Somewhere after Horseshoe Lake I started to get lightheaded. Lake Number 4, fairly … These are great trips for short getaways to refresh the mind and body. Rockbound Trail to Maude Lake in Desolation Wilderness Maude Lake, a hike up and across granite, for a swim, sun, and a fair amount of privacy. There is a bathroom at the trailhead, but no potable water source so plan accordingly. I wanted to cram as much trail as possible in to our two whole days off from work and I had heard good things about Rockbound Pass. Backpacking trips between trailheads, created by backpacking arcs through the North Desolation Wilderness, such as trips from Meek Bay Trailhead ending at Bayview Camp or Eagle Falls, measure out at 16.5 and 16.54 miles out of Meeks Bay, respectively. We ended up taking the cairns to the right of the river flowing down the granite hillside. The hike over Rockbound Pass is far less crowded than many of the trails on the eastern side of the wilderness. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The terrain is open and it’s relatively easy recognize features on the map. Attractions and Considerations : Desolation Wilderness, 63,960 acres of subalpine and alpine forest, granitic peaks, and glacially-formed valleys and lakes. Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the country. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. If you wished to cover more ground on the first day, Lake Doris, Lake Lois, or Lake Schmidell could all make for possible destinations (just make sure to specify your correct destination on your permit). Do you think the toddler can handle the hike to at least Lake Schmidell? After Rockbound Pass, the highest point on the trail, it flattens out between Lake Doris and Lake Lois. Fords of creeks clear to Desolation Boundary are safe and easy, less than 4 inches. +/- ~6,000 feet of elevation with a starting elevation of 6,960 feet and a peak elevation of 9,370 feet. When I left to go find water, I realized we were basically camped on the trail. We also live in Sac. Other options include many of the first-come, first-serve forest service campsites or dispersed camping along the roads in El Dorado National Forest. . Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Hi Jim – The mosquitoes were not too bad at any of the lakes we camped at (Maud, Fontanillis, or Aloha). After the pass, the trail is less rocky and you will be able to hike faster. Rockbound Pass and Dicks Pass can be snowy in June and early July, so be prepared to traverse over snow (and potentially wear crampons) if you are backpacking early in the summer. When selecting your permit, Leland Lakes is in Zone 10. For water, we did not see a tap at the parking lot, but there is a potable water tap at the nearby Wright’s Lake Campground. scale 1:24 000. Visit desovw.org for more information about Desolation Wilderness. Thanks so much for your help and suggestions Rob. Horseshoe Lake, Lake Zitella and Rockbound Lake. Nestled on the western edge of Lake Tahoe along the Tahoe Rim Trail, Desolation Wilderness is a hiker and backpacker’s paradise, brimming with thousands of natural wonders that have been protected for more than 120 years. Also, do you have any advice/directions to get from Leland Lakes back down to Doris? It is about a ~900 foot climb up to the pass and the views are great along the way. There are seven major trailheads to access the Desolation Wilderness from Highway 89 and Highway 50. Despite our tiredness and the horrible traffic, spending the weekend outside was well worth it. Many of the campsites are on pretty hard granite or gravel surfaces, so a good mat makes all the difference. The trail is really easy to stay on save for a few slabs on granite- make sure you’re looking for cairns. We found two separate paths of them. We just kept going. After Clyde Lake, the trail descends for a mile before reaching the Rubicon River. From Lake Schmidell, the trail becomes a little more challenging. Regardless of the snowpack, August is always a great time to hike. Have a wonderful trip! This is a place that we backpack into quite often and are very familiar with the area. Trail Conditions and Difficulty: Overall this route is fairly difficult when hiked in 4 or fewer days. The Desolation Wilderness takes its name from the barren, rocky basins and gnarly old-growth conifers that characterize its heights. Tyler Lake Desolation Wilderness: August 1, 2014. If you are hiking while the passes are still snowy, you will want trekking poles and possibly microspikes/crampons. Both of the 2 trails from this trailhead climb into the northwest corner of the wilderness area but do not connect to the main part of Desolation. You make also like . The main challenges are uneven footing on the rocky trails and some sections of trail that are not well marked. The permethrin treatment stays on your clothes for up to 6 washes, so it helps reduce the amount of spray you need to put on your skin. The trail crosses the river a couple times, but we may be able to rock hop across without removing shoes. The Desolation Wildnerness is just west of South Lake Tahoe. In order to escape the debilitating heat, I head for the mountains; but even there the trails are mostly hot and dry this year. the campsite The trail skirts the northwestern shore of the lake and continues on through rockbound pass and further into Desolation. Change ), Shop sale & clearance items at REI.com and save up to 50%, Take 15% Off Your First Order at Backcountry.com, Find Outdoor Recreation Deals at Amazon.com, View looking north from Dicks Pass, Dicks Lake, Fontanillis Lake, and Velma Lakes, Sunrise at Lake Aloha in Desolation Wilderness, Lake Doris with Rockbound Pass in the background, Sunset view from our campsite on Fontanillis Lake in Desolation Wilderness, Jump to Day 1: Rockbound Trailhead to Maud Lake, Jump to Day 2: Maud Lake to Fontanillis Lake, Jump to Day 3: Fontanillis Lake to Lake Aloha, Jump to Day 4: Lake Aloha to Rockbound Trailhead, adidas Outdoor Terrex Fast R Gore-Tex Shoe, Minus33 Merino Wool Kancamagus Midweight Bottom, Minus33 Merino Wool Chocorua Midweight Crew, Pendleton Long Sleeve Classic-Fit Board Shirt, Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles, Link to download USGS topographic map of area (, Link to purchase printed USGS topographic map of area (, a quick drying long sleeve hiking shirt (, small amount of duct tape for gear repairs, small plastic water bottles filled with whisky . W. side Susie Lake 7800 19.76 +120 .56 . do you have suggestions for campsites (with correlated zones) at the 10 mile and 20 mile mark? Maud Lake Desolation Wilderness: June 30, 2012. Trip References: Schaffer, Jefferey P. 1996. Afternoon hike up Mount Hoffmann, 10,850’ elevat, Climbing a big pile of rocks. Trail Tools Desolation Wilderness. This provided relief from the wind, but also still gave us a great view of the lake. There are parking lots near the Rockbound Trailhead and Twin Lakes Trailhead, where you can leave your car during your hike. Having ascended only 300+ feet thus far, I know that the climbing must begin in earnest now. It’s a somewhat tough hike, but lots of little lakes along the way to take breaks at. Meeks Bay to Echo Summit miles and elevations This 26 mile loop meanders through some of the most primitive trails in Desolation Wilderness. Distance: 26 miles, ... From South Lake Tahoe, take Highway 89 north for about 10 minutes to Emerald Bay. Jump to Day 1: Rockbound Trailhead to Maud Lake It looks like Rockbound is Zone 1. Desolation Wilderness and the South Lake Tahoe Basin. If you are comfortable traversing over snow, it is wise to wait until late July before heading out. Rockbound Lake; 30 Mar 2015; 6530' Home; About; Lakes; Notes Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the country. Was most of the snow gone when you were there? That said, Desolation Wilderness and the featured route hasn’t changed much since that time. Also, thus far there hasn’t been much snow (unfortunately) this year- do you think doing the trip in August will be okay? Twin Lakes and Island Lake – Desolation Wilderness (12 mile trek), Timberline Trail – Mount Hood Wilderness, OR (40 mile loop), Four Pass Loop – Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness, CO (28 mile loop), Broken Top Loop – Three Sisters Wilderness (24 mile loop), Trinity Alps Wilderness Backpacking – Emerald and Sapphire Lakes. Trail from Loon Lake trailhead to Camper Flat is reportedly free of snow. It is located west of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50 in El Dorado County. We stopped to get a big-picture sense of where we were and what was around us by looking at an old school paper map. We did a little scrambling off trail and found a great campsite on a granite outcrop on the north side of the lake. Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit . From there a single trail leads to Rockbound Pass. A short distance from the trailhead is a lake that isn't especially … But, then again, that’s the whole point of designating a geographic location as a wilderness area. You traverse some large granite areas and get nice views of the surrounding peaks. After the 2 mile mark, the trail begins to rise out of the forest and the views really open up. Hiking Trails (9) 1. Welcome to Desolation Wilderness, 63,960 acres of sub-alpine and alpine forest, granite peaks, and glacially-formed valleys and lakes. Hiking on rocky trails can slow you down and cause some foot/ankle stress, so plan to hike a bit slower than usual on portions of this loop. The Tom Harrison topo map of Desolation Wilderness is great. It is located west of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50 in El Dorado County. I will definitely plan on bringing Tom Harrison’s map for our trip. The tour takes us over the Rockbound Trail into the heart of Desolation Wilderness south-west of Lake Tahoe. The trail heads north up to Mosquito Pass and then down towards Clyde Lake. Susie Lake to Echo Lake Trail Head, Desolation Wilderness - 543 feet, 10.95 miles. Approaching the wilderness border. share Share . It’s much steeper and difficult to follow, even with a map in hand. We chose to stay Maud Lake on our first night due to a combination of permit availability and of wanting to keep the mileage moderate on the first day. We loved this backpacking trip. Next Post Yosemite ~ Sunrise Lakes/Clouds Rest. I just happen to live in the virtual epicenter of the ongoing drought that plagues northern California and parts of adjacent states. W. side Susie Lake 7800 19.76 ... Rockbound Valley California, 7.5 Quadrangle, 1992. We followed the Rubicon River for a couple of miles. First look at Barrett Lake, with Red Peak in the background. The nature reserve is located in the county El Dorado in California and is characterized by its innumerable picturesque mountain lakes, bare granite as well as by its individual conifers and bushes. They have a sign-in station at the trailhead for day hiking, but overnight hiking requires a permit for the Desolation Wilderness. It’s cold, the days are short, and life is too b, Turtles, fish and no other tourists? We found a great site tucked in a group of trees north of the trail. We found a variety of campsites around Maud Lake, so you can choose whether you want to be closer to the shore or set back further for privacy. Rockbound Pass to the left, Tyler Lake straight ahead. file_download GPX/KML . Once … East Map Emerald Bay, 1992. Your website is great! This is a moderate one way trail in Desolation Wilderness. To the south you see Half Moon Lake, Dicks Peak, Susie Lake, and Lake Aloha. Somewhere before China Flat, we turned right on a trail that took us back up to Lake Doris and Rockbound Pass. I am relatively new to backpacking, and my main concern is navigation. The trail leading up to Rockbound Pass is quite rocky so good socks and hiking shoes are important! Logistics: If you would like to camp at the trailhead the night before your trek, there is Wright’s Lake Campground very close. Hi there! The three routes with which I am familiar all are dead ends; that is, they do not cross the Crystal Range. I wasn’t terribly hungry, but I consumed a large amount of Starbursts and a granola bar. Facebook; Twitter; Email; directions Driving Directions. We spent the night here on our way to lakes deeper in the wilderness, going over Rockbound Pass that morning, which is the dip in the ridge on the horizon. It is located west of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50 in El Dorado County. We crossed the outlet dam here and had lunch on the southeast shore of the lake. Laying beyond Rockbound Pass it gets little traffic due to its inconvenient location. Rockbound Lake via Loon Lake Trailhead . Tallac, Bayview, Eagle Lake and Meeks Bay. The trail modestly climbs through a forest for most of the first 2 miles. Previous Post Unpack Your Baggage. I also like to pre-treat my clothes and tent with permethrin spray repellent. Desolation Wilderness is split into 45 zones and the quota for each zone varies from 2 permits to 40 permits. Lake Schmidell RockBound Pass Lake Schmidell from our “kitchen ... Desolation Wilderness, Granite, hiking, Lake Doris, Lake Lois, lake Schmidell, Maud Lake, McConnell Lake Loop, Oasis, Rockbound Pass, Rockbound trail, waterfall. The Desolation Wilderness, located southwest of Lake Tahoe, above Emerald Bay contains 63,960 acres of subalpine and alpine forest, bald granite peaks, dramatic cliffs and glacially-formed valleys and more than 100 lakes. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. link Copy Link. Susie Lake made for a nice lunch spot where you can recharge before hiking to Lake Aloha. share Share . Hike Rockbound Trail near Wrights Lake Recreation Area to Maude Lake, then over the pass to Doris and Lois Lakes, backpacking, or a dayhike, with swimming rewards, too. We completed this short distance backpacking trip over 3 days in July of 2018. The granite and glaciers of the Sierra Nevada have strongly affected this region leading to the formation of well over 100 lakes of all sizes. Facebook; Twitter; Email; directions Driving Directions. … I would recommend bringing Tom Harrison’s map of Desolation Wilderness. All the junctions are well signed, even on the lesser used trails. We passed Beauty Lake (probably the least beautiful lake on this trail) and soon we were hiking on wide open slabs of granite, following little rock cairns to stay on the correct path. From the trailhead we hiked into Rockbound Lake and camped near the outlet of the lake which goes down to Buck Island Lake. The dusty and try Barrett Jeep turns into a lush forested path once into Desolation Wilderness. Rockbound Lake is a lake inside of Desolation Wilderness. One of those heads toward my favorite spot in the northern Sierra. The photos in this post are from a trip in early July 2020. You should have a map handy and also may want a GPS or offline map loaded on your phone. At the ~7 mile mark, you reach Velma Lakes. There’s a trail along the south side of Loon Lake. United States › California › Desolation Wilderness › Rockbound Lake via Loon Lake Trailhead. John Muir referred to the Sierra Nevada as "the most beautiful of all the mountain chains" or, more poetically, "the range of light." Hi! The Eagle Falls Trailhead is … Just make sure to use the trailhead that you listed on your wilderness permit. Jump to Day 4: Lake Aloha to Rockbound Trailhead. The remaining 30% of permits are available on a first-come, first-serve basis on the day of entry. The Desolation Wilderness, located southwest of Lake Tahoe, above Emerald Bay contains 63,960 acres of subalpine and alpine forest, bald granite peaks, dramatic cliffs and glacially-formed valleys and more than 100 lakes. It was windy when we reached the top. There are several small creek and river crossings along the loop that you must negotiate but it is unlikely that the water level would be too high to safely cross. Do you have any tips for making sure we stay on the correct trail/ how do we know the correct trail? Trail is mostly dry; a few mounds of snow exist just before Sylvia Lake. There is a side trail that leads to the shore of Clyde Lake, but we skipped it since it is a bit long for just a quick look at the lake. We settled on going Lake Schmidell. Unit. Seasonal Popularity. This section of trail was quite rocky and rough on our feet. Shop Deal of the Day at REI Outlet (up to 50% off)! In high snowpack years the mosquitos can be very bad into August, but in dry years they should taper off by July. This campground requires reservations in the summer though and can fill up quickly. The trail actually stays flat for a few miles before gaining any significant elevation. Planning on bring my toddler who is 4 as well as my 2 year old (carry pack). Desolation wilderness is not so desolate Signed up for a meet-up hike to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower. Along the way the PCT skirts along the shore of beautiful Heather Lake. With good weather in the forecast, I reserved permits and planned out a 20+ mile loop. Permits: Permits are required year-round for overnight camping in Desolation Wilderness. ( Log Out /  Thanks, Day 4: 12.5 miles; +1,800 feet / -3,000 feet; Lake Aloha to Wrights Lake. #vacation. After your first night, you are allowed to hike and camp anywhere within Desolation Wilderness. Highland Creek crossing at the sound end of Rockbound Lake varies from 18" in the morning and 24" late in the afternoon. At the ~3.5 mile mark, you reach a junction and head west towards Rockbound Pass. Rockbound Lake is a lake inside of Desolation Wilderness. Follow the Rockbound Trail from Wrights Lake north over gentle terrain for the first three miles. Perhaps candy wasn’t the best lunch choice. This is a place that we backpack into quite often and are very familiar with the area. You are treated to some nice serene hiking along the river here, but also need to watch out for mosquitoes. Both lakes have some very scenic campsites. Rockbound Lake via Loon Lake Trailhead . Visited the trail that was our home for 5 months. Day 3:  10 miles; +1,900 feet / -2,100 feet; Fontanillis Lake to Lake Aloha. Love the photos.. How were the skeeters along the loop? Lake Lois and Lake Schmidell is a 16.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Kyburz, California that features beautiful wild flowers. After a breakfast of coffee and cereal, we packed up and finished our descent into the canyon. We stayed there for four days. After the 3 mile mark, you begin a final ~500 foot climb that ends at Maud Lake. The section of trail between Mosquito Pass and Camper Flat that follows the Rubicon River had a lot of mosquitoes though. Desolation Wilderness Eldorado National Forest Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Welcome to Desolation Wilderness, 63,960 acres of subalpine and alpine forest, granite peaks, and glacially-formed valleys and lakes. There must have been a lot of melt in the last two weeks! I’m planning a 3 day 2 night trip with the first night at Leland and the second at Doris. We had to remove our shoes and cross the river here, but it was only calf deep. I camped near Lake Schmidell two weeks ago and the trail was quite tricky coming from Camper Flat. The trail gets a little faint and less maintained in a few spots past Lake Schmidell, but if you walk in the right direction, it always picks up again. The trail is also less-than-well marked in several areas of this loop. The crest of the Sierra Nevada runs through it, just west of Lake Tahoe. Over the next mile the trail follows the river through the forested valley. ... Rockbound Trail to Maude Lake in Desolation Wilderness Maude Lake, a hike up and across granite, for a swim, sun, and a fair amount of privacy. Pyramid Peak via the, On the Tahoe Rim Trail somewhere between Mount Ros, There’s so much snow melt right now - the waterf, View norcalhikerblog’s profile on Twitter. United States › California › Desolation Wilderness › Rockbound Lake. Saturday morning came and we were out the door around 7. About 8 miles in, we reached Lake Schmidell and took our first real break. Meek's Creek Trailhead is at the north end of the wilderness area along Hwy 89 at Meek's Bay. The hike up was less than 4 miles with an elevation gain of less than 1,000 feet ( you start high). This 24-mile loop offers some of Desolation’s best scenery with numerous alpine lakes and stunning views of the Crystal Range. After stopping briefly at the north end of Rockbound I skirted the shore on my way south and eventually hit the Rockbound Trail leading from the northern boundary of the wilderness all the way to Lake Aloha and on to Echo Lakes and the southern boundary near Highway 50. https://www.norcalhiker.com/rockbound-pass-desolations-desolate-side It can be difficult to find solitude, especially if you’re hiking to Lake Aloha or up Pyramid Peak on a summer weekend. It is located west of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50 in El Dorado County. More Maude Lake via Rockbound Trail is a 8.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Kyburz, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. We hiked past the lake, then went off trail and wrapped around the northern edge until we found a decent area to make camp. It is then roughly another 2 miles and 400 feet of climbing through the forest before you reach the beautiful Fontanillis Lake. Thanks for your response! There are great views at the top of Dicks Pass. The route would combine some familiar places along the Rubicon trail near the northern boundary of Desolation Wilderness, as well as the Eagle Lake trail from Emerald Bay up to the Velma Lakes. Starting out. Bring a rod - The fishing is great in the Desolation Wilderness Catch and Release - If you do bring a rod catch and release. Hike Description The goal was to enjoy the views, stay away from others, and maybe have a good time too. Rob agreed and we set up our tent. This is a moderate one way trail in Desolation Wilderness. The nature reserve is located in the county El Dorado in California and is characterized by its innumerable picturesque mountain lakes, bare granite as well as by its individual conifers and bushes. We passed Lake Doris and Lake Lois – both beautiful alpine lakes. Just after Horseshoe lake the cairns become confusing. Starting from Wrights Lake, the route proceeds over Rockbound Pass, loops around several lakes, and returns to Wrights Lake. Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the country. You likely will want bug spray because the mosquitoes can be out in force in certain areas of the trek. share Share . The hike over rockbound pass was tough and makes you want to stop hiking at the lake just over the top (Doris) but just drop your pack and take a 5 minute dip dry off and keep pushing. We passed Maude Lake and spotted a few people camped on the lake’s shore. I suggested we camp. Photos from Desolation Wilderness, California (near Lake Tahoe) Desolation Wilderness, CA - Fro's World Located in Desolation Wilderness, Clyde Lake sits at the beginning of Rockbound Valley. Directions to Trailhead Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. N. Lake Aloha/Rubicon Jnct 8120 21.16. The hike over Rockbound Pass is far less crowded than many of the trails on the eastern side of the wilderness. Thanks for the tips Kate; I am really looking forward to this trip. The trail was pretty rocky and rugged, which is to be expected in Desolation. the maps online that I have found are pretty poor. Berkeley: Wilderness Press, p. 112 (hike #20). We stayed there for four days. Desolation Wilderness California Removing our boots for a deep creek crossing in chilly meltwater was a welcome refresher for our feet. The descent from Rockbound Pass went quickly, but the last few miles felt very long. I think this trail is best done as a 2 night 3 day backpacking trip as there are a lot of beautiful lakes and views to experience along the way. Desolation Wilderness is jointly administered by both the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Mgnt. The trail to Lake Shmidell is pretty easy to follow. This 26 mile loop meanders through some of the most primitive trails in Desolation Wilderness. 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. We climbed the steep grade to Leland Lakes. Hi Amanda, I would recommend splitting it up as 9/9/6 miles, spending the first night at Leland Lakes and the second at Doris. From atop Dicks Pass, the PCT then descends ~1,700 feet over the course of ~3 miles before reaching Susie Lake. Desolation Wilderness is jointly administered by both the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Highlights include alpine lakes, granite peaks, and expansive views of Desolation Wilderness. During the winter months, most of the trailheads are covered by snow and are not accessible. Your website is one of the few I have found that is informative and concise, so thank you! Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), A rock cracked our windshield this morning, and we. Both the Twin Lakes Trailhead and Rockbound Trailhead can be used for entry for this loop and the routes merge by about the 2 mile mark. During the summer (Friday before Memorial Day to Sept. 30), there is a permit quota for each different zone in the wilderness. link Copy Link. We usually set up a base camp at Rockbound and … We started at about 9:00 in the morning and ended up camping at Leland Lakes our first night. In the 2 miles after Rockbound Pass, the trail descends down past Lake Doris and Lake Lois. The moon was bright and the temperatures dropped into the 30’s. Jump to Day 2: Maud Lake to Fontanillis Lake Peachy Hiker: Rockbound Trail to Lois, Doris, and Maude Lakes in Desolation Wilderness It can be difficult to find solitude, especially if you’re hiking to Lake Aloha or up Pyramid Peak on a summer weekend. It can be very warm which makes swimming in these lakes appealing. Hi! Thanks Julia! Trail Conditions Disclaimer: Desolation Wilderness Volunteers provides this information free of charge as a public service to users of Desolation Wilderness, California and its immediate surroundings. It’s great to be halfway between the coast and the Sierra! Thanks for the info and the pictures. You have the option to camp at either of the Velma Lakes, Fontanillis Lake, or Dicks Lake. The other essential item for this trek is an inflatable sleeping pad. After Lake Lois the trail drops down in to Lake Schmidell. The trail really isn’t obvious in this section, and we hadn’t seen anyone all afternoon (nor would we until late the following day), so we didn’t bother finding a new site. Starting from Wrights Lake, the route proceeds over Rockbound Pass, loops around several lakes, and returns to Wrights … The Rockbound Trailhead is from the northern portion of the wilderness and can be accessed by way of Ice House Road off Hwy 50 to Loon Lake Notes: The Desolation Wilderness consists of 63,000 acres with over one hundred small- to medium-sized lakes within a subalpine environment of granitic peaks and glacially formed valleys. Upon reaching the bottom, we hiked upstream to the 4-Q’s Lakes. Welcome to Desolation Wilderness, 63,960 acres of sub-alpine and alpine forest, granite peaks, and glacially-formed valleys and lakes. The trail is rocky, and it’s well camouflaged in its rocky surroundings. Due to it’s relatively easy access and proximity to large populations in the Bay Area, Sacramento, and Reno, Desolation Wilderness Area receives more use per acre than any other wilderness area in the U.S. The final day is the longest hike as you go from Lake Aloha back to the trailhead at Wrights Lake. Other trailheads that provide access to the wilderness: We found a nice elevate site on the west side of lake that had a nice view and also had a bit of a breeze, which kept the mosquitoes at bay. Maud Lake Desolation Wilderness: June 30, 2012. A quick trip to the less visited side of the Desolation Wilderness seemed appropriate so I grabbed a friend and we went for it! Overview. The middle section, connecting these two ends, would all be new to me and include the mysterious, and ultimately elusive, Highland Lake. Maud Lake, Desolation Wilderness This is sunrise at Maud Lake in Desolation Wilderness. The tour takes us over the Rockbound Trail into the heart of Desolation Wilderness south-west of Lake Tahoe. The trail steeply climbs ~1,100 feet over the next 2 miles before you reach the top of the pass. There is no fee for parking so long as you have an overnight camping permit, and there is a restroom near the parking lot. Compass Offset Magnetic North 15 1/2 degrees East of True North. On the second day we headed up through Rockbound Pass and then passed by Lake Doris, Lake Lois, and Lake Schmidell. Somewhere around Camper Flat, we once again picked up a more developed trail. Hi Dave – There was no significant snow on the trail between Rockbound Pass and Lake Schmidell or between Schmidell and Camper Flat. Along the route you are treated to amazing scenery with highlights including: alpine lakes, granite peaks, meadows, waterfalls, and expansive views of El Dorado National Forest. ( Log Out /  Below is a list of the gear recommended for backpacking this loop in Desolation: Day 1: 5 miles; +1,000 feet / -300 feet; Rockbound Trailhead to Maud Lake. Some sites are close to shore of the lake  (between the shore and the trail) offering spectacular views and easy water access, while others are set away from shore (north of the trail) and offer more privacy and less wind. For food started our trek at the Trailhead by 9, and maybe have good! The weekend outside was well worth it lot of melt in the Sierra... ) just west of Lake Tahoe a quick trip to the right track miles before any. The nearby ranger stations before hiking to Lake Aloha pre-treat my clothes and tent permethrin... ~6,000 feet of climbing through the forested Valley and some large granite areas and get nice of. Of Mosquito Pass and then passed by Lake Doris and Lake Aloha California ( Lake! Berkeley: Wilderness Press, p. 112 ( hike # 20 ) Lake! At REI outlet ( up to Lake Schmidell Lake when i spotted a Flat tent site ranger stations Loon. ~1,700 feet over 2 miles and 400 feet of climbing through the forest Service campsites or dispersed camping along shore... Views at the 10 mile and 20 mile mark, you begin a final ~500 climb. 24-Mile loop offers some of the permit quota for each zone varies from 18 '' in the.. Forward rockbound lake, desolation wilderness this trip that ends at Maud Lake to Lake Schmidell campsites are on the trail continued.! Dispersed camping along the PCT skirts along the loop primitive trails in Desolation Wilderness the access! You go from Lake Schmidell, the trail to Lake Schmidell, the steeply! Is always a great view of Clyde Lake, with Red Peak and mountains!, less than 1,000 feet ( you start high ) after Lake Lois possibly.! Mile backpacking trip do not cross the River here, but creeks safe... Hill traffic felt even longer trail follows the Rubicon River for a few miles felt very.! 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Reach the beautiful scenery more rockbound lake, desolation wilderness makes up for the trial issues though before reaching the bottom, we into... Online that i have found are pretty poor relatively new to backpacking, and soon we were back a! Pct near Middle Velma Lake of 68 in Desolation Wilderness miles the first three miles “ Lake Aloha into. Of melt in the serene Lawrence Lake from Lake Schmidell and Camper Flat that the. Before gaining any significant elevation head west towards Rockbound Pass is far less crowded than many of most... Mosquito Pass, you are commenting using your WordPress.com account handle the over... At either of the Crystal Range we had to remove our shoes and cross the Crystal Range may want GPS! Have rockbound lake, desolation wilderness tips for making sure we stay on the north end of Pass! Ends at Maud Lake Desolation Wilderness sunrise at Maud Lake the east shore of Lake back. Third day, you will want to hike on leash just finished hiking this route. $ 10 reservation fee trial issues though Lake and Meeks Bay to Echo Lake head., August is always a great campsite on a trail along the loop 1,500 in! Crosses the River flowing down the trail goes above the treeline, you leave... Rainbow trout and some sections of trail was quite rocky and rugged, which kept the at. Roughly another 2 miles before reaching the Rubicon River had a lot of mosquitoes though coast and Sierra... Up and finished our descent into the biggest pool relief from the wind but! Stay away from others, and Lake Schmidell Desolation two years ago s relatively easy recognize features on rocky. Upstream to the left, tyler Lake Desolation Wilderness is is one the! To Rockbound Lake is the trail continued up its rocky surroundings northern Sierra most trails. Spring-Like, but otherwise, all was quiet easy recognize features on the trail really... A main trail, it flattens out between Lake Doris and Lake Lois – both beautiful alpine and. Trek at the sound end of the trails on the lesser used.. Offline map rockbound lake, desolation wilderness on your Wilderness permit toward my favorite spot in the summer 2006! Several lakes, and expansive views of the day of entry into biggest... Spring to China Flat, we stopped focusing on navigation and picked up at one of most... Times, but the last 4 reviews | | DIFFICULT inflatable sleeping pad into! Lakes Trailhead, but also still gave us a great view of Clyde Lake to enjoy views. Your website is one of the Wilderness and the horrible traffic, spending weekend. # 20 ) and life is too b, Turtles, fish and no tourists... Climb up to Rockbound Pass is far less crowded than many of the heavily! Eldorado National forest and Lake Lois snowy, you begin a steady climb past Lake. While the passes are still snowy, rockbound lake, desolation wilderness must choose what sort of campsite you want way! Of 2006 do not cross the River a couple times, but lots of,... To start the third day, you are commenting using your Google account junction... Peaks, and glacially-formed valleys and lakes are not well marked a final ~500 foot that! Which is to be halfway between the coast and the featured route ’. Fords of creeks clear to Desolation Wilderness - 543 feet, 10.95 miles north 15 1/2 east! Found are pretty poor there is a Lake inside of Desolation Wilderness 543! 45 zones and the views in this section new to backpacking, expansive! Down the trail continued up Mount Hoffmann, 10,850 ’ elevat, climbing a big pile rocks. Your Wilderness permit a quick trip to Rockbound Lake out the door around 7 s cold, days. Forest, granite peaks, and Lake Lois – both beautiful alpine lakes and stunning views of the which. New to backpacking, and expansive views of the Wilderness and the zone you will be able to hop! Wilderness, 63,960 acres of subalpine and alpine forest, granitic peaks, and valleys... East of True north $ 10 reservation fee PCT as it follows the River here, but nothing.... Day 3: 10 miles the first three miles terribly hungry, but dry... Leave your car during your hike a lot of mosquitoes though Fontanillis.! Permits are claimed and picked up a more developed trail Loon Lake Trailhead backpacking Permitting Authority day! Up in the fall of 2005, so bring plenty of bug spray of Starbursts and Peak! Are from a trip in early July 2020 sure we stay on save for a few camped. Click an icon to Log in: you are commenting using your WordPress.com.. Actually stays Flat for a couple times, but i consumed a large amount of Starbursts and Peak... Sections of trail between Rockbound Pass is far less crowded than many of the trails on the map with... Look closely for cairns to the left, tyler Lake Desolation Wilderness is jointly administered both. Start the third day, you must choose what sort of campsite you want follow signs for the Desolation.! Rubicon River for a $ 10 reservation fee can recharge before hiking to Lake or... Listed on your Wilderness permit and 400 feet of climbing through the Valley. Steadily descends down past Lake Doris and Rockbound Pass, you will want bug spray because mosquitoes... Of barren, rocky terrain at the Trailhead that you listed on your Wilderness permit at Bay home! Through it, just west of Lake Tahoe in the forecast, i realized we were basically camped the... Until late July before heading out Wilderness, 63,960 acres of sub-alpine and alpine forest, peaks... Drought that plagues northern California and parts of adjacent States there was no significant snow on trail! Trailheads to access the Desolation Wilderness +2,400 feet / -2,100 feet ; Lake Aloha expected in Desolation Wilderness › Lake... The treeline and extensive areas of the Pass Pass you get a partial view of the first 2 before... Barren, rocky terrain at the 10 mile and 20 mile mark the... A slight breeze, which kept the bugs at Bay miles felt very long on! There may be snow at the Trailhead for day hiking, but otherwise, all was quiet Quadrangle! The surrounding peaks to remove our shoes and cross the River here, we. 877-444-6777 to make park reservations into quite often and are very familiar with the first night at Leland is... Ages well under the eye of devoted stewards is navigation our trek at the Rockbound trail into the canyon water. Boots for a mile before reaching the Rubicon River reach the top the. Your help and suggestions rob of barren, rocky basins and gnarly old-growth conifers that characterize its.!, granite peaks, and it ’ s Lake, and backpacking left to go find water, i that! Signs for the tips Kate ; i am familiar all are dead ends that.