Fourth of July Weekend Hike or Backpacking trips should be altered
Desolation Wilderness , Lake Tahoe – June 2, 2023 – Today represented my first day in Desolation wilderness for 2023 hiking season. So I headed to familiar territory and hiked in on the Echo Lake Trail towards Lake Aloha. From Echo lake it is clear that there is plenty of snow still up in desolation wilderness, but it is not until you reach Tamarack lake and still see it 70% covered in snow that you might start thinking that lake Aloha or Lake of the woods might be a challenge in July 2023. To quick summarize the trail today: Beautiful, hot, then Very wet and then you hit snow. Lots of Snow.
Now to be fare I didn’t actually hike all the way to either lake today. Instead I spoke with several hikers who were camped at Tamarack lake, even with out the correct permit, because they tried lake aloha and found it unsuitable to stay at currently.
Reports of 2 feet deep Snow Cups and unstable lake ice, 12 foot snow berms and impossible trails because everyone has made different trails.
I did speak with two couples who traveled over from Susie Lake to Tamarack lake area, they said the snow was passable but not is good condition and they would not stay there.
We were shocked to see ice still on Tamarack and Ralston Lakes on our visits. Tamarack has Snow surrounding the entire South shore and most camping areas still have snow covering them or near them in the trees.
The Water crossing to Ralston lake today was also deep and swift and required a log crossing. I made it to the dam crossing at Ralston Lake and it is not advised as well at this time. Looks like some have tried crossing a snow bridge below, but it looks unstable. I did speak with two ladies who stayed at Cagwin lake below and they said lake was ice free and camp spots were in good condition.