The Desolation Wilderness is located just to the southwest of Lake Tahoe, north of Highway 50. 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. Trailheads are accessible via Highway 50 on the west side and Highway 89 on the eastside. That said, Desolation Wilderness and the featured route hasn’t changed much since that time. Your source for Sierra wilderness information. Desolation Wilderness Food & Drink In fact, on day hikes, I typically bring enough food and water to last me 24 hours to 36 hours. OVERVIEW OF THE TRAIL. Trailheads on El Dorado National Forest (West) Side. Desolation Wilderness Zones and Trailheads. 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. Initially established in 1931, this region gained Wilderness status in 1969. Trailhead : Miles One Way: Difficulty: Twin Lakes to: Grouse Lake: 2.1: Moderate/Difficult : Hemlock Lake Zone and trailhead map of the Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe, California. The Tahoe Rim Trail and Pacific Crest Trail pass through the wilderness. West Side Trailheads Loon Lake Trailhead Echo Lakes Desolation Wilderness Trailhead Directions. Please respect the permit system to protect wilderness resources and mitigate wildfire risk. 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 can be accessed off Highway 50 and off Highway 89. 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. The 63,000 acre Desolation Wilderness situated just West of Lake Tahoe is a hiker’s paradise. Includes details of wilderness areas, latest sierra wilderness news, resources for planning your trip, and notes from professionals in the field. The Desolation Wildnerness is just west of South Lake Tahoe. Extra Food and Water – Always bring extra food and water. The following is a list of Desolation Wilderness trailheads: Western Trailheads Keywords recreation, wilderness, permits, trails, trailheads, camping, hiking. What to do: Backpacking, hiking and camping. 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. For more information on Desolation Wilderness … Do you … Once you’re a few miles from the Desolation Wilderness trailheads, the crowds quickly thin out. 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. The Tahoe Rim Trail and Pacific Crest Trail pass through the wilderness. Permit required for day use (free, available at most trailheads) and overnight use (from $5, available at the Pacific Ranger District, 530/647-5415). When to Go. Don’t be put-off by full parking lots and foot traffic. 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 open year-round. Desolation is a popular backpacking destination, with much barren rocky terrain at the edge of the tree line. 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 … The Eagle Falls Trailhead is off Hwy 89 at the end of Emerald Bay. See an error? In 2003, Desolation Wilderness established its volunteer program. 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. Accessibility: General Notes: Check out this whole Desolation Wilderness Map , and click the map, the trails, and the red dots for more map and guide information. 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 … Meek's Creek Trailhead is at the north end of the wilderness area along Hwy 89 at Meek's Bay. Trailheads are accessible via Highway 50 on the west side and Highway 89 on the eastside. In fact, it’s so popular you’ll need a permit to enter, even if you’re planning just a day hike. 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