Desolation Wilderness Loop

The Desolation Wilderness is arguably the most beautiful area in the Tahoe Sierra, with outstanding lake views and abundant hiking and peakbagging opportunities.

It has the most backcountry lakes in the Tahoe area, and the most accessible and panoramic summits. The Desolation Wilderness is located in the Crystal Range of the Sierra Nevada. Covering 63,960 acres west of South Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50 in El Dorado County, the Wilderness offers stunning alpine lakes, granite peaks, and glacially formed valleys.

This hike provides a great tour of some of the best features of desolation wilderness. It is great for a 4-day backpacking trip. All lakes along this hike are spectacular and are great for swimming.

  • Near: Lake Tahoe, CA
  • Distance: 34 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 2200 ft
  • Hike Time: 4 days
  • Difficulty: 8/10
  • Trail Condition: Well maintained trail
  • GPX Download Link: >>CLICK HERE<<
  • Wilderness Permits:
  • Tom Harrison Map: >>CLICK HERE<<
  • Forest Service Site: >>CLICK HERE<<
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Kid Friendly: Yes

Getting to the Trailhead:
From Lake Tahoe: Hwy 50 (south) to Echo Lake Rd. (right) to trail head.


Google Map Link



Trail Map



Trail Profile





Floating on Lake Aloha




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