1 year ago. The Desolation Wilderness provides a home for many species of plants, fish and wildlife. Access: Offering magnificent views of Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe, this steep trail leads you up the side of Maggie's Peak into Desolation Wilderness. The hike starts out moderate but quickly picks up elevation as you enter Desolation Wilderness and the Wilderness Boundary Trail. Decomposed granite accumulations are often shallow deposits within glacially scoured basins. There are also a variety of mountain birds, including the Steller's jay, Clark's nutcracker, mountain chickadee, sooty grouse, mountain bluebird, American dipper, and occasional golden eagle. Ropi Lake via Horsetail Falls – Desolation Wilderness This hike is 6-ish difficult miles beginning at the Pyramid Creek trailhead on Highway 50, with about 1900 feet of elevation gain. Getting There Smith Lake is located inside Desolation Wilderness in El Dorado County. S. Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 530-543-2694, Group size is limited to 12 people per party who will be hiking or camping together. [2] It was set aside as the Desolation Valley Primitive Area in 1931 with an area of 64,000 acres (260 km2). It’ll be helpful when reserving a permit. 7887 Highway 50 The unmaintained trail goes past Horsetail Falls (a neat destination itself) up to several beautiful lakes in Desolation Wilderness. The … ... 0.02 when modeled against natural conditions. The El Dorado County Leash Law is enforced when dogs are harassing wildlife or impacting other visitors opportunities for solitude. Among the many waterfalls within the wilderness is Horsetail Falls. Winter conditions are expected to persist in Desolation Wilderness from November through June. The most extensive forested areas are found on moist soils bordering lakes, streams, and meadows. There are many wet meadows throughout the wilderness, each unique due to the differences in elevation, exposure, soil composition and soil depth, resulting in a wide diversity of annual and perennial plant life. The Pacific Crest Trail passes through the length of the wilderness, and its proximity to roads makes it one of the more easily accessible wildernesses in the Sierra. During the winter, day permits are available at the Pacific Ranger Station. There are plenty of water sources from the southern border of Desolation Wilderness north to Middle Velma Lake. (Open summer only) Lakes are likely to be frozen and expect trails to be fully or partially covered in … During the zone-quota period permits are in high demand and trip-planning is important to secure your desired location in advance.. Placerville Ranger Station TTY 530-647-5407 Camino CA 95709 As much of the ground surface in Desolation is bedrock granite: soils are limited. All of the avalanches seem to have wet snow characteristics with avalanches at lower elevations (below 8000') sliding down near the ground. Parking is located at the far end of the campground. This Wilderness area is split up into 45 different zones, with each having a specific permitting quota. Desolation Wilderness is a federally protected wilderness of 63,000+ acres in Northern California. [1], Before European settlement in the mid-19th century, there is evidence this area was used by the Washoe. Overnight camping will still be permitted in Desolation Wilderness and within 500 feet of the Pacific Crest Trail. Livestock are limited to two livestock per person, or 12 livestock in one group. Note that only 400 feet of this elevation rise occurs hiking the 2.23 miles from Lake Genevieve to the South side of Stony Ridge Lake. Had a nice report about fishing down the Rubicon from Clyde Lake as unchanged to better conditions than I have seen in the past. It is accessible from all sides, though most hikers begin their visit in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Most forested areas occur between 7,400 and 9,000 feet (2,300 and 2,700 m) of elevation, becoming patchy to rare at higher elevations. All trail users entering Desolation Wilderness or using a campstove will need to obtain permits. The crest of the Sierra Nevada runs through it, just west of Lake Tahoe. Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used protected areas in the United States. It is accessible from the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin. (530) 543-2674, LTBMU Supervisors Office It can be difficult to find solitude, especially if you’re hiking to Lake Aloha or up Pyramid Peak on a summer weekend. "Desolation Wilderness: Trail Destinations", Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front, California State Mining and Mineral Museum, Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, University of California Natural Reserve System, Sweeney Granite Mountains Desert Research Center, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Desolation_Wilderness&oldid=991693988, Protected areas of the Sierra Nevada (U.S.), Protected areas of El Dorado County, California, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 1 December 2020, at 10:17. It is accessible from the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin. Within 7 days of your “Date of Entry”, you may print your permit yourself, or bring your confirmation email and photo ID to a Forest Service office to have them print it. First-come, first-served overnight permits are available the day of entry at the office locations and business hours listed below. Mule deer are the largest of the game species found within the wilderness. Permits are available only online via recreation.gov; paper permits are not being issued in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Waste - Visitors are required to bury human waste 6 to 8 inches deep and at least 200 feet away from water, trails, and campsites. The Desolation Wilderness is located just to the southwest of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50. Bear proof food storage containers are available for free rental from the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, Pacific Ranger Station, or the LTBMU Supervisor’s Office (addresses above). Maps. Trailheads are accessible via Highway 50 on the west side and Highway 89 on the eastside. State(s): California. Snow often blocks the high passes until mid July. A section of the Pacific Crest Trail/Tahoe Rim Trail traverses 17 miles of the Wilderness. (530) 543-2693 (fax), A sea of glacially carved granite, alpine forests, and pristine peaks make this piece of the sierra crest one of the most popular wilderness areas in the region, Wilderness Volunteers Projects (National). FAX 530-647-5405, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Meiss Country requires no permits, though these areas are a stone's throw from each other. All lakes and streams within this segment should have plenty of water for filtering/treatment. The last half mile of the hike can be difficult, as there is granite rock and boulders that require rock climbing and the trail is not well marked and hard to follow. The Crystal Range is within the wilderness area, with Pyramid Peak as the highest point in the range and the wilderness at 9,985 feet (3,043 m)[5] in elevation. The Pacific Crest Trail passes through the length of the wilderness, and its proximity to roads makes it one of the more easily accessible wildernesses in the Sierra. Due to its popularity and fragile ecosystem, permits are required year-round for both day and overnight visits. Located three miles north of the Highway 50/89 junction This wilderness straddles both sides of the Sierra Nevada, averages 12.5 miles in length and eight miles in width, and has elevations ranging from about 6,500 feet to over 10,000 feet. Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the country. The Desolation Wilderness is located just to the southwest of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50. Use Permits. The on-line reservation service, recreation.gov allows visitors to make reservations seven days a week. Toilet paper must be buried or packed out. Thanks to it’s breathtaking granite landscape and accessibility, the Desolation Wilderness is one of the most popular wilderness areas in the country. The Desolation Wilderness Volunteers website is a great place to check trail conditions before you head out. I have a permit for the weekend of the 3rd/4th, and hoping to hike Pyramid Peak, but a little worried the snow could still be pretty intense. Supervisor’s Office Its largest body of water is Lake Aloha, a reservoir with shallow, clear waters sitting in a wide granite basin carved by glaciers of the last ice age. Black bears are increasingly common, with individuals being displaced from the Tahoe Basin and lower elevation western slopes into the higher country. Desolation Wilderness is open for foot traffic and equestrian use only—all means of mechanical transportation (including snowmobiles) will not be allowed. Large destructive deep slab avalanches in Desolation Wilderness seen from Mt. The sparse woodlands of widely scattered western junipers and lodgepole pines are interrupted by patches of montane chaparral species such as pinemat manzanita, huckleberry oak, and mountain pride penstemon clinging to the expanses of barren rock. 27-up to at least 11 counted. Less common, but also present are brown and golden trout. Desolation Wilderness: Home > PSD Limits > Map, List > Desolation Wilderness. In the summer, a quota system is used for overnight trips to limit the number of visitors on any given day in the wilderness. Popular wilderness ages well under the eye of devoted stewards . Desolation Wilderness/ Lake Tahoe, CA Trail Status Update by U.S. Forest Service – Lake Tahoe Basin Unit *** Desolation Wilderness Update: The report and photos below [and above] are from Forest Service wilderness ranger scouting expeditions on July 8 and July 12, 2017. Desolation also provides an ideal habitat for numerous alpine rodents such as the yellow-bellied marmot, golden-mantled ground squirrel and Douglas squirrel. Desolation Wilderness is located in the southwest corner of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Current conditions at OWENS CAMP (OWNC1) Lat: 38.735819°NLon: 120.241583°WElev: 5240ft. Here’s a map of all the managment zones in Desolation Wilderness. 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. Meiss Country Map Index . Entering Desolation from the Echo Lakes trailhead, solid snow cover begins at Haypress Meadow (8,200 ft.). It has extensive areas of bare granite rock formations. When camping and backpacking, visitors are required to bury human waste, pack out all garbage, and practice all Leave No Trace methods. GPS and/or map and compass are still recommended to find the trail along with proper footwear, clothing […] If the recreation area is open, at the junction by the stop sign, turn right and follow it to the end where you will find a trailhead parking lot. These hardy trees take root in excessively rocky and often nutrient-poor soils. Desolation Wilderness Hiking Lake Genevieve to Phipps Pass . Easy marked dirt trail then on the granite there were stones lined along the way to … Desolation Wilderness 2016 - Conditions by strongfam1 » Mon May 09, 2016 8:22 am 1 Replies 1526 Views Last post by steeleman Mon May 09, 2016 5:46 pm South Desolation Wilderness Conditions? In 2.7 miles this trail intersects with the … 530-644-2349 All of these avalanches are thought to have occurred during the March 20-22 rain/ high elevation snow event. Solving the cold problem is pretty easy, just bring more warmer clothes. Do not hitch, tether, or hobble a horse or other saddle or pack animal within 200 feet of a water source or within 100 feet of a campsite. Trail Guide Section Index. 35 College Drive Miles & Elevations (Why?) Camp stoves for cooking are permissible. Your source for Sierra wilderness information. Pets - Domestic pets are allowed in the Desolation Wilderness at this time. Follow Wrights Lake Road until you reach Wrights Lake. Water Sources. Manage dog waste by burying or carrying it out depending on the season. In 1969, it became the Desolation Wilderness after the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964.[3]. Within Desolation's numerous lakes and streams are also a variety of game fish such as the rainbow and brook trout. Permits are available for all entry points from either the Eldorado National Forest or the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU). Clearly this is the largest fish I have heard in recent history coming out of the Desolation. Desolation Wilderness is the busiest wilderness in the country. Day visits are not subject to fees, maximum group size is 12. County(s): El Dorado. The Wilderness sits on the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountain’s Crystal Range, west of Lake Tahoe, and north of Highway 50. It can be reached by taking Wrights Lake Road off of Highway 50. Desolation Wilderness CA weather - local Desolation Wilderness, California weather forecasts and current conditions. Weather: When planning your trip, be aware that snow can persist in much of Desolation Wilderness through the end of June. The only location on the Tahoe Rim Trail requiring a permit for day use is Desolation Wilderness. Your best resource for Desolation Wilderness CA … Now is the time to go for one of the prettier and more enjoyable hikes you’ll have all summer! Long recognized for its mountain splendor, Desolation Valley Primitive Area was established in 1931 and then granted Wilderness status in 1969. The Tahoe Rim Trail and Pacific Crest Trail pass through the wilderness. A variety of wildflower species, sedges, and grasses inhabit these fragile wet areas. 30% of each zone’s quota is available on the day of entry at walk up locations listed below. Large amounts of snow and water from Bayview/Eagle junction onward, with limited dry ground for camping. Includes details of wilderness areas, latest sierra wilderness news, resources for planning your trip, and notes from professionals in the field. Desolation wilderness is not so desolate Signed up for a meet-up hike to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower. Garbage must be packed out. Aspen and willow are common to these wetland areas. A windy day atop Mt Agassiz in the Desolation Wilderness. It's bounded by logging roads and operations to the north and … Winter: 8am to 4:30pm M-F, Taylor Creek Visitor Center A call center is available to assist daily from 7 am-9pm (summer) and 7am – 7pm (winter). General Information. Dogs are to be under the owners control at all times. Eldorado National Forest Desolation Wilderness supports predominantly red fir and lodgepole pine forests with associated species such as Jeffrey pine, mountain hemlock, ponderosa pine, western juniper, and western white pine. (Why?). Summer Sunday: 8:00am to noon The Desolation Wilderness is a 63,960-acre (258.8 km2) 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. 35 College Drive The Desolation Wilderness is a 63,960-acre (258.8 km2) federally protected wilderness area in the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, in El Dorado County, California. The Desolation Wilderness provides a home for many species of plants, fish and wildlife. A list of other trailheads that provide access to the wilderness follows.[4]. Trail Conditions. Desolation is a popular backpacking destination, with much barren rocky terrain at the edge of the tree line. The hike over Rockbound Pass is far less crowded than many of the trails on the eastern side of the wilderness. Species of special interest that are very rare in the area are the fisher, pine marten, red fox, and wolverine. Desolation Wilderness Fishing Update 6 (2000) Well, the Wakabayshis have done it again. (530) 647-5415 Many other alpine and wooded lakes of various sizes are scattered throughout the area. Due to the Desolations fragile high elevation ecosystem Campfires are not allowed anywhere in the wilderness area. S. Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 (530) 543-0956 (hearing impaired) Always have a leash with you in an immediately accessible location. Group Size - Maximum group size is 12 people for both day and overnight use. Desolation Wilderness conditions in early August Hey all — what sort of conditions are anticipated for Desolation Wilderness in early August this year? By the end of that century, the first formal step to limiting its development when it was made a Forest Reserve, managed first by the General Land Office, and later, by the US Forest Service. Permits are required for both day use and overnight camping. Desolation is a relative term. Also found is a member of the rabbit and hare family, the pika. Difficult to follow trail, with hazardous conditions. The hike up was less than 4 miles with an elevation gain of less than 1,000 feet (you start high). 4260 Eight Mile Road Pollock Pines, CA 95726-9602 They used to be free, but now cost $5 a person for one night and $10.00 per person for two or more nights up to 14 days (non-refundable). 530-543-2600 (voice) Permits may be difficult to obtain during the high Summer backpacking season. From Meeks Bay trail head to Phipps Pass we will be climbing a total of 2561 feet of vertical elevation over 8.88 miles of distance. From the Friday before Memorial Day weekend to the last day in September a zone-quota system is in effect for overnight trips into Desolation. A partnership of the National Park Service and the United States Forest Service. Pacific Ranger District Day hikers may obtain a free permit from one of the offices listed below, or may issue themselves a permit at most major trailheads in the summer. Summer Mon-Sat: 8:00am to 4:30pm M-Sat Desolation Wilderness Map Index . The Desolation Wilderness is located just to the southwest of Lake Tahoe, north of Highway 50. at South Lake Tahoe, on Highway 89 Stop at Granite Lake for a short rest along the way. Expect snow on the trail. Desolation Wilderness Permits and Maps For overnight backpacking in Desolation Wilderness, a permit is required. 70% of the daily quota for each individual zone can be reserved 6 months in advance thru recreation.gov. Please respect the permit system to protect wilderness resources and mitigate wildfire risk. The limited tree cover in Desolation is valuable for watershed protection, wildlife habitat, and aesthetics. What to do: Backpacking, hiking and camping. More common, yet seldom seen, are the smaller mammals like coyote, porcupine, badger, and bobcat. Desolation Wilderness is in north-central California along the eastern border, 3-1/2 hours northeast of San Francisco, 2 hours east of Sacramento, and 1 hour southwest of Reno, Nevada. This is until September 14 when conditions will be reevaluated. Desolation Wilderness is in a glory state that locals haven’t seen for many years – pumping waterfalls, high water levels in the lakes, and with the late start to the season, a pretty empty, crowd-free landscape. Tallac on Mar. Echo Peak SNOTEL data available here. by albanberg » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:16 pm 2 Replies 1217 Views Last post by albanberg Desolation Wilderness Conditions Report: Wilderness Ranger, Kristine Koran, July 1 to 4, 2017. provided these great visuals on the snowy conditions that are still persistent in Desolation. 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