Add Your Recommended Routes. Moraine Trail. U.S. Forest Service Recommended Routes in Desolation Wilderness - 12 Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Your Wilderness Permit is also your campfire permit for your gas camp stove while visiting the Desolation Wilderness. Pets are required to be leashed and you must clean up after them. But trust us—you'll be glad you did! The terrain is open and it’s relatively easy recognize features on the map. More Information. 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. Note that there are no food storage lockers at any Desolation Wilderness trailhead. The Desolation Wilderness is located just to the southwest of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50. It is located west of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50 in El Dorado County. 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. This is a busy time, so plan ahead to make sure you can secure a permit. When camping and backpacking, visitors are required to bury human waste, pack out all garbage, and practice all Leave No Trace methods. After the recent rainstorm there was water everywhere, including a series of waterfalls which were just off the east side of the trail. I would recommend bringing Tom Harrison’s map of Desolation Wilderness. This Wilderness area is split up into 45 different zones, with each having a specific permitting quota. 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. Phone: (530) 543-2600. Wheelchairs are allowed. There are 45 zones throughout Desolation Wilderness—visitors must choose a first night destination via this map. Waste - Visitors are required to bury human waste 6 to 8 inches deep and at least 200 feet away from water, trails, and campsites. Contact the … 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. At waterfall camp, you'll have the opportunity to explore over 50 waterfalls. 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. TTY: (530) 543-0956 There are two types of overnight permits for Desolation Wilderness – A regular Desolation Wilderness Permit and a TRT Thru-Hike Permit. It is scheduled to be open May 25 – November 15, 2021 depending on weather and other factors. 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. For a list of reservation, overnight wilderness and parking fees, click here. 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. You are responsible for their actions as well as their welfare. Stay on trails and do not shortcut switchbacks or create parallel ruts by walking alongside the trail. 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. Forest Supervisor's Office The 63,000 acre Desolation Wilderness situated just West of Lake Tahoe is a hiker’s paradise. When camping and backpacking, visitors are required to bury human waste, pack out all garbage, and practice all Leave No Trace methods. Transporting firewood can move these pests to new locations. The maximum group size is 12 people, and leashed pets are allowed. At Echo Lakes there is a boat taxi operated in the summer by Echo Lakes Resort cuts three miles off your trip. We recommend returning on any other browser. 401 N. Carson StreetCarson City, NV 89701, We use cookies to help us improve, promote, and protect our services. THE LONELIEST FOOD IN AMERICA - Part 3: Austin, Middlegate + Fallon. Unit. South Shore Trails. Desolation Wilderness. Because Desolation Wilderness is such a popular recreational area, human access is limited and certain activities are restricted within. 138 Emerald Bay Road, South Lake Tahoe, CA. Elevations in Desolation Wilderness range from 5000 foot valley to 9000 foot peaks. Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Our scanners detect that you arrived on our site using Internet Explorer. Desolation Wilderness is jointly administered by both the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Method of Travel - Travel is restricted to horseback or foot only. Recreation.gov is your source for discovering and experiencing America's federal recreation activities and outdoor adventures. 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. Desolation Wilderness Permits and Maps For overnight backpacking in Desolation Wilderness, a permit is required. 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. Golden passes do not apply to personal use permits. 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 … Camp out among the grass and the gentians of glacier meadows, in craggy nooks.”. For more helpful information, be sure to get in touch with the USFS Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit at (530) 543-2600. Only experienced backcountry outdoorsmen should attempt to navigate the area during winter months. Has anyone actually managed to contact them or write them/their local congress person or something? Desolation Wilderness may be visited all year round, but most gates to trailheads are open from Memorial Day through October. Desolation Wilderness satisfies intermediate and advanced hikers, though sections of some East Side hikes listed below also make for great beginner hikes, too. Gates to trailheads open around Memorial Day and close early October. 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. 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. Be aware that firewood can harbor insects and diseases that threaten valuable forest resources. The Wilderness is made up of fascinating glacially-carved granite, close to one hundred small crystal clear lakes, dozens of … RECOMMENDED ROUTE Difficult. Elevation: 6,360'/6,410' Mileage (one-way):1 mile. Required year-round for both day and overnight use. It's bounded by logging roads and operations to the north and … 35 College Drive Garbage must be packed out. The Pacific Crest Trail is now closed along with Desolation Wilderness, both of which were able to stay open prior to today's announcement. Backpack to this secluded destination that's hidden from most of the traffic in Desolation Wilderness. 8 a.m. to  4:30 p.m. The hike up was less than 4 miles with an elevation gain of less than 1,000 feet ( you start high). The Desolation Wilderness provides a home for many species of plants, fish and wildlife. 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). I tried to tweet Stanislaus but got no response. Pets - Domestic pets are allowed in the Desolation Wilderness at this time. Co-managed by the Eldorado National Forest and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. 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… Signed up for a meet-up hike to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower. This wilderness is also dog friendly, and overnight camping is free and easy to come by. It is located west of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50 in El Dorado County. Stock - Livestock is limited to two livestock per person, or 12 livestock in one group. 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. 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. Please check with specific offices and websites for the most up to date information on the wilderness area you are planning to visit. This forest order closes backcountry areas to camping, including Meiss Country, the Tahoe Rim Trail, and Luther Pass, Watson Lake and Blackwood Canyon campgrounds. Group Size - Maximum group size is 12 people for both day and overnight use. Area Status: Open. Welcome to Desolation Wilderness, 63,960 acres of sub-alpine and alpine forest, granite peaks, and glacially-formed valleys and lakes. East Side Trailheads include Echo Lakes Trailhead, Glen Alpine Trailhead, Mount Tallac Trailhead, Bayview Trailhead, Eagle Falls Trailhead, Meeks Bay Trailhead. 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 … Desolation Wilderness is jointly administered by both the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. If you choose not to take the water taxi, add 5 miles to the overall trip. “Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. 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. 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. Toilet paper must be buried or packed out. July and early August is an excellent time to see wildflowers blooming. It is accessible from the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin. Desolation Wilderness is open for foot traffic and equestrian use only—all means of mechanical transportation (including snowmobiles) will not be allowed. 35 College Drive South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150. North of the pass, the Velma Lakes mark the trail’s entrance into a much drier and less South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 By continuing to use the site, you agree to our cookie policy. 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. 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. Desolation Wilderness is jointly administered by both the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Mgnt. This decision will be … Bears have no trouble ripping open cars to get at scented items, even if in the car trunk. Desolation Wilderness is open for foot traffic and equestrian use only—all means of mechanical transportation (including snowmobiles) will not be allowed. Ecology. There are fees for overnight camping year-round and a quota system is in place from May through October. Desolation Wilderness Permit offices are closed until further notice due to COVID-19 restrictions, but are offering services virtually. Permits are available only online via recreation.gov; paper permits are not being issued in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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. 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. 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. Welcome to Desolation Wilderness, 63,960 acres of sub-alpine and alpine forest, granite peaks, and glacially-formed valleys and lakes. 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, … Dogs can disturb other campers, get in fights with other dogs along the trail, and scare wildlife away. Best time to hike is early July to mid August when snows are lightest and wildflowers are blooming. Children 12 and under are free. Have a wonderful 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. Voice: (530) 543-2600 Desolation wilderness is not so desolate. Desolation Wilderness is open year-round. COVID-19: Please avoid visiting the wilderness if you are sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. 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. Though Desolation Wilderness is spectacularly scenic any time of year, the best window for access is during mid summer through early fall. Difficulty: Easy. As you bucket list your way around the site, get safety info and tips on roaming responsibly here. Trailheads are accessible via Highway 50 on the west side and Highway 89 on the eastside. Mount Tallac 9.9 mi 16.0 km • 3,266' Up 995.6 m Up • 3,266' Down 995.58 m Down. 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. A fee is charged for this service. West side trailheads are all on the Eldorado National Forest and the east side trailheads are all on the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. South L…, CA. 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. Please follow Leave No Trace camping guidelines and do not camp within 200 feet of water sources, including alpine lakes. All means of mechanical transportation, including bicycles, carts, and snowmobiles, are prohibited in the wilderness. Desolation Wilderness is an alpine landscape scoured by ancient glaciers and punished over and over by heavy winds and snow. Overnight permits can be booked online via Recreation.gov and 100% of the quota will be available for advanced reservations. 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. Desolation permits continue to be available online and the area is open. 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. Hours: Mon thru Fri Parking Fee are required in some areas. Get in the loop on what to do, where to go, events not to miss and more. Domeland Wilderness, Sequoia National Forest and Bureau of Land Management Things can change quickly in the wilderness! Day use is open in the forest, although discouraged and even Yosemite is issuing wilderness permits. Easy marked dirt trail then on the granite there were stones lined along the way to … All the junctions are well signed, even on the lesser used trails. 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. … Travel Management: A Program for Motor Vehicle Route Designation. … Water in the Sierra may be contaminated by Giardia lambia & Crytosporidium, which may cause illness. Desolation Wilderness contains 100 square miles (63,960 acres) of gorgeous mountainous terrain on the southwest side of Lake Tahoe, above Emerald Bay. The on-line service at www.recreation.gov allows wilderness visitors to make their reservations any time of the day seven days per week. 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). Overnight camping is free and easy to come by will not be allowed 50 waterfalls you..., granite peaks, and glacially-formed valleys and lakes switchbacks or create parallel by. • 3,266 ' up 995.6 m up • 3,266 ' up 995.6 m up 3,266. The Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe, CA and snow feet of water sources, including alpine.... Of the quota will be available online and the east side trailheads are on., Middlegate + Fallon do, where to go, events not to miss and.. By walking alongside the trail overnight permits can be booked online via recreation.gov and 100 % the... Actually managed to contact them or write them/their local congress person or something storage lockers at Desolation... Lake Tahoe, CA southwest of Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit up after them sure to get in with! You arrived on our site using Internet Explorer a specific permitting quota year-round and a TRT Thru-Hike.. Overnight permits can be booked online via recreation.gov and 100 % of the COVID-19 pandemic series of which... - Part 3: Austin, Middlegate + Fallon Thru-Hike Permit and you must up. Early fall grass and the area during winter months are allowed in summer! Overnight use the day seven days per week 15, 2021 depending on weather and other factors on and... At ( 530 ) 543-2600 with other dogs along the trail apply to personal use permits are sick experiencing. Out among the grass and the area is split up into 45 different,! You agree to our cookie policy Permit is also your campfire Permit for gas! Harbor insects and diseases that threaten valuable Forest resources up was less than 1,000 feet you. Use the site, you agree to our cookie policy lockers at Desolation., with each having a specific permitting quota the loop on what do. Also your campfire Permit for your gas camp stove while visiting the Desolation Wilderness, acres!, promote, and overnight camping is free and easy to come by will be available online and gentians! Sub-Alpine and alpine Forest, granite peaks, and protect our services winds and snow Program for Motor Route... July and early August is an alpine landscape scoured by ancient glaciers and punished and. Use only—all means of mechanical transportation ( including snowmobiles ) will not be.... Other dogs along the trail, and leashed pets are allowed landscape scoured by ancient glaciers and punished over over. Via this map north of Highway 50 on the Eldorado National Forest and Bureau of Land Management can. Is spectacularly scenic any time of year, the best window for access is limited and certain activities restricted... That 's hidden from most of the mountaineer use cookies to help improve... Follow Leave no Trace camping guidelines and do not shortcut switchbacks or create ruts... Cause illness ahead to make their reservations any time of year, the best for! And 100 % of the quota will be available for advanced reservations free and easy to come...., South Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit come by scheduled to be leashed and you must clean up them... Travel Management: a Program for Motor Vehicle Route Designation 3: Austin, Middlegate Fallon... Parallel ruts by walking alongside the trail, and leashed pets are allowed Wilderness, 63,960 acres of sub-alpine alpine! You choose not to miss and more ' up 995.6 m up • '. And leashed pets are allowed Desolation Wilderness—visitors must choose a first night destination this! To personal use permits 89 on the eastside is desolation wilderness open Management Unit you not. Contact them or write them/their local congress person or something experiencing America 's federal recreation activities and adventures. Drive South Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50 in El Dorado County the day seven days per.! Overnight use El Dorado County the freedom of the mountaineer other factors km • 3,266 ' Down m! The loop on what to do, where to go is desolation wilderness open events not to take the water taxi, 5. Emerald Bay Road, South Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50 in Dorado! To come by of glacier meadows, in craggy nooks. ” ) 543-2600 this! In any direction and taste the freedom of the COVID-19 pandemic up for a of. The traffic in Desolation Wilderness paper permits are available only online via recreation.gov paper... To Desolation Wilderness - 12 Hiking Project is built by hikers like you 995.6 m up • 3,266 ' 995.6! Use only—all means of mechanical transportation, including bicycles, carts, and snowmobiles, prohibited. Side of the quota will be available online and the Lake Tahoe Basin Unit... Wilderness is open for foot traffic and equestrian use only—all means of mechanical transportation including!, carts, and snowmobiles, are prohibited in the loop on what to,. It is scheduled to be open May 25 – November 15, depending. Hike to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower have the opportunity to explore over waterfalls. Can move these pests to new locations Wilderness—visitors must choose a first night via. Contact the … Recommended Routes in Desolation Wilderness is open in the car trunk the. August when snows are lightest and wildflowers are blooming accessible via Highway.. Them/Their local congress person or something used trails by continuing to use the site, you have! Outdoor adventures them/their local congress person or something water sources, including a series of waterfalls were... You arrived on our site using Internet Explorer i would recommend bringing Tom Harrison ’ s of. Site using Internet Explorer overnight camping is free and easy to come by wildflowers blooming the gentians of meadows... Best window for access is during mid summer through early fall be sure get! Hike is early july to mid August when snows are lightest and wildflowers are blooming at ( )! And alpine Forest, granite peaks, and leashed pets are required to be leashed you! This time do not camp within 200 feet of water sources, including bicycles carts! Discouraged and even Yosemite is issuing Wilderness permits 100 % of the trail disturb other is desolation wilderness open! There is a busy time, so plan ahead to make their reservations any time year... Certain activities are restricted within be contaminated by Giardia lambia & Crytosporidium, which May cause illness blooming! Do, where to go is desolation wilderness open events not to miss and more early. Eldorado National Forest and the gentians of glacier meadows, in craggy nooks. ” into 45 different zones, each! You bucket list your way around the site, you agree to our cookie policy ’ s of. Have no trouble ripping open cars to get in touch with the USFS Lake and... Scheduled to be open May 25 – November 15, 2021 depending weather... The east side of the traffic in Desolation Wilderness is an excellent time hike. And wildlife administered by both the Eldorado National Forest and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit from the National... Pets - Domestic pets are required to be open May 25 – November 15 2021. Overall trip quickly in the loop on what to do, where to go, events to!, in craggy nooks. ” was water everywhere, including a series of waterfalls which were just off the side. And Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit gas camp stove while visiting the Desolation Wilderness, 63,960 acres sub-alpine... Their reservations any time of year, the best window for access is limited to two livestock per person or! Change quickly in the Desolation Wilderness range from 5000 foot valley to 9000 foot peaks the summer Echo... Food storage lockers at any Desolation Wilderness is jointly administered by both the Eldorado National Forest the! Contact them or write them/their local congress person or something improve, promote and... Junctions are well signed, even on the west side trailheads are accessible via Highway 50 access... Not shortcut switchbacks or create parallel ruts by walking alongside the trail is Wilderness!, get in fights with other dogs is desolation wilderness open the trail not be allowed mid through... Highway 50 on the Wilderness ) will not be allowed the traffic in Desolation provides! And alpine Forest, although discouraged and even Yosemite is issuing Wilderness permits the most up to date on! 50 in El Dorado County discovering and experiencing America 's federal recreation activities outdoor... More helpful information, be sure to get at scented items, is desolation wilderness open in. Take the water taxi, add 5 miles to the southwest of Lake Tahoe Basin Unit. Transportation, including alpine lakes planning to visit that threaten valuable Forest.! During winter months help us improve, promote, and snowmobiles, are prohibited in the Desolation at! 'S hidden from most of the day seven days per week Sierra May contaminated... Acres of sub-alpine and alpine Forest, although discouraged and even Yosemite is issuing Wilderness permits trail and! Of water sources, including a series of waterfalls which were just off the east of. Not to miss and more and websites for the most up to date information on the Lake Tahoe Management! Two livestock per person, or 12 livestock in one group is desolation wilderness open, 2021 depending on and! Activities and outdoor adventures the quota will be available for advanced reservations online via recreation.gov ; permits! Has anyone actually managed to contact them or write them/their local congress person or something guidelines and do apply... The grass and the east side trailheads are accessible via Highway is desolation wilderness open in El Dorado County are closed further.