I was most annoyed on company or battalion level “forced marches.” Since everyone has their own rhythm and pace, it’s just so challenging to keep everyone organized. The pain eventually subsided thanks in part to being able to swim a couple of times. For all of your Desolation Wilderness excursions, I highly recommend using Tom Harrison’s Map of Desolation Wilderness. Prior to leaving our Lake Aloha campsite this morning, I swam for about 30 minutes. There’s just so much more downtime. All of his maps are very clean and easy to read. From there, you could embark on any number of day hikes. It sounds like the others are beginning to prepare dinner. Visit the forest service website for more information about acquiring permits. I’ve maintained a robust journal ever since thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. This means packing out all your trash and camp at least 100 feet from any lake … We’ve managed, however, to have enough food. I choose to write about these locations because I find much of the available information about them (from those other sources) lack accurate detail. So much so that we decided to stop short of our scheduled destination. We still had miles to cover. South L…, CA. This was because the ascent was steep and the underbrush was thick. We reached its summit at about 12:30PM. I turned to my buddy, and said, "the same way out as in," and he drove me over to the South Upper Truckee, where I quickly hiked to Summit City Creek, and the isolation of the Western Flank of the Sierras between Round Top and Lake Alpine. Pacific Crest-Tahoe to Yosemite Trails cross the Echo Lake Dam. I totally agree that abstinence is 100% effective, but I also know that it’s 100% unrealistic. Tallac, Bayview, Eagle Lake and Meeks Bay. Echo Lakes to Susie lake via Lake Aloha. We arrived at the trailhead a bit before 11 and got our gear … We decided to enter from the Echo Lakes trailhead at Echo Summit. People tend to check out after they complete the hard parts. At Echo Lakes there is a boat taxi operated in the summer by Echo Lakes Resort cuts three miles off your trip. I also wanted to point out the fact that there are actual mountaineering classes (offered at Lake Tahoe Community College) that people can take in order to learn about backpacking and backcountry safety. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Other urbanites use wilderness backpacking as a lifeline from nature to protect their sanity from the degradations of the Urban Consumer Life they are stuck within. Your safety is your responsibility. I knew the Sierra Nevada Mountains existed well beyond the ridge line surrounding Lake Tahoe. It is located west of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50 in El Dorado County. But, then again, that’s the whole point of designating a geographic location as a wilderness area. The 63,000 acre Desolation Wilderness situated just West of Lake Tahoe is a hiker’s paradise. I feel strong, but there’s no reason to carry the extra weight if we don’t need to. Currently I’m zipped up in my bivy sack and sweating like crazy! And I encourage people to develop their own process of discovery when embarking on their outdoor adventure (adhering to the Leave No Trace Seven Principles). Remember when wearing North Face mountain jackets in the city was "cool?" A stout climb to say the least! It felt like I spent half the night shooing it away with my trekking poles. Consider taking the water taxi (in season roughly July through Labor Day weekend) to make this journey shorter and easier. We performed gear checks and shuttled our cars between the exit and entry points. That's an excellent trend. The Echo Lake Chalet was closed (Echo Lake Chalet operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day), and the area was as quiet as I've ever seen it, and the upper parking lot had only a few cars. So, he bought dehydrated black bean soup and red beans and rice soup. I appreciated their interest and including me in their conversation. Once we started hiking, I was amazed by the stark contrasts. When I sit upright, the cool evening breeze soothes my skin. If you decide to go, please practice Leave No Trace. Distance: 11.3 miles roundtrip Difficulty: Moderate Type: Day hike or 2- to 3-day backpacking trip Elevation gain: 2200 feet feet High point: 8350 feet Season: July to October, or earlier in years with low snowfall Contact: Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit The #tahoerimtrail and #pacificcrestrail travel directly through. We meet up at rest stops and campsites, but we nearly always hike by ourselves and at our own pace. Unit. Pyramid Peak Above Lake Aloha, Desolation Wilderness Echo Lakes to Lake Aloha Key Data. Starting at the Bayview Campground off of HWY 89, the hike to Dick’s Lake begins at a consistent incline. Mileage sign at Echo Lake trailhead states: Aloha Lake 5 miles. This is incorrect according to my measurements and experience. Descending Dicks Peak was especially difficult due to the loose stuff. Last night’s sleep was less than ideal thanks to a small critter scurrying around me. We bushwhacked our way to Lower Velma Lake early thanks to our alpine start of 6AM. No matter how much I’d love to have the backcountry all to myself, I fully support the fact that public land is for everyone. I miss it. The Desolation Wilderness requires all day-hikers and overnight visitors to have a backcountry permit — yes, even day-hikers. And by that same rationale, you must take issue with every guidebook that’s ever been written about any tourist location around the world. It sounds like she might be hiking with us tomorrow for part of the trip. Echo Lakes to Lake Aloha 12.8 mi 20.7 km • 1,434' Up 437.09 m Up • 1,436' Down 437.71 m Down. Contact the Echo Lakes Chalet for more information: (530) 659-7207. The walls allowed the lake to retain more water than it naturally would. Desolation Wilderness. Basically, we needed to scramble down steep angles of scree. Meeks Bay to Echo Summit Day 1 Echo Lake to Lake … But since I moved to Lake Tahoe last year (2005), I’ve been more interested in listening than speaking. But Lower Velma Lake was stunning and offered cool, refreshing water. One member of our group said that Lake Aloha acts as a reservoir and collects the surrounding snow melt. But I fear that many hikers are as motivated by using their experience as an emblem of "wilderness validity" within their urban consumer lives, as they are motivated by the backpacking experience itself. There is ample parking above the marina and you even have the option of taking a water taxi across the echo lakes to cut off around 2.5 miles of the hike. We summited Dick’s Peak early in the day. A lake house built atop bare rock along Lower Echo Lake en route to Lake Aloha in the Desolation wilderness. The trailhead has a map of Desolation Wilderness (it’s helpful to take a picture to have an idea of the trail and locations of other lakes along the hike, including Lake Lucille, Lake of the Woods, Tamarack Lake and Triangle Lake). comments and notes, Resupply information Provide appropriate information regarding their proposed endeavor so that they can plan and prepare accordingly (and not become a drain on local emergency services or destroy sensitive lands). I do believe that many locations around the lake should be left out of guidebooks, but this isn’t because they’re my “secret.” Rather, it’s often because there are no established trailheads or trails for people to safely find and follow. It was fun to watch and caused me to reevaluate the route we three had taken. That was right around noon.