Forest trail North of the series of 3 trail junctions leading to Gilmore Lake and Glen Alpine to the East, Half Moon and Alta Morris Lakes to our West. Spring Creek Road lays between Cascade Lake to the North and Fallen Leaf Lake to the South. September 22, 2014 by TahoeMarmot in Day Hikes, Desolation Wilderness, Out and Back, West Shore and tagged Azure Lake, Eagle Lake, Fallen Leaf Lake, Granite Lake, Maggie Peaks. From this trail junction a bit North of Cathedral Lake we can hike North 2.2 miles to Spring Creek Road off of Highway 89, for a total of 4.79 miles from this trail junction to Gilmore Lake. Lakes. Beyond Cathedral Lake, the trail becomes steep and strenuous as it continues up the front face of Mount Tallac. Although this hike can be done as a … About two thirds of the route is over open slopes, and the views become steadily better, especially at the conclusion of the steepest section, where the path reaches a sloping plateau that extends south from the summit, revealing extensive granite landscapes to the west, at the center of the Desolation Wilderness. Here in Desolation Wilderness we saw the branded trail post. The destination, Lake Aloha in the California’s Desolation Wilderness, near Lake Tahoe. The trail to the Southeast from this junction shortly joins up with the same Glen Alpine trail that we just passed up to our North at the last junction. TRAILHEAD, Central Back east, “bushwacking” was always a very slow, laborious pursuit. Leave No Trace. As we addressed some gear issues on the page above, I was driving on Highway 50 to the Pacific Ranger Station at Pollock Pines to pick up my permit for the Desolation Wilderness … NWS Regional Forecast; Greater Lake Tahoe, NWS Regional Forecast: West Slope Sierra Tahoe to Yosemite, North California Once we get the overall picture in focus we will se that Desolation Wilderness is full of scrambling routes. The trail is primarily used for hiking and running and is best used from July until October. This series of West shore trailheads can be used for short, medium and long distance hikes into and around the Desolation Wilderness. Check out the Full Desolation Wilderness Topo Map to get a broad context on how to access the main Tahoe to Yosemite and Pacific Crest Trails across the Desolation Wilderness from this series of trailheads along the West shore of Lake Tahoe. It kind of makes us wish Desolation was not as easily accessible, or that there were many less people. If there is one place I can never get enough of in the Lake Tahoe area, it is Desolation Wilderness. KURTYKA WAS A LEADING PROPONENT OF FAST AND LIGHT IN THE 1970s and 1980s. It's a win-win-win situation. These are excellent trailhead from where we can pretty quickly access various terrain features in the Desolation Wilderness. To the Southbound backpacker's Right this trail junction marks the beginning of the 2.07 mile trail Northwest to dead end at Alta Morris Lake, just past Half Moon Lake. Eagle Lake After crossing over the falls, the trail continues up through a forested area before dumping you out on a large granite rock, which has impressive views of the surrounding mountains. Food, injury, illness, and broken gear are the common motivations for bailing out of the Wilderness. The third trail junction, the Northernmost of the three junctions near Gilmore Lake, heads North-Northeast to climb the Southwest flank of Mount Tallac before bending Southeast to pass around the sheer Eastern flank of Mount Tallac down to the trail junction at Cathedral Lake. The Desolation Wilderness region was established in 1899 as part of the Lake Tahoe Forest Reserve, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Dicks If the campground is open, you might be able to park close to the trail as there are a few spots up next to the actual trailhead. MAP, The Triple Trail Junctions between Dicks Pass and Susie Lake, Your guide to the High Sierra Crest, including the Tahoe to Yosemite, Pacific Crest, and John Muir Trails, © Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Crown Jewel of the Pacific Crest Trail, Southern Desolation Wilderness Backpacking Map, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit permits page, This map identifies some of my favorite resources and trail heads around South Lake Tahoe. Though the Tahoe to Yosemite Route is longer down to the Echo Lake Trailhead it is downhill. No fee. Dicks Pass. Above: Sign pointing North to the Half Moon trail junction. Getting There Crag Lake is a popular destination in Desolation Wilderness that is reputed to hold Rainbow, Brook, and Brown Trout. Backpack to this secluded destination that's hidden from most of the traffic in Desolation Wilderness. The Half Moon Lake notation on the trail post here is pointing North up the PCT-TYT towards the next of and middle of these three junction, which is where the Half Moon trail parts to the West, left for the Northbound backpacker. Beautiful alpine lake. Looking Southeast across Crag Lake at Peak 9054.. Hidden Lake sits at the base of the rock terrain rising up to Peak 9054.. Backpack to this secluded destination that's hidden from most of the traffic in Desolation Wilderness. Day hikers, pick up your permit at the self serve area at the trailhead. Nonetheless, I believe access to Desolation Wilderness is good for people, even if it's tough on Desolation. Cathedral Lake is a lake inside of John Muir Wilderness. Continuing South on the Pacific Crest Trail the Echo Lake trailhead is 10.55 miles distant from the Gilmore Lake trail junction. GLEN ALPINE TRAILHEAD GIVES HISTORIC ACCESS TO DESOLATION WILDERNESS. Check out the Lake Tahoe Trailheads roadmap. Backpacking Miles and Elevations. Though this trail guide does not depict these trails in detail yet, the mileages from their trail junctions on the main PCT-TYT route to their trail heads are included for many of them. Download its GPS track and follow the itinerary on a map. We encounter the next junction in this series of three trail junctions, the middle one, hiking .59 of a mile South of the Gilmore Lake Junction. ... Cathedral Lake. Sara Lake - NL#1; Angle Lake - NL#2; 4-Q Lakes; Lake Aloha; Alta Morris Lake; American Lake Additionally, I wasn’t expecting any kind of scenic views on this hot, sunny Thursday in June. If you loved BORN TO RUN this is a must read ... Another section of the Tahoe Rim Trail completed, Watson Lake section of the Tahoe Rim Trail, Good Morning Midnight: life and death in the wild. Glen Alpine to the East The Echo Lakes Trail hike offers some of the most accessible trail into the Desolation Wilderness in its gentle rolling terrain along a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. Pro Tip: There is an island in the middle of the lake that you can swim to that makes for a great way to cool off in the hot summer months. Both of these trails begin from trailheads off the Northwest shore of Fallen Leaf Lake including the trailhead at the end of Spring Creek Road between Fallen Leaf Lake and Cascade Lake. Long distance backpackers will hike straight through all three to remain on the main Yosemite to Yosemite-Pacific Crest Trail route. A very clearly marked trail junction. High Sierra Weather Resources, Comprehensive High Sierra Fire and Smoke Information, Phipps Pass to Heather Lake The two trails to the Southeast offer quicker bailout routes off of the Pacific Crest-and-Tahoe to Yosemite Trails than continuing South to the Echo Lake Trailhead. Hiking East from these Three Trail Junctions along the PCT-TYT. we come to the Most who have visited Lake Tahoe have heard of Mount Tallac, or at the very least, have laid their eyes on it. But, it turned out to be a worthwhile visit and is worth checking out if you are heading to Twin Lakes or Island Lake. Posted by Hock at 5:32 AM. These are Great Places to launch short backpacking trips and day hikes. I go backpacking because I want to get away, to feel the air in my lungs and the burn in my legs, to connect with my hiking … This may not be a suitable bailout route if you are injured. These trails, from Meeks Bay and the Bayview/Eagle Falls Trail junctions to our North, through the Gilmore and Glen Alpine junctions described above to our East, and the Triangle Lake Trail to Fallen Leaf Lake trail junction further to our South, all contribute to make the Desolation Wilderness chock full of potential short and medium distance backpacking opportunities. Tallac, Cathedral Lake, and on to Fallen Leaf Lake and the Tallac Trailheads along Highway 89. The mileage from these two Glen Alpine junctions to the Glen Alpine trailhead is virtually the same. Because this trip report is about 20 years old, I cannot remember if this took place on a weekend or not. South of Dicks Pass and North of Susie Lake, North Half Moon Lake to the West, Southbound Left, or Southeast, Moraine Trail. These Southern and Northern junctions arm are what forms up on the terrain when we have lots of backpackers branching North and South a a trail "T." The traffic turns a trail "T" turns into a trail "Y.". Unit. James Bond ... Is this where the concept of an avalanche airbag pack came from? Just southwest of Lake Tahoe, this 63,960-acre reserve is chock full of opportunities for activities you and your family are sure to enjoy. This third and Southernmost of this series of trail junctions is the termination point of the Southern arm of the trail up from Glen Alpine splitting into a "Y" where it intersects with our Tahoe to Yosemite/Pacific Crest Trail route. Newer Post Older Post Home. All of these West shore trailheads are located fairly close to one another on Highway 89 along Lake Tahoe's beautiful Western shore. Desolation is a good place to develop and practice backpacking skills, starting with small excursions into the mountains and woods to work out your gear and training issues, then building up to a 30 mile backpacking trip down the whole length of the Desolation Wilderness. Actually, I hadn't been backpacking since doing the West Coast Trail last July. The first part of the trail to Floating Island and Cathedral Lakes is easy to moderate and can be enjoyed by the novice hiker. Half Moon Lake, and Glen Alpine Heather Lake. If you choose not to take the water taxi, add 5 miles to the overall trip. The trail follows the west side of Fallen Leaf Lake and you enter the Desolation Wilderness right before you reach Floating Island (there will be a large sign). 17-nov-2013 - June Snowfall @ Cathedral Lake, Desolation Wilderness Area, Lake Tahoe, CA, by Midland05, via Flickr These junctions along our trail through here offer us, and millions of other people, fairly easy access into the heart of the desolation Wilderness. It's the perfect combination: All of these side trails East to the West shore of Lake Tahoe are not too long, they are not too difficult, and they all access world-class beautiful terrains and trails. Highest Altitude: 9800 ft. Howlas: 5. Pass. But I have seen tree blazing from the late 1800s in the Southern Sierras, and cuttings in Aspen from early 20th Century shepards in the Eastern Sierras. Mount Tallac via Mount Tallac Trailhead. to the The only wild things in California nowadays are its out of control irresponsible growth, the greed and lawlessness that drives this growth, and the indifference of the rest of us to the damage it has brought. Rising above the southwest shore of the lake, Mount Tallac is part of Desolation Wilderness and the tallest mountain on the lake's immediate shoreline. Dates: 21st Aug & 22nd Aug 2009. Cathedral Lake in the Desolation Wilderness Along within this wonderful small lake the trail also passed by Floating Island Lake ... spectacular short hike. Accessibility: These trails are not designed to be handicapped accessible. Desolation Wilderness est une zone protégée restée à l'état sauvage, qui s'étend le long de la crête de la Sierra Nevada, juste à l'ouest du lac Tahoe dans le comté d'El Dorado, en Californie (États-Unis).La surface totale est de 257 km 2 et elle fait partie de la forêt nationale d'Eldorado. When we reach the trail junction at Cathedral Lake we can either hike .99 of a mile East down to Fallen Leaf Lake, or 2.2 miles North to Spring Creek Road off of Highway 89. I think it was a weekend trip which made the overcrowding issue worse. During your stay at Stanford Sierra Conference Center, you’ll be able to enjoy miles of hiking trails right out your back door. Web Links. A hike through the Desolation Wilderness could be a nice change of pace after spending a day on the water with your Lake Tahoe boat rental from H2O Craft Rentals. To reach Crag Lake, park at the Meeks Bay Trailhead. Enjoy the views and remember the lake, because it’ll look small as you hike up to Mount Tallac! Check out more of my Desolation Wilderness adventures. The Desolation Wilderness is a 63,960-acre (258.8 km2) federally protected wilderness area in the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, in El Dorado County, California. Cathedral Lake via Mount Tallac Trailhead. You can launch your trip from Tahoe to Yosemite, and on to Mount Whitney, from your favorite Desolation Wilderness trailhead. 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. Mount Tallac via Glen Alpine Trail. The two Southern trail junctions of the three trails intersecting with the Pacific Crest Trail between Dicks Pass and Susie Lake point Southeastward out of the Desolation Wilderness to the Southwestern end of Fallen Leaf Lakes via Glen Alpine Creek past Lily Lake. This point is located 3.83 miles from this junction. Dicks Lake, Gilmore Lake, and Lake Aloha from Cascade Lake is a 21.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Tahoma, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail route over Mt Tallac may well be the hardest route out of the wilderness from here, though it is the 2nd longest route out of the Desolation Wilderness from these trail junctions. The name changed to Desolation Valley Primitive Area in 1931, and in 1969, Congress adopted Desolation Wilderness into … Desolation Wilderness is accessed through 13 trailheads: Loon Lake, Van Vleck, Rockbound, Twin Lakes, Lyons Creek, Pyramid Creek, Ralston Peak, Echo Lake, Glen Alpine, Mt. … Tallac, Bayview, Eagle Lake and Meeks Bay. This may well be a suitable bailout point for the injured or hungry backpacker. Beyond Cathedral Lake, the trail becomes steep and strenuous as it … Travel. This is the Glen Alpine/Half Moon and Alta Morris Lake Junction. From the West shore of Fallen Leaf Lake we either hike to the Northeast or the Southwest to trailheads along the West shore of Fallen Leaf Lake. Weather conditions can change rapidly in the Sierra mountains; bring a jacket, carry lots of water and allow plenty of time for your trip. Here in Desolation Wilderness we have seen a few unique bits of trail-sign culture. North: Dicks In front of us we could see Pyramid Peak, Ralston Peak and much of Desolation Wilderness. 3. From Cathedral Lake, the trail really started climbing. Please limit group sizes in order to preserve the solitude and wilderness experiences for all (maximum size is 12 people). Great views into Desolation Wilderness and of Gilmore Lake. Weather conditions can change rapidly in the Sierra mountains; bring a jacket, carry lots of water and use sun block if you burn easy. Behind us was a great view of Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe. Stunning display of Aspens in the fall. Fontanillis & Dicks Lakes, Desolation Wilderness, El Dorado Co. . We decided to enter from the Echo Lakes trailhead at Echo Summit. Tapering to my Jay Peak race next weekend ... A nice 20k run as part of a four-person relay team... Beautiful watercolor paintings by Riccarda de Eccher. Crag Lake before the first rays of morning light. This means that we have a series of 5 trailheads along Highway 89 (including Meeks Bay) that can be the basis of many potentially long and short backpacking trips around the Central-North Desolation Wilderness from trailhead to trailhead of increasing length. 3) Mount Tallac (Cathedral Lake) Trail - In some circles, this is the "official" summer trail up Mount Tallac. Beyond Cathedral Lake, the trail be-comes steep and strenuous as it continues up the front face of Mt. After crossing over the falls, the trail continues up through a forested area before dumping you out on a large granite rock, which has impressive views of the surrounding mountains. Forest trail losing elevation. What to bring: Lots of water, food, layers, sunscreen, sturdy hiking shoes and a camera. Try and keep up a steady pace up Cathedral Basin and soon you'll be a thousand feet higher and into the meadows, where less steep trails await along with dramatic views over the Desolation Wilderness and toward the peaks of the Crystal Mountains. Desolation Wilderness' heavily used status and subsequent graffiti are a function of its close proximity to main roads and huge population centers, as well as the South Shore's now substantial population. Just logical steps. The reserve’s vast alpine forest is the perfect backdrop for outdoor adventure. Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Forest Supervisor's Office 35 College Drive South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 Voice: (530) 543-2600 TTY : (530) 543-0956 Hours: Mon thru Fri 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Stay Connected. Obtain a Desolation Wilderness trail permit at the kiosk where the hike begins. We Southbound backpackers hiking along the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail continue straight through this junction on our way to Susie Lake. TahoetoWhitney.Org United States › California › Desolation Wilderness › ... Overview. Overnight hikers will need an overnight permit for Desolation Wilderness. Note that these miles cited above and below include hiking over the 9735 foot Mount Tallac. You have to zoom the map in a little to view details of the locations where the trail heads are located along Highway 89. to the Attractions and Considerations : Providing a spectacular view of Fallen Leaf Lake, Lake Tahoe, and Desolation Wilderness, this strenuous hike is well worth the effort. 15 minute topographic backpacking But here in the Sierras, with open forests and a thick blanket of slushy snow, it proved just as easy as trail travel. We can hike East .99 of a mile down to the West shore of Fallen Leaf Lake. After this, you will enter the Desolation Wilderness, which you can get a … Entering the Desolation wilderness en route to Lake Aloha. The Glen Alpine Trail tracks East (Southbound hiker Left) off of our Pacific Crest-Tahoe to Yosemite Trail route to the road on the Western edge of Fallen Leaf Lake located 3.83 miles to the Southeast of this junction. I mean historical tree blaze. Connects with trail to Electric Pass for 360* views of the Maroon-Bells/Snowmass Wilderness. The link above brings us to the Front Page of the High Backpacking Trails and Topics Forums. South Shore Trails. Got that? Click along any part of the black-dotted routes marked on the map for the underlying 7.5 minute detailed topo map. Above: Old Pacific Crest Trail wooden emblem. 15 minute topographic backpacking of We are going to encounter three trail junctions in rapid succession after we drop down from Dicks Pass before we reach Susie Lake. Day 0 - Collect Gear and Pack. The first part of the trail to Floating Island and Cathedral Lakes is easy to moderate and can be enjoyed by the novice hiker. 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