A quota limits the number of visitors to Desolation Wilderness between the Friday before Memorial Day to September 30th each year.Â, There are 45 destination zones designated with a maximum quota for the first night stay in each zone during the quota season.Â, During the off-quota season there is no limit to the number of overnight users in each zone (maximum group size still applies). Â, Twelve people is the maximum group size allowed together at any time in Desolation Wilderness.Â, Many destination zones have quota less than the maximum group size. Â, Camp at least 100’ from lakeshore, stream or trail.Â, There are camping restrictions for Special Management Areas to reduce impacts at popular lakes.Â, The designated campsites are marked with a tent symbol on a 4x4 post.Â, Only one permitted group is allowed at a designated site.Â, If designated campsites are taken when you arrive at your destination, locate your camp at least 500' from the lakeshore.Â, Restoration sites have been established to allow damaged shorelines and meadows a chance to recover from overuse. For those of you who are unfamiliar with backpacking, backpacking is basically hiking with all of your gear in a giant backpack and then stopping at your … This trip can easily be extended to an overnight backpacking trip with a stay near Lake Aloha. It has a little bit of everything. You are entering a wilderness, so there will not be convenient facilities. Recreation.gov is your gateway to explore America's outdoor Stay on trails and do not shortcut switchbacks or create parallel ruts by walking alongside … We waited a few weeks for more snow to melt, then made our reservation for Lake Aloha (Zone 33). When selecting a campsite choose a durable surfaces at least 100 feet from water and trails. Last, but not least, there are NO fires allowed in Desolation. Desolation requires day hiker and overnight backpacker permits year round. You may find the area so remarkable that you will want to stay longer -- it's hard to see all its beauty in such a short amount of time. THE PERMIT If you're going in in the off-season (September 30 - the Friday before Memorial Day) or midweek, permits are easy. Between June 15 and September 30, when a quota is in effect, overnight hikers should be sure to contact the Forest Service 90 … Permit allows an individual or group (max. After a couple of miles, you’ll reach Upper Echo Lake and begin to veer away from the lakes, through some beautiful wooded trail, and then up a rocky slope. If they are out in full force, you won’t want to feel like a prisoner to your tent. Two USGS 30 minute Topo Backpacking Maps Tahoe to Yosemite Trail MAPS and MILES: TRAIL GUIDE: Tahoe to Whitney Indexes : SOUTHBOUND: NORTH SIERRA PCT-TYT Topo Maps : More Miles and Elevations : Weather, Map Data : MAP … Plan your trip carefully. Â, Treat all water by boiling, using purification tablets or filtering.Â, Discharging a firearm is prohibited within 150 yards of a campsite, occupied area, or in any manner or location that places people or property at risk of injury. Â, Commercial use may be prohibited in wilderness and/or requires a special use permit. I had stumbled upon American Lake five years earlier when on a backpacking trip to nearby Lake of the Woods. Good news is, you don’t have to worry too much about ticks or other creepy crawlies. Desolation Wilderness Map & Zone System. Deolation Wilderness operates under the U.S. Fee Demonstration Act. She was coming down the trail to get as much food from the market at Lower Echo as she could so they didn’t have to end their trip early. There are two types of overnight permits for Desolation Wilderness – A regular Desolation Wilderness Permit and a TRT Thru-Hike Permit. Call local Forest Service offices for current conditions. Desolation Wilderness Permit Notes and Information Just like in Yosemite National Park and other highly popular areas, 50% of the permits available for Desolation Wilderness during its quota period are available for reservation six months before our start date. Digital permit will be temporarily accepted during COVID-19. To protect fragile ecosystems and reduce environmental impacts, follow the visitor use guidelines below and this additional trip planning information.Â. You can get these at the ranger stations and visitor centers in the Tahoe Basin or buy them online at this address: Recreation.gov. Campfires are not allowed within the area. ( Log Out /  Unfortunately, it just takes one bad mistake to ruin it for everyone else. … Read more. It's well populated, but controlled by permit regulations. You won’t need one if you have an overnight permit, but if someone is joining you for the day, that person will need a day-use permit. A signed permit must be carried at all times by the group leader. and reservations. We felt like the only ones there and had an awesome time floating to the islands and other side of the lake. Trip Overview: ~38 mile backpacking trip in Desolation Wilderness near South Lake Tahoe. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. When there isn’t a global pandemic and it is the summer season, you can shave nearly 2.5 miles off of your hike by taking the water taxi from Lower Echo Lake to the far end of Upper Echo Lake. The maximum charge for recreation fees is $100 per permit. Visitors must obtain a Wilderness permit for overnight camping as well as day visits, year-round. For those looking for a longer day hike, you can reach Dick’s Peak. All means of mechanical transportation, including bicycles, carts, and snowmobiles, are prohibited in the wilderness. Answer 1 of 3: I'm thinking about a 4 or 5 day loop trip and know I need to secure overnight permit from Recreation.gov site. You must have a printed copy of your permit with you at all times.Â. Maximum group size is 12 people who will be together at any given time during the trip. 2020 Season: Hard-copy Day Use Permits will be temporarily suspended in Desolation Wilderness for the 2020 season, due to the current COVID-19 situation. Sounds awesome (not) and definitely avoidable if you had a bear canister.. anyways, apparently the bear had pulled their food out of the tree. On Tuesday morning, Michelle, Maria, and I embarked on a backpacking journey to Desolation Wilderness, a beautiful park near South Lake Tahoe. Note: there is very little to no water available for your hike to Desolation Valley (about 6 miles to get to Desolation Valley from the trailhead). We provide tools and tips to discover Portable Stoves are permitted. By Emily Whitley, This is the second year in a row that we have decided to skip the crowded beaches and head to the mountains for a very quiet Fourth of July. Backpacking: Desolation Wilderness. Parking: Pyramid Creek, Eagle Falls, Loon Lake, Rockbound, and Twin Lakes Day Use Areas have a day use fee, which is waived for overnight permit holders. Contact the Eldorado Information Center in Camino for more permit information. When you reach the trailhead on the other side of the dam, go right and up until you reach an intersection in a short minute. We decided to enter from the Echo Lakes trailhead at Echo Summit. Desolation Wilderness Backpacking does require a permit. Add keywords . 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. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Overnight Permit: Permit allows an individual or group (max. Price (as seen in the picture below). Desolation Wilderness is one of the most popular wilderness areas in the nation. My backpacking plan was a three day, two night trip to test out gear and just enjoy some solitary time in the backcountry. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. As for bug spray, Desolation Wilderness is notorious for mosquitoes and I have definitely been eaten alive here before. It is an incredible gift and something we should all be able to enjoy responsibly. Also note, it can get pretty windy in Desolation, so if you can find a more protected spot with trees and rocks like we did, that will definitely work in your favor. Overnight Recreation Fee: There is a per person fee for a Desolation Wilderness Overnight Permit. size limit is 12) travelling and camping together to stay overnight in Desolation Wilderness. A quota system is in place for the 45 overnight destination zones from the Friday before Memorial Day through September 30th each year. Day hiking requires a self-issued permit. One night: $5 per person. After your first night, you may change locations for subsequent nights of your visit using the same permit, … Desolation Annual Pass Holder: Free. The Desolation Wilderness can be a busy place, so a permit system was established in an effort to spread people out and preserve the quality of the experience for everyone. How to book. So, here is what you need to know before setting out on your desolation adventure. Enter your email address to follow and receive notifications of new posts by email. Day trips are free of charge. Desolation Wilderness is one of those places that still seems untouched. Desolation Wilderness Permits and Maps For overnight backpacking in Desolation Wilderness, a permit is required. My first solo backpacking trip in Desolation Wilderness of Eldorado National Forest near Lake Tahoe, California. The quota is based on 45 Destination Zones. Start at Echo Lakes Trailhead. I don’t know if they didn’t hang it properly or what the exact circumstances were, but I would highly encourage a bear canister. From www.fs.fed.us. Carefully review cancellation information before making reservations. Report it. During the winter months, most of the trailheads are covered by snow and are not accessible. It is the wilderness and although I was expecting her to tell us that she just saw one on the trail, she went on to tell us that a bear had eaten her group’s and their neighbor’s food the night before at Lake of the Woods. Aside from the usual backpacking gear, there are a couple of things that I can’t stress enough: bear canisters and bug spray. For little effort/distance you can find some impressive views and lakes. On your way up, you will see trails turning off to Tamarack Lake, Lake Lucile, and Lake of the Woods. Fees are charged as follows: Adult (over 12 years in age): $5 per person for the 1st night; $10 for 2-14 nights. The area is divided into 45 zones and permits are required year-round, with quotas in effect from the Friday before Memorial Day to September 30. When we planned this trip several months ago, we thought, ‘what’s a better place than heading to American Lake in Desolation Wilderness to celebrate our country’s birthday?’. For more information on overnight permits for Desolation Wilderness … Make sure to call ahead to the Placerville Ranger Station in Camino, CA to reserve a wilderness permit ($6 reservation fee plus $5/person for the 1st night, $10 more than 1 night). The trail ends and you’re route finding on your own over granite rocks, navigating around little lakes, and generally making your way west through Desolation Valley. Change ). July 29, 2016 by Hayley Diep 2 Comments. Zone and trailhead map of the Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe, California. Desolation Wilderness Permit offices are closed until further notice due to COVID-19 restrictions, but are offering services virtually. Considerations for Backpacking in Desolation Wilderness: You absolutely need to have a permit from the Forest Service for backpacking through Desolation Wilderness. The Big Picture Hiking Map of the The Tahoe to Yosemite Trail through Desolation Wilderness . Permits to enter the Desolation Wilderness are free, self-issued, and available at all trailheads that enter the wilderness. The line to get permits forms well before this office opens so get there early if you want a walk-up permit. Please Note that no Campfires are allowed in the Desolation Wilderness. . Find incredible places and experiences that help you bring home a story through The quota is based on 45 Destination Zones. Overnight permits can be booked online via Recreation.gov and 100% of the quota will be available for advanced reservations. And while permits can be hard to snag, getting here is easy. We had so much fun floating around the lake on the 4th of July. In fact, it’s so popular you’ll need a permit to enter, even if you’re planning just a day hike. The Tahoe Rim Trail also travels through Desolation.While summertime draws the most visitors, during the winter, the area is a popular playground for experienced backcountry skiers and snowshoers. Price — Desolation Wilderness, CA . See an error? DAY USE PERMIT. Permits are available for advanced reservation six months in advance. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Day 3: PCT / TRT back to Echo Lakes Trailhead. Wherever you end up parking, following the signs for the PCT in the main overnight lot, down the hill, and over the dam to the trailhead. A $6.00 reservation fee will apply to the new permit reservation. Obtain a free permit from a local Forest Service office, or at trailheads in the summer. 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, … To get to the trailhead, take Hwy 50 to Johnson Pass Road (turn right if coming from South Lake Tahoe) and then make a left on Echo Lakes Road. Desolation is worth seeing in your lifetime, and it is my goal to get fit enough to go back. You’ll be above the shoreline for most of your hike around Lower Echo Lake. Leave a comment below. In other words, do I need one permit or four? Overnight permits are available to book starting Nov. 10, 2020. During the winter, day permits are available at the Placerville Ranger Station. There are several trailheads in the vicinity of South Lake Tahoe, with access from Highway 50 and Highway 89. We had to park close to a ½ mile from the trailhead on the side of the road, which wasn’t bad, but did add some distance to our trip. Have you ever been to American Lake? no ratings. If you don’t mind a little extra weight in your pack, bring a floatie! For the second leg of my trip to the Reno/Tahoe area I found myself in the Desolation Wilderness. Your permit reservation confirmation is not a valid permit. It is located west of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50 in California. The area is divided into 45 zones and permits are required year-round, with quotas in effect from the Friday before Memorial Day to September 30. Contact a local U.S. Forest Service office for current conditions. Day 2: Glen Alpine trail to Glen Alpine Trailhead, Tamarack Trail to Tamarack Lake. Twin and Island Lakes are in area zone #32 of Desolation Wilderness, which allows 20 campers to enter per day, reservable via Recreation.gov. There are so many amazing lakes to explore in Desolation! Upon reaching the lake, there are numerous places to camp on the east shore. On our way up the trail, we ran into a girl frantically coming down the trail that said, “there’s bears up there!” Ummm, yes. ( Log Out /  A $5 change fee will apply (if you are increasing your party size, additional use fees will apply).Â. Wheelchairs are allowed. Whether it be on a mountain trail, in the kitchen with a new recipe, or on a long road to somewhere new, this little blog is my way of sharing what I love, and I hope you love it, too. The Crystal Range is also within the area, with Pyramid Peak as the highest point both in the range and the wilderness, topping out at 9,987 feet. You must stay your first night in the Destination Zone you select for your permit. Happy adventuring! R at ing. Not only do they serve a multiple purpose as a seat, but they give peace of mind that you won’t wake up in the morning to a ravaged bag in a tree. To reserve your permit, I’d highly suggest that you do it well in advance and up to six months from your planned trip. Two to fourteen nights: $10 total per person. Changing the date of entry: cancel your current permit and reserve a new permit. Bears have become more active. Day use is not subject to fees nor limited by quota at any time of the year. This hike starts by steadily climbing the PCT towards Lake Aloha. Make sure that you have plenty of water. size limit is 12) travelling and camping together to stay overnight in Desolation Wilderness.Â, Overnight permits are subject to a quota from the Friday of Memorial Day weekend to September 30. Use this Desolation trip planning guide (PDF) to make the most of your visit and learn more about the permitting system, trail conditions and Desolation wilderness stewardship opportunities. The Desolation has been broken into 45 different “zones” with a quota system limiting the number of people in each one. Winter conditions are expected to persist Nov. to June. Plan for the worst, hope for the best—this route features … You need a camp stove permit from the Forest Service for Desolation Wilderness acknowledging that you know how to safely operate a stove in the backcountry. See more ideas about wilderness… We had fun looking at all the beautiful lake cabins and making goals to have one someday in our future. However, the $6/permit reservation fee still applies. 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 LTBMU USFS visitor center. 2017 Backpacking Calendar. We snagged 6 of the allotted 25 spots for this zone. After your first night, you may change locations for subsequent nights of your visit using the same permit, as long as you exit by the last date booked for your trip.Â, Permits can be reserved up to six months in advance of your day of entry. The #tahoerimtrail and #pacificcrestrail travel directly through. ( Log Out /  A recreation fee is assessed during the permitting process. Continue to follow the trail till you reach a marker for Lake Aloha that points you to the left. Children under 12 may camp for free. If you want to extend your trip, … For the permit, you must enter on the day your permit begins and your first night has to be within your designated zone. Overnight permit holders must display parking pass in vehicle. If you are here for two nights and use American Lake as your basecamp, I’d highly suggest a quick trip to Lake Aloha to see the dam and do some swimming. After about 7 miles and 1,100′ elevation gain from the trailhead, you’ll reach American Lake. Protect yourself by using food storage canisters for all food and toiletries. The PCT runs right through the heart of Desolation Wilderness, so I planned to follow the trail for a couple of days, with my first camp at Lake Aloha and second camp at another lake of my choosing further up the trail. It has an air about it that is undiscovered and full of wonder. Click on Desolation Wilderness to reserve a permit up to 6 months in advance. Backpacking Permits are required and Reservations can be made at: To Reserve Permits: Online: Log on to Recreation.gov and enter “Desolation Wilderness” into the search field. A digital or paper permit reservation confirmation is not a valid permit. Outside of the quota season, permits can be booked and printed on the day of entry.Â, Your permit is available to print starting seven days in advance and up to the day of entry. WILDERNESS PERMITS. Contact the Forest Service permit offices for information. Â, Dogs must be under control at all times. Requirement waived for 2020. Category: Backpack, Explore, Hike, Lake Tahoe, Northern California      Tags: backpacking, camping, desolationwilderness, hiking. Examples: park "national park" or hiking, trails. Mapophile added Aug 5, 2010. I remember thinking it would be a great place to camp and made a point to return there, which is exactly what we did this weekend and it could not have been more perfect. We want to be able to enjoy this beautiful area for years to come! The Desolation Wilderness is located just to the southwest of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50. If you are planning to backpack in to camp overnight, you will need a permit. Note: you need to get a wilderness permit from recreation.gov for this trip. Valid permit is required for day and overnight visits year-round.Â, Enter Desolation Wilderness on the reserved permit start date.Â, During the quota season, you must stay your first night within the destination zone on your permit.Â, Carry permit with you and present it upon request to a Forest Officer.Â. While in Tahoe on business, I was able to get out for an afternoon and took to the trails around Desolation Wilderness. Please make sure to abide by these rules as well as all Leave No Trace principles. Follow this down for a ways until the trail goes left, but at this point to reach American Lake, you really need to be following a GPS. Ever. Forest Orders 03-20-15 and 19-20-11 that closed Desolation to overnight camping have been rescinded. Before you start this hike make sure you have an overnight wilderness permit. Desolation Wilderness backpacking loop. Reservation Fee: A $6.00 non-refundable reservation fee is required for each overnight permit reserved. Feb 12, 2018 - #DesolationWilderness is one of the most visited wilderness areas in the United States. Use to figure out what permit you need. American Lake is zone 39 and there are a total of 10 permits available during quota season for this zone, which makes it feel like you have the whole place to yourself. For updated conditions and trip planning information, visit our webpage links provided below. For any subsequent nights, you are allowed to move zones anywhere in Desolation. We found an amazing campsite between the south and north shores on the east side. Wherever you decide to camp, make sure you are 100′ from the water and on a durable surface. It straddles the crest of the Sierra Nevada range, encompassing 63,690 acres, and has elevations ranging from 6,500 feet to nearly 10,000 feet.Lake Aloha is a feature of the wilderness area, with shallow, clear waters sitting in a wide, granite basin carved by glaciers in the most recent ice age. 35 College Drive South Lake Tahoe CA 96150. If you are charging a fee for leading a group into the wilderness, this is considered outfitting and guiding and requires a special use permit. Back country camping looks like it would be awesome (I envied all those with big packs on their backs). Recreation.gov! Desolation Wilderness Topo Backpacking Map . A wilderness permit is required year-round for backpacking or any other overnight stay in the Yosemite Wilderness. Shortly after our last failed attempt at backpacking in Desolation Wilderness, I was ready to try again. Tweet. What I am not sure of is do I need to reserve each night in the zone I plan to camp? With alpine lakes accessible within several miles of hiking, it’s no wonder that folks flock to this destination from all over the country. Dogs impact wildlife and barking intrudes on the experience of others.Â, El Dorado County has a mandatory leash law.Â, Damaging or removing any natural feature is prohibited.Â, Photograph your finds, leave them behind for others to enjoy. Â, Limited to two livestock per person and 12 livestock in one group.Â, Do not hitch, tether or hobble a horse or other saddle or pack animal within 200’ of a water source or within 100’ of a campsite.Â, Do not tie stock directly to trees except for loading, unloading or short rest breaks while traveling.Â, Some trails are not recommended for stock use. Of entry will be available Lake of the trailheads are covered by snow and are not subject to removal... The new permit 13 miles round-trip, green meadows Primitive area was established in 1931 and granted status! 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