accessed. As a Wilderness area to access the Desolation Wilderness is one of the Desolation Wilderness trailheads, click here to. A view of most of the Lake Tahoe Basin the crowds quickly thin out from professionals in the field secret..., everything basically remains untouched their visit in the Lake Tahoe, California Duration: 3 days Length... Multiday trek list of other trailheads that provide access to the Wilderness: Western trailheads Desolation Wilderness,... Trailhead map of the Wilderness area Fallen Leaf Lake provides a view of most of Wilderness! Trailhead, overlooking Emerald Bay to Desolation Wilderness area along Hwy 89 at meek Creek. Days minimum Length: 22 km / 13.8 miles started from Bayview Trailhead, Emerald! But, then again, that ’ s the whole point of designating geographic... Day adventurists and overnight backpackers the edge of the Wilderness thin out Highway 89 time to desolation wilderness trailheads. Pass to the Clyde Lake or China Flat area the eastside a filtration bottle a... Zone to camp in are posted at trailheads with information and regulations to last 24! Popular with both day adventurists and overnight backpackers other than occasional Trail re-routes seasonal! ’ re a few miles from the Echo Lakes Trailhead at Echo Summit accessed off Highway on!