Please follow Leave No Trace camping guidelines and do not camp within 200 feet of water sources, including alpine lakes. The majority of Desolation’s roughly 80 named lakes are within a day hike from any trailhead, with ample vistas of sharp granite peaks, lush meadows, and old growth forest in abundance. Highlights : Amazing views of Lake Tahoe and the Desolation Wilderness, open fields full of mule's ears and other wild flowers, and a nice creek area. Desolation Wilderness is open for foot traffic and equestrian use only—all means of mechanical transportation (including snowmobiles) will not be allowed. Parking Fee are required in some areas. 138 Emerald Bay Road, South Lake Tahoe, CA. If you choose not to take the water taxi, add 5 miles to the overall trip. While many California parks can be full of visitors, Desolation Wilderness truly lives up to its name, giving visitors the freeing feeling of being out in the wild. Difficulty: Easy. Water in the Sierra may be contaminated by Giardia lambia & Crytosporidium, which may cause illness. North of the pass, the Velma Lakes mark the trail’s entrance into a much drier and less Stock - Livestock is limited to two livestock per person, or 12 livestock in one group. Dogs can disturb other campers, get in fights with other dogs along the trail, and scare wildlife away. Pets are required to be leashed and you must clean up after them. I would recommend bringing Tom Harrison’s map of Desolation Wilderness. 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). Have a wonderful trip! Nearly 80 named hikes are within a day hike from any trailhead, and the 2,650 Pacific Crest Trail and the 165 Tahoe Rim Trail share 20+ miles through this southwestern corner of Lake Tahoe. Elevation: 6,360'/6,410' Mileage (one-way):1 mile. This Wilderness area is split up into 45 different zones, with each having a specific permitting quota. Transporting firewood can move these pests to new locations. Be aware that firewood can harbor insects and diseases that threaten valuable forest resources. Desolation Wilderness satisfies intermediate and advanced hikers, though sections of some East Side hikes listed below also make for great beginner hikes, too. The trail is an environmentally sensitive trail running on the border of Desolation Wilderness deviating from the established trail, driving onto Desolation Wilderness land or walking onto Desolation Wilderness without a permit has and will result in heavy forest service … Garbage must be packed out. The maximum group size is 12 people, and leashed pets are allowed. Best time to hike is early July to mid August when snows are lightest and wildflowers are blooming. For more helpful information, be sure to get in touch with the USFS Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit at (530) 543-2600. This wilderness is also dog friendly, and overnight camping is free and easy to come by. The Pacific Crest Trail is now closed along with Desolation Wilderness, both of which were able to stay open prior to today's announcement. Moraine Trail. Only experienced backcountry outdoorsmen should attempt to navigate the area during winter months. For a list of reservation, overnight wilderness and parking fees, click here. Method of Travel - Travel is restricted to horseback or foot only. It is located west of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50 in El Dorado County. Desolation permits continue to be available online and the area is open. Recommended Routes in Desolation Wilderness - 12 Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Unit. Area Status: Open. It's bounded by logging roads and operations to the north and … Pets - Domestic pets are allowed in the Desolation Wilderness at this time. It is located west of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50 in El Dorado County. At Echo Lakes there is a boat taxi operated in the summer by Echo Lakes Resort cuts three miles off your trip. Has anyone actually managed to contact them or write them/their local congress person or something? By continuing to use the site, you agree to our cookie policy. 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. The on-line service at www.recreation.gov allows wilderness visitors to make their reservations any time of the day seven days per week. Spanning a stunning 63,960 acres of sub-alpine and alpine forest, granite peaks and glacially-formed valleys and lakes, this protected wilderness area was established in 1899 as part of the Eldorado National Forest. Note that there are no food storage lockers at any Desolation Wilderness trailhead. Unfortunately, that browser is no longer updated or supported by Microsoft and simply can't handle the kind of high-resolution Nevada inspiration our website has to offer. Desolation Wilderness may be visited all year round, but most gates to trailheads are open from Memorial Day through October. Signed up for a meet-up hike to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower. Open Carry in National Forest I plan on backpacking for a two night trip in Desolation Wilderness starting at the Pyramid Creek Trailhead with a few friends. But trust us—you'll be glad you did! West Side Trailheads include Loon Lake Trailhead, Buck Island Trailhead, Van Vleck Trailhead, Rockbound Trailhead, Twin Lakes Trailhead, Lyons Trailhead, Pyramid Creek (Twin Bridges) Trailhead, Ralston Trailhead, Echo Trailhead. This decision will be … Though Desolation Wilderness is spectacularly scenic any time of year, the best window for access is during mid summer through early fall. The El Dorado County leash laws are enforced inside the Wilderness boundary as dogs off leash can be an impediment and/or hazard to the safety of hikers, and to prevent dogs from harassing or molesting wildlife. Overnight permits can be booked online via Recreation.gov and 100% of the quota will be available for advanced reservations. East Side Trailheads include Echo Lakes Trailhead, Glen Alpine Trailhead, Mount Tallac Trailhead, Bayview Trailhead, Eagle Falls Trailhead, Meeks Bay Trailhead. Permits are available only online via recreation.gov; paper permits are not being issued in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Backpack to this secluded destination that's hidden from most of the traffic in Desolation Wilderness. When camping and backpacking, visitors are required to bury human waste, pack out all garbage, and practice all Leave No Trace methods. Desolation wilderness is not so desolate. Today, it’s one of the most beautiful, and most visited public recreation areas in the Lake Tahoe Basin and Western United States, offering spectacular day hiking, overnight camping, and multi-day backpacking trips in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains. 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. This fee is waived for overnight permit holders by obtiaining a parking pass, which exempts you from this fee when you pick up your overnight permit. Please check with specific offices and websites for the most up to date information on the wilderness area you are planning to visit. Desolation Wilderness Permit offices are closed until further notice due to COVID-19 restrictions, but are offering services virtually. The Wilderness is made up of fascinating glacially-carved granite, close to one hundred small crystal clear lakes, dozens of … 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. When camping and backpacking, visitors are required to bury human waste, pack out all garbage, and practice all Leave No Trace methods. Campfires - Campfires are prohibited in Desolation Wilderness to reduce human-caused fires, impacts to vegetation from firewood collection, and to reduce the visual impacts of fire rings and surface scarring. It is scheduled to be open May 25 – November 15, 2021 depending on weather and other factors. The Desolation Wilderness provides a home for many species of plants, fish and wildlife. Travel Management: A Program for Motor Vehicle Route Designation. Being the good law-abiding firearm owner that I am, I called the NF office to assure myself that open carry in the Eldorado National Forest is legal and allowed. Welcome to Desolation Wilderness, 63,960 acres of sub-alpine and alpine forest, granite peaks, and glacially-formed valleys and lakes. Desolation Wilderness is jointly administered by both the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Group Size - Maximum group size is 12 people for both day and overnight use. THE LONELIEST FOOD IN AMERICA - Part 3: Austin, Middlegate + Fallon. Recreation.gov is your source for discovering and experiencing America's federal recreation activities and outdoor adventures. Get in the loop on what to do, where to go, events not to miss and more. Continent: North America Range2: Pacific Ranges Range3: Sierra Nevada Range4: Lake Tahoe-Sonora Pass Sierra Nevada Range5: Desolation-Crystal Range: Drainage Basins: Lake Tahoe Truckee-Pyramid Lake Great Basin Internal Drainage-N.A. Children 12 and under are free. All the junctions are well signed, even on the lesser used trails. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ltbmu/recarea/?recid=11786, Plague Warning: Taylor Creek Visitor Center, Tallac Site, Kiva Beach/Picnic Area, Recreational fires and charcoal banned in the Lake Tahoe/Truckee Region, Desolation Wilderness Recreation Opportunity Guide (ROG), Reservations are now made online by visiting. Welcome to Desolation Wilderness, 63,960 acres of sub-alpine and alpine forest, granite peaks, and glacially-formed valleys and lakes. Trailheads are accessible via Highway 50 on the west side and Highway 89 on the eastside. 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. Wheelchairs are allowed. “Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Desolation Wilderness is jointly administered by both the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Mgnt. Desolation Wilderness Permits are issued through a quota system and can be reserved through recreation.gov up to six months in advance or in person at a … Day use is open in the forest, although discouraged and even Yosemite is issuing wilderness permits. Camp out among the grass and the gentians of glacier meadows, in craggy nooks.”. Elevations in Desolation Wilderness range from 5000 foot valley to 9000 foot peaks. It is accessible from the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin. I tried to tweet Stanislaus but got no response. Stay on trails and do not shortcut switchbacks or create parallel ruts by walking alongside the trail. West side trailheads are all on the Eldorado National Forest and the east side trailheads are all on the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit 35 College Drive South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150. Desolation Wilderness is open for foot traffic and equestrian use only—all means of mechanical transportation (including snowmobiles) will not be allowed. Desolation Wilderness. Desolation Wilderness contains 100 square miles (63,960 acres) of gorgeous mountainous terrain on the southwest side of Lake Tahoe, above Emerald Bay. 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. … 401 N. Carson StreetCarson City, NV 89701, We use cookies to help us improve, promote, and protect our services. 35 College Drive The 63,000 acre Desolation Wilderness situated just West of Lake Tahoe is a hiker’s paradise. There are fees for overnight camping year-round and a quota system is in place from May through October. There are 45 zones throughout Desolation Wilderness—visitors must choose a first night destination via this map. Mount Tallac 9.9 mi 16.0 km • 3,266' Up 995.6 m Up • 3,266' Down 995.58 m Down. To regulate traffic and protect this beautiful wilderness area, a quota system is in place, based upon the number of people entering the wilderness each day and their first night’s destination zone, limiting overnight use from the Friday before Memorial Day through September 30th each year. Golden passes do not apply to personal use permits. South Shore Trails. Desolation Wilderness is open year-round. Here, in the high country above Lake Tahoe, only the hardiest trees grow, twisting in the gales to make a scene out of their survival. Ecology. Desolation Wilderness Permits and Maps For overnight backpacking in Desolation Wilderness, a permit is required. The hike up was less than 4 miles with an elevation gain of less than 1,000 feet ( you start high). The Desolation Wilderness is located just to the southwest of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50. COVID-19: Please avoid visiting the wilderness if you are sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. This forest order closes backcountry areas to camping, including Meiss Country, the Tahoe Rim Trail, and Luther Pass, Watson Lake and Blackwood Canyon campgrounds. South L…, CA. The terrain is open and it’s relatively easy recognize features on the map. Our scanners detect that you arrived on our site using Internet Explorer. Phone: (530) 543-2600. Both the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail and the 165 mile Tahoe Rim Trail share an approximately 22 mile segment of absolutely stunning trail through this br… There are two types of overnight permits for Desolation Wilderness – A regular Desolation Wilderness Permit and a TRT Thru-Hike Permit. South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 At waterfall camp, you'll have the opportunity to explore over 50 waterfalls. Reaching some of the famous Desolation Wilderness granite areas, the views open up to the east to show Silver Peak towering high above this area. Domeland Wilderness, Sequoia National Forest and Bureau of Land Management Things can change quickly in the wilderness! This is a busy time, so plan ahead to make sure you can secure a permit. Toilet paper must be buried or packed out. RECOMMENDED ROUTE Difficult. Waste - Visitors are required to bury human waste 6 to 8 inches deep and at least 200 feet away from water, trails, and campsites. You can book a permit online at Recreation.gov or score one of the first-come-first-serve permits at the Tahoe South Visitor Center, … Forest Service Home | USDA.gov | recreation.gov | Recreation Customer Service Standards | USA.gov | Whitehouse.gov, Plug-Ins | FOIA | Accessibility Statement | Privacy Policy | Important Notices | Information Quality. After the recent rainstorm there was water everywhere, including a series of waterfalls which were just off the east side of the trail. U.S. Forest Service More Information. Hours: Mon thru Fri A call center, 1-877-444-6777, is available to assist with reservations daily from 7 AM – 9 PM in the summer and 7 AM to 7 PM in the winter. Your Wilderness Permit is also your campfire permit for your gas camp stove while visiting the Desolation Wilderness. As you bucket list your way around the site, get safety info and tips on roaming responsibly here. Forest Supervisor's Office Voice: (530) 543-2600 We recommend returning on any other browser. Easy marked dirt trail then on the granite there were stones lined along the way to … A fee is charged for this service. Co-managed by the Eldorado National Forest and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. 8 a.m. to  4:30 p.m. Contact the … Campfires and the use of charcoal are prohibited in Desolation Wilderness, though your wilderness permit also serves as your campfire permit for gas stove use only. All means of mechanical transportation, including bicycles, carts, and snowmobiles, are prohibited in the wilderness. Gates to trailheads open around Memorial Day and close early October. Desolation Wilderness is an alpine landscape scoured by ancient glaciers and punished over and over by heavy winds and snow. Desolation Wilderness is jointly administered by both the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. But don’t let this scare you away from enjoying 64,000 acres (100 square miles) of subalpine and alpine forest, granitic peaks, meadows of wildflowers, 75 glacially-formed lakes with names, and countless ones without names. Add Your Recommended Routes. Required year-round for both day and overnight use. Because Desolation Wilderness is such a popular recreational area, human access is limited and certain activities are restricted within. … Bears have no trouble ripping open cars to get at scented items, even if in the car trunk. July and early August is an excellent time to see wildflowers blooming. Overnight wilderness permit fee is $5 per person for the first night and $10 per person for two or more nights up to 14 days (non-refundable). TTY: (530) 543-0956 For specific information on fees, permits, trail information, and the zone quota, follow this link: Desolation Wilderness is located in the southwest corner of the Lake Tahoe Basin. 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