Desolation Wilderness

The Desolation Wilderness is a 63,960-acre federally protected wilderness area in the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, in El Dorado County, California. The crest of the Sierra Nevada runs through it, just west of Lake Tahoe.
15 trail heads into Desolation, 6 on Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit side and 9 on the El Dorado National Forest side.
Trailhead use in the Lake Tahoe Basin, from heaviest to least use: Eagle Falls, Glen Alpine, Echo Lakes, Tallac, Bayview and Meeks.
Desolation Wilderness is 99 square miles, or 63,960 acres.
Campfire ban in 1990.

Explore The Desolation Region

Trails and Mileage

Trailheads on El Dorado National Forest (West) Side

Trailhead Miles One Way Difficulty
Twin Lakes to: Grouse Lake 2.1 Moderate/Difficult
Hemlock Lake 2.6 Difficult
Smith Lake 3.0 Difficult
Twin Lake 3.0 Moderate
Island Lake 3.5 Moderate
Rockbound to: Gertrude Lake 4.2 Moderate/Difficult
Maude Lake 4.7 Moderate
Rockbound Pass 6.4 Moderate/Difficult
Doris Lake 6.6 Moderate/Difficult
Lake Lois 7.6 Moderate/Difficult
Lake Schmidell 8.4 Moderate/Difficult
Lyons Creek to: Sylvia Lake 4.6 Easy/Moderate
Lyons Lake 5.0 Moderate/Difficult
Twin Bridges to: Avalanche Lake 1.8 Difficult
Ropi Lake 2.0 Difficult
Lake of the Woods 3.6 Difficult
Lake Aloha 4.3 Difficult
Ralston to: Ralston Peak 4.1 Difficult
Lake of the Woods 5.3 Difficult
Lake Aloha 6.1 Difficult
Tells Creek to: Forni Lake 4.9 Moderate/Difficult
Lake #3 6.3 Moderate/Difficult
Lake #5 6.8 Moderate/Difficult
Loon Lake to: Pleasant CG 4.1 Easy/Moderate
Spider Lake 4.5 Moderate
Buck Island Lake 6.1 Moderate
Rockbound Lake 6.7 Moderate
Rubicon Reservoir 8.3 Moderate
Camper Flat 13.7 Moderate/Difficult

Trailheads on Lake Tahoe BMU (East) Side

Trailhead Miles One Way Difficutly
Echo Lake to: Upper Echo Lake 2.5 Easy
Tamarack Lake 3.8 Easy/Moderate
Haypress Meadow 4.2 Moderate
Lake of the Woods 5.3 Moderate
Lake Lucille 5.2 Moderate
Lake Aloha 7.5 Moderate
Clyde Lake 9.3 Moderate/Difficult
Glen Alpine to: Grass Lake 2.3 Easy/Moderate
Susie Lake 3.8 Moderate
Heather Lake 4.9 Moderate
Half Moon Lake 5.5 Moderate
Gilmore Lake 3.9 Moderate
Lake Aloha 5.8 Difficult
Dicks Pass 5.4 Difficult
Dicks Lake 7.3 Difficult
Mt. Tallac Peak 5.7 Difficult
Mt Tallac to: Floating Island Lake 1.7 Easy/Moderate
Cathedral Lake 2.5 Easy/Moderate
Tallac Summit 4.6 Difficult
Gilmore Lake 6.4 Moderate/Difficult
Bayview to: Granite Lake 1.3 Moderate/Difficult
Dicks Lake 5.3 Difficult
Upper Velma Lake 5.5 Difficult
Middle Velma Lake 6.5 Difficult
Eagle Falls to: Eagle Lake 1.0 Moderate
Middle Velma Lake 4.4 Difficult
Dicks Lake 4.3 Difficult
Dicks Pass 5.3 Difficult
Fontanillis Lake 4.9 Difficult
Meeks Bay to: Lake Genevieve 4.6 Moderate
Crag Lake 4.9 Moderate
Hidden Lake 5.7 Moderate
Stony Ridge Lake 6.3 Moderate
Rubicon Lake 8.1 Moderate/Difficult
Phipps Lake 9.4 Moderate/Difficult

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