Backpacking Desolation Wilderness Hiking / Backpacking Lake Tahoe News and Events

Backpacking Desolation Lake

Desolation Lake
Written by Charlie P

I’m starting to gear up for the 2021 backpacking season. I love each spring making my list of places to explore for the first time and the places i cant wait to return to for my next visit.

Desolation Lake
Desolation Lake

As I am reviewing desolation wilderness trips I was reminded of what a special place desolation Lake is in the Backpacking and for some brave hikers day visit location.

Desolation Lake is located over the ridge from Lake of the Woods or just up the ridge from Ropi lake in the southern section of desolation. There is no official trail to desolation lake which is probably why its one of our favorites. I have never seen more than one other person at this lake ever.

Pyramid creek coming out of desolation Lake down to Ropi

My Preferred route is in through Echo lake trailhead. Traveling up into desolation Wilderness following signs to Lake of the Woods. Lake of the Woods is where we lose the crowd as most hikers on the trail are stopping here or heading on up to Lake aloha.

After arriving at Lake of the Woods I prefer to stay to the left side of the lake and travel around the end of the Lake to the South. After reaching the end of the lake i proceed west over the small ridge on the west side past Frata Lake and then down into desolation lake. I think you could also follow trails down to Ropi lake from here then circle around and back up to Desolation lake following Pyramid Creek waterfall up to the lake.

Camping on the Lake is primitive the biggest challenge is locating a spot that does not go against wilderness rules. 100 Feet from the water” . Unfortunately for years people have broken this rule and have established several locations near the water that the forest service is trying to reestablish.

Swimming is cold but incredible as the clarity of the water is spectacular and the water fall that runs down to Ropi lake is an incredible place to just hang out and listen to the wild flow.

This summer if you are looking for an uncrowded location in Desolation wilderness. check out Zone 39 and desolation Lake.

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Charlie P

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