530-543-2694, Group size is limited to 12 people per party who will be hiking or camping together. 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 Species of special interest that are very rare in the area are the fisher, pine marten, red fox, and wolverine. The limited tree cover in Desolation is valuable for watershed protection, wildlife habitat, and aesthetics. 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. A call center is available to assist daily from 7 am-9pm (summer) and 7am – 7pm (winter). 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. Garbage must be packed out. Manage dog waste by burying or carrying it out depending on the season. 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 most extensive forested areas are found on moist soils bordering lakes, streams, and meadows. Desolation Wilderness Fishing Update 6 (2000) Well, the Wakabayshis have done it again. It's bounded by logging roads and operations to the north and … Popular wilderness ages well under the eye of devoted stewards . What to do: Backpacking, hiking and camping. The Wilderness sits on the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountain’s Crystal Range, west of Lake Tahoe, and north of Highway 50. Here’s a map of all the managment zones in Desolation Wilderness. 1 year ago. Desolation Wilderness Hiking Lake Genevieve to Phipps Pass . Desolation Wilderness is the busiest wilderness in the country. The crest of the Sierra Nevada runs through it, just west of Lake Tahoe. All of these avalanches are thought to have occurred during the March 20-22 rain/ high elevation snow event. The El Dorado County Leash Law is enforced when dogs are harassing wildlife or impacting other visitors opportunities for solitude. The only location on the Tahoe Rim Trail requiring a permit for day use is Desolation Wilderness. It can be reached by taking Wrights Lake Road off of Highway 50. S. Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 The Desolation Wilderness is located just to the southwest of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50. Located three miles north of the Highway 50/89 junction 35 College Drive 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. (Open summer only) The Desolation Wilderness provides a home for many species of plants, fish and wildlife. 530-644-2349 The Desolation Wilderness is located just to the southwest of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50. Your source for Sierra wilderness information. (530) 543-2674, LTBMU Supervisors Office 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. A variety of wildflower species, sedges, and grasses inhabit these fragile wet areas. Long recognized for its mountain splendor, Desolation Valley Primitive Area was established in 1931 and then granted Wilderness status in 1969. (Why?) This Wilderness area is split up into 45 different zones, with each having a specific permitting quota. The unmaintained trail goes past Horsetail Falls (a neat destination itself) up to several beautiful lakes in Desolation Wilderness. Group Size - Maximum group size is 12 people for both day and overnight use. Expect snow on the trail. More common, yet seldom seen, are the smaller mammals like coyote, porcupine, badger, and bobcat. 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. 27-up to at least 11 counted. Less common, but also present are brown and golden trout. Day visits are not subject to fees, maximum group size is 12. 4260 Eight Mile Road 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. Easy marked dirt trail then on the granite there were stones lined along the way to … Please respect the permit system to protect wilderness resources and mitigate wildfire risk. Mule deer are the largest of the game species found within the wilderness. 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. All of the avalanches seem to have wet snow characteristics with avalanches at lower elevations (below 8000') sliding down near the ground. Winter: 8am to 4:30pm M-F, Taylor Creek Visitor Center Trailhead parking areas are closed in winter and many access roads are not subject to snow removal. Maps. Trailheads are accessible via Highway 50 on the west side and Highway 89 on the eastside. [1], Before European settlement in the mid-19th century, there is evidence this area was used by the Washoe. These hardy trees take root in excessively rocky and often nutrient-poor soils. 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. Decomposed granite accumulations are often shallow deposits within glacially scoured basins. Among the many waterfalls within the wilderness is Horsetail Falls. Thanks to it’s breathtaking granite landscape and accessibility, the Desolation Wilderness is one of the most popular wilderness areas in the country. Desolation Wilderness conditions in early August Hey all — what sort of conditions are anticipated for Desolation Wilderness in early August this year? It can be difficult to find solitude, especially if you’re hiking to Lake Aloha or up Pyramid Peak on a summer weekend. When camping and backpacking, visitors are required to bury human waste, pack out all garbage, and practice all Leave No Trace methods. at South Lake Tahoe, on Highway 89 Desolation Wilderness is located in the southwest corner of the Lake Tahoe Basin. 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). It is accessible from the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin. Camino CA 95709 After, it was known at times as "Devil's Valley," and most often used for cattle grazing. The hike starts out moderate but quickly picks up elevation as you enter Desolation Wilderness and the Wilderness Boundary Trail. Permits are available for all entry points from either the Eldorado National Forest or the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU). The crest of the Sierra Nevada runs through it, just west of Lake Tahoe. Within Desolation's numerous lakes and streams are also a variety of game fish such as the rainbow and brook trout. Desolation Wilderness: Home > PSD Limits > Map, List > Desolation Wilderness. 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. 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. Black bears are increasingly common, with individuals being displaced from the Tahoe Basin and lower elevation western slopes into the higher country. Livestock are limited to two livestock per person, or 12 livestock in one group. The hike up was less than 4 miles with an elevation gain of less than 1,000 feet (you start high). Due to its popularity and fragile ecosystem, permits are required year-round for both day and overnight visits. Meiss Country requires no permits, though these areas are a stone's throw from each other. It is accessible from all sides, though most hikers begin their visit in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Always have a leash with you in an immediately accessible location. A section of the Pacific Crest Trail/Tahoe Rim Trail traverses 17 miles of the Wilderness. The Tahoe Rim Trail and Pacific Crest Trail pass through the wilderness. Aspen and willow are common to these wetland areas. Getting There Smith Lake is located inside Desolation Wilderness in El Dorado County. Pets - Domestic pets are allowed in the Desolation Wilderness at this time. State(s): California. "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. Permits are available only online via recreation.gov; paper permits are not being issued in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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. ... 0.02 when modeled against natural conditions. Water Sources. A windy day atop Mt Agassiz in the Desolation Wilderness. Desolation Wilderness CA weather - local Desolation Wilderness, California weather forecasts and current conditions. Lakes are likely to be frozen and expect trails to be fully or partially covered in … Permits are required for both day use and overnight camping. GPS and/or map and compass are still recommended to find the trail along with proper footwear, clothing […] Clearly this is the largest fish I have heard in recent history coming out of the Desolation. 35 College Drive Overnight camping will still be permitted in Desolation Wilderness and within 500 feet of the Pacific Crest Trail. In the summer, a quota system is used for overnight trips to limit the number of visitors on any given day in the wilderness. 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. Current conditions at OWENS CAMP (OWNC1) Lat: 38.735819°NLon: 120.241583°WElev: 5240ft. 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. 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. All trail users entering Desolation Wilderness or using a campstove will need to obtain permits. The hike over Rockbound Pass is far less crowded than many of the trails on the eastern side of the wilderness. TTY 530-647-5407 Toilet paper must be buried or packed out. The Desolation Wilderness Volunteers website is a great place to check trail conditions before you head out. 530-543-2600 (voice) Many other alpine and wooded lakes of various sizes are scattered throughout the area. Snow often blocks the high passes until mid July. Camp stoves for cooking are permissible. Meiss Country Map Index . Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used protected areas in the United States. 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, … FAX 530-647-5405, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Desolation is a popular backpacking destination, with much barren rocky terrain at the edge of the tree line. 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) 543-0956 (hearing impaired) Pollock Pines, CA 95726-9602 General Information. 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. Desolation wilderness is not so desolate Signed up for a meet-up hike to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower. Now is the time to go for one of the prettier and more enjoyable hikes you’ll have all summer! Parking is located at the far end of the campground. 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. Desolation Wilderness is open for foot traffic and equestrian use only—all means of mechanical transportation (including snowmobiles) will not be allowed. 7887 Highway 50 A list of other trailheads that provide access to the wilderness follows.[4]. Waste - Visitors are required to bury human waste 6 to 8 inches deep and at least 200 feet away from water, trails, and campsites. 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. Trail Conditions. Entering Desolation from the Echo Lakes trailhead, solid snow cover begins at Haypress Meadow (8,200 ft.). In 1969, it became the Desolation Wilderness after the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964.[3]. Echo Peak SNOTEL data available here. Eldorado National Forest Permits may be difficult to obtain during the high Summer backpacking season. 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. It’ll be helpful when reserving a permit. 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. Summer Mon-Sat: 8:00am to 4:30pm M-Sat Large amounts of snow and water from Bayview/Eagle junction onward, with limited dry ground for camping. 70% of the daily quota for each individual zone can be reserved 6 months in advance thru recreation.gov. Trail Guide Section Index. 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. (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). 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. by albanberg » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:16 pm 2 Replies 1217 Views Last post by albanberg This is until September 14 when conditions will be reevaluated. Weather: When planning your trip, be aware that snow can persist in much of Desolation Wilderness through the end of June. The Desolation Wilderness is located just to the southwest of Lake Tahoe, north of Highway 50. The on-line reservation service, recreation.gov allows visitors to make reservations seven days a week. Tallac on Mar. Desolation is a relative term. 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. (530) 647-5415 Your best resource for Desolation Wilderness CA … Desolation Wilderness is a federally protected wilderness of 63,000+ acres in Northern California. [2] It was set aside as the Desolation Valley Primitive Area in 1931 with an area of 64,000 acres (260 km2). Had a nice report about fishing down the Rubicon from Clyde Lake as unchanged to better conditions than I have seen in the past. As much of the ground surface in Desolation is bedrock granite: soils are limited. 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. S. Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 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. Desolation Wilderness Map Index . Summer Sunday: 8:00am to noon In 2.7 miles this trail intersects with the … Stop at Granite Lake for a short rest along the way. 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. A partnership of the National Park Service and the United States Forest Service. County(s): El Dorado. Dogs are to be under the owners control at all times. Difficult to follow trail, with hazardous conditions. Also found is a member of the rabbit and hare family, the pika. Miles & Elevations Use Permits. Follow Wrights Lake Road until you reach Wrights Lake. The … Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the country. 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. There are plenty of water sources from the southern border of Desolation Wilderness north to Middle Velma Lake. Solving the cold problem is pretty easy, just bring more warmer clothes. The Desolation Wilderness provides a home for many species of plants, fish and wildlife. All lakes and streams within this segment should have plenty of water for filtering/treatment. Large destructive deep slab avalanches in Desolation Wilderness seen from Mt. Supervisor’s Office Desolation also provides an ideal habitat for numerous alpine rodents such as the yellow-bellied marmot, golden-mantled ground squirrel and Douglas squirrel. First-come, first-served overnight permits are available the day of entry at the office locations and business hours listed below. 30% of each zone’s quota is available on the day of entry at walk up locations listed below. 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. Winter conditions are expected to persist in Desolation Wilderness from November through June. Pacific Ranger District 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? During the winter, day permits are available at the Pacific Ranger Station. (Why?). Includes details of wilderness areas, latest sierra wilderness news, resources for planning your trip, and notes from professionals in the field. 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