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. California Relay: 711 For day hikers, you can self issue a permit at the trailhead. 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, … Zone and trailhead map of the Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe, California. 8 a.m. to  4:30 p.m. Because of its beauty and accessibility, Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the United States. Jeff Marsolais, Forest Supervisor Visitors must choose a first night destination (see zone map below). Located at the southern end of the Crystal Range, at 9,983 feet Pyramid Peak is the alpha peak in Californias Basics: This overnight hike was about 13 miles round-trip. There are 45 zones which may be accessed by any of 15 trailhead entry points. Summer Schedule: Monday - Saturday Desolation Wilderness is one of the largest wilderness areas near Lake Tahoe at almost 64,000 acres. … During the off-quota season there is no limit to the number of overnight users in each zone. TTY: (530) 543-0956 Forest Supervisor's Office Permits may still be on the Reservation system at that time depending on what happens with the Covid 10 situation. 2375 Fruitridge Road Office #: 209 259-3774 If there is one place I can never get enough of in the Lake Tahoe area, it is Desolation Wilderness. You can reserve 18 spots ahead of time online at Recreation.gov, and 18 spots are available for same day walk in. This is a big hike that will bring you to some of the least traveled and most scenic parts of the Desolation Wilderness, ending with a plung in Lake Doris. 7887 Highway 50 Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Pioneer, CA 95666 Office #: 530 303-2412 The nearest precipitation station is TWIN LA which is approximately 16 miles away and … 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. Permit offices remain closed. Summer Schedule: Monday - Friday Phone 530-622-1225 Shortly after our last failed attempt at backpacking in Desolation Wilderness, I was ready to try again. Virtual services for trip planning are available. Placerville, CA 95667 LTBMU – Call 530-543-2600 (leave message and staff will return your call) M-F, 0800-1630. Blacksmith Flat road Closed due to a landslide. It can be reached by taking Wrights Lake Road off of Highway 50. Winter Schedule: Monday - Friday. Desolation Wilderness Trip Planning Guide to Welcome to Your Wilderness 1 Desola on Wilderness Zone Map 2 Find Your Path 3 ‐ 4 Visit for the Day 5 Tips for Travel 6 Camp Overnight 7 ‐ 8 Preserve Wilderness 9 Explore—Trail Mileages 10 This Wilderness area is split up into 45 different zones, with each having a specific permitting quota. Steve Hall, District Ranger (Acting) Desolation wilderness is not so desolate. If you choose not to take the water taxi, add 5 miles to the overall trip. 38.9197222-120.17 10 satellite. The overnight quota is based upon the number of people entering the wilderness each day, and their first night's destination zone. We waited a few weeks for more snow to melt, then made our reservation for Lake Aloha (Zone 33). Group size is limited to 12 people per party who will be hiking or camping together. The nearest temperature station is XN TAHOE VALLEY AP which is approximately 9 miles away and has an elevation of 150 feet (1,850 feet lower than Desolation Wilderness). This is the Desolation Wilderness zone map from Recreation.gov. 530-622-5061 (closed) Summer Schedule: Monday- Saturday If it is already full, try for one of the three zones around Velma Lakes and camp at one of them on your first night. There is a quota on overnight use from the Friday before Memorial Day through September 30 of each year. This summer the Desolation Wilderness was simply blooming with wildflowers, after the first wet winter in a five-year drought. In order to protect its unique beauty and wilderness character, human access is limited and certain activities are restricted in the Desolation. If an area is crowded, move to a less occupied location. 530-644-2349 (closed) Desolation Wilderness Zone Map Taking in the view of Twin Lakes and the waterfall that feeds into the lakes We snagged 6 of the allotted 25 spots for this zone. U.S. Forest Service Rick Hopson, District Ranger Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used protected areas in the United States. Desolation Wilderness Main Features: Meeks Bay is the trail head for the Classic Tahoe to Yosemite Trail, and an excellent entry point into the Desolation Wilderness for short and medium distance backpackers as … Camino, CA 95709 click for Fullsize. There are fees associated with the Desolation Program. Schedule: Monday - Friday, year-round Aloha Lake is in Desolation Wilderness zone - #33. Placerville CA 95667 209-295-4251 (closed) California Relay: 711 Permits are … (PDF 113 KB). Eldorado National Forest – Call 530-647-5415 or the virtual office number 916 500-4712 for more information 5 days/week M-F, 0800-1630. https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/california/desolation-wilderness/backpacking Do not gather in groups. The two most logical starting points for an overnighter were the Glen Alpine Trail at Lily Lake and the Mt Tallac trailhead. Permits are available only online via recreation.gov; paper permits are not being issued in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Winter Schedule: Monday - Friday, GEORGETOWN RANGER DISTRICT Securing Your Wilderness Permit. The view looking back towards Twin Lakes at sunset. 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. Twin Lakes and Island Lake – Desolation Wilderness (12 mile trek) There were a ton of small wildflowers on the ridge, which made the hike really beautiful. Some zones encompass multiple lakes, while the more popular lakes may have their own zone. Although this hike can be done as a … Below are weather averages from 1971 to 2000 according to data gathered from the nearest official weather stations. Hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Camino, CA 95709 PACIFIC RANGER DISTRICT Leland Lakes (Lower) 29 Jun 2014; 8125' Home; About; Lakes; Notes Hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the country. 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. Desolation Wilderness permits have a quota based on first night camping destinations. 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. The hike up was less than 4 miles with an elevation gain of less than 1,000 feet ( you start high). Tallac, Bayview, Eagle Lake and Meeks Bay. 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). Visitor Services are at Placerville RD. California Relay: 711 26820 Silver Drive Hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm. PLACERVILLE NURSERY At waterfall camp, you'll have the opportunity to explore over 50 waterfalls. South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 Although this sometimes works to your disadvantage if you can't secure a permit, it… Sunday 8:00 am - 12:00 pm. California Relay: 711 California Relay: 711 100 Forni Road The 63,000 acre area with endless trail systems and lakes has a solid permit system that keeps it from being overcrowded. It can be difficult to find solitude, especially if you’re hiking to Lake Aloha or up Pyramid Peak on a summer weekend. The area is divided into 45 zones and permits are required year-round, with quotas in … It is also one of the most popular wilderness areas in the country due to its proximity to South Lake Tahoe, breathtaking views, numerous lakes & waterfalls, and stunning granite geography. Desolation Wilderness Permits Zone Map near Desolation Wilderness, California. Gary Cline Because of its beauty and accessibility, Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the United States. California Relay: 711 Desolation Wilderness Area ─ Zone Quotas Because of its beauty and accessibility, Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the United States. Recreation.gov is your source for discovering and experiencing America's federal recreation activities and outdoor adventures. Schedule: Monday - Friday, year-round, National Forest Genetic Electrophoresis Laboratory 530-644-2324 (closed) Refer to the Fee page. As with almost all of the zones in Desolation Wilderness, there is more than one trailhead to choose from as your entry/exit point, as was the case for us. 4260 Eight Mile Road Follow Wrights Lake Road until you reach Wrights Lake. The hike over Rockbound Pass is far less crowded than many of the trails on the eastern side of the wilderness. Dicks Lake has some nice campsites a … The Tell’s Peak area is a rugged shortcut into Desolation Wilderness using the Forni Lake trail up to Tell’s peak where a faint abandoned trail goes off the NW side and down to Highland Lake. 530-333-4312 (closed) Also consider avoiding the wilderness during high-use periods. Desolation Wilderness Permits and Maps For overnight backpacking in Desolation Wilderness, a permit is required. Hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm 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. 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, https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/ltbmu/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5157687, 2019 Recreational Opportunity Guide (ROG), 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). Hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Office #: 916 500-4712 Desolation Wilderness: Zone Quota Because of its beauty and accessibility, Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the United States. Use to figure out Each zone has a quota. In order to protect its unique beauty and wilderness character, human access is limited and certain activities are restricted in the Desolation. Schedule: Monday - Friday, year-round, PLACERVILLE RANGER DISTRICT There are 45 zones which may be accessed by any of 15 trailhead entry points. Office #: 530 334-6477 Easy marked dirt trail then on the granite there were stones lined along the way to … Backpack to this secluded destination that's hidden from most of the traffic in Desolation Wilderness. 2480 Carson Road Historical Weather. 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, https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/eldorado/specialplaces/?cid=fsbdev7_019072. Permits must be obtained in person at offices which issue Desolation Wilderness permits. IMPORTANT CHANGES FOR VISITOR USE, 2020: DAY USE PERMITS: The use of paper day use permits is temporarily suspended in Desolation Wilderness for the 2020 season, due to the current COVID-19 situation. As with most backpacking destinations, you’ll need to secure a wilderness permit for any overnight stays in Desolation Wilderness. There is a quota on overnight use from the Friday before Memorial Day through September 30 of each year. Another cross country route, shown on old maps, heads more north from this same NW side towards Lake Winefred near the Rubicon Jeep Trail. Business office only. 2020 Season: Quota season ends after September 30. Hours: Mon thru Fri Because of its beauty and accessibility, Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the United States. In order to protect its unique beauty and wilderness character, human access is limited and certain activities are restricted in the Desolation. Desolation Wilderness is an alpine landscape scoured by ancient glaciers and punished over and over by heavy winds and snow. Getting There Smith Lake is located inside Desolation Wilderness in El Dorado County. 530-622-9600 (closed) Voice: (530) 543-2600 Office #: 916 500-4712 View Location View Map. Hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Both Fontanillis and Dicks lakes are in the same zone, #23. Andrea Cabida, District Ranger (Acting) Hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Schedule: Monday - Friday, year-round. Scot Rogers, District Ranger FOREST SUPERVISOR'S OFFICE Signed up for a meet-up hike to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower. The one-way distance is about 5.7 miles, with about 3,300' of elevation gain. Click here for all the important dates for booking CA backpacking permits The charts include the distance one way to the destination, the difficulty rating for that section of the trail, and the zone you will be in when you reach that destination. In order to protect its unique beauty and wilderness character, human access is limited and certain activities are restricted in the Desolation. Winter Schedule: Monday - Friday, AMADOR RANGER DISTRICT In order to protect its unique beauty and wilderness character, human access is … 7600 Wentworth Springs Road California Relay: 711 Normal Season: During the off-quota season there is no limit to the number of overnight users in each zone. Although it involves a long day, this trip can easily be done as a day hike for strong parties. During the winter months, most of the trailheads are covered by snow and are not accessible. Desolation Wilderness Area Trailheads You will find a list below of destinations by trailhead. 35 College Drive Pollock Pines, CA 95726-9602 The overnight quota is based upon the number of people entering the wilderness each day, and their first night's destination zone. 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 is split into 45 zones. Permits are required year-round for overnight use. Georgetown, CA 95634 Each weekend, the landscape’s colors have shifted and I'm constantly delighted, as we hike from one terrain to the next. Permits must be obtained in person or by telephone at the offices listed above which issue Desolation Wilderness permits. 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. Annual Dirt Road Closure in effect January 1. 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