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The crest of the Sierra Nevada runs through it, just west of Lake Tahoe. From Lake Schmidell, the trail becomes a little more challenging. The Rockbound Trailhead is from the northern portion of the wilderness and can be accessed by way of Ice House Road off Hwy 50 to Loon Lake Notes: The Desolation Wilderness consists of 63,000 acres with over one hundred small- to medium-sized lakes within a subalpine environment of granitic peaks and glacially formed valleys. Logistics: If you would like to camp at the trailhead the night before your trek, there is Wright’s Lake Campground very close. Water flows are spring-like, but creeks are safe to cross. Lake Lois and Lake Schmidell is a 16.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Kyburz, California that features beautiful wild flowers. One of those heads toward my favorite spot in the northern Sierra. Susie Lake to Echo Lake Trail Head, Desolation Wilderness - 543 feet, 10.95 miles. Directions to Trailhead Change ), Shop sale & clearance items at REI.com and save up to 50%, Take 15% Off Your First Order at Backcountry.com, Find Outdoor Recreation Deals at Amazon.com, View looking north from Dicks Pass, Dicks Lake, Fontanillis Lake, and Velma Lakes, Sunrise at Lake Aloha in Desolation Wilderness, Lake Doris with Rockbound Pass in the background, Sunset view from our campsite on Fontanillis Lake in Desolation Wilderness, Jump to Day 1: Rockbound Trailhead to Maud Lake, Jump to Day 2: Maud Lake to Fontanillis Lake, Jump to Day 3: Fontanillis Lake to Lake Aloha, Jump to Day 4: Lake Aloha to Rockbound Trailhead, adidas Outdoor Terrex Fast R Gore-Tex Shoe, Minus33 Merino Wool Kancamagus Midweight Bottom, Minus33 Merino Wool Chocorua Midweight Crew, Pendleton Long Sleeve Classic-Fit Board Shirt, Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles, Link to download USGS topographic map of area (, Link to purchase printed USGS topographic map of area (, a quick drying long sleeve hiking shirt (, small amount of duct tape for gear repairs, small plastic water bottles filled with whisky . Rockbound Pass to the left, Tyler Lake straight ahead. The trail is really easy to stay on save for a few slabs on granite- make sure you’re looking for cairns. The main challenges are uneven footing on the rocky trails and some sections of trail that are not well marked. Have a wonderful trip! We started at about 9:00 in the morning and ended up camping at Leland Lakes our first night. We actually ran into quite a bit of snow at Schmidell pass and had to scramble down the rocks to reconnect with the trail below at Leland. From Lake Schmidell, the trail steadily descends down to China Flat and the Rubicon River. I got eaten alive in desolation two years ago. Follow this road about 20 miles to Loon Lake and the Desolation Wilderness Trail head parking lot. It is located west of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50 in El Dorado County. The descent from Rockbound Pass went quickly, but the last few miles felt very long. The trail then reaches Dicks Lake before starting a ~1,000 foot climb up to Dicks Pass. scale 1:24 000. Shop Deal of the Day at REI Outlet (up to 50% off)! It’s much steeper and difficult to follow, even with a map in hand. Approaching the wilderness border. Rockbound Trailhead, At Wright’s Lake, elevation 7,000 ft., initial climb 1,500 ft. in 5.5 miles to Rockbound Pass. For water, we did not see a tap at the parking lot, but there is a potable water tap at the nearby Wright’s Lake Campground. 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. Do you think the toddler can handle the hike to at least Lake Schmidell? After stopping briefly at the north end of Rockbound I skirted the shore on my way south and eventually hit the Rockbound Trail leading from the northern boundary of the wilderness all the way to Lake Aloha and on to Echo Lakes and the southern boundary near Highway 50. Hike Rockbound Trail near Wrights Lake Recreation Area to Maude Lake, then over the pass to Doris and Lois Lakes, backpacking, or a dayhike, with swimming rewards, too. We chose to stay Maud Lake on our first night due to a combination of permit availability and of wanting to keep the mileage moderate on the first day. Somewhere before China Flat, we turned right on a trail that took us back up to Lake Doris and Rockbound Pass. Google Map link to trailhead. I also like to pre-treat my clothes and tent with permethrin spray repellent. The nature reserve is located in the county El Dorado in California and is characterized by its innumerable picturesque mountain lakes, bare granite as well as by its individual conifers and bushes. More info about the permits and zones can be found on the Forest Service website. Just make sure to use the trailhead that you listed on your wilderness permit. Follow the Rockbound Trail from Wrights Lake north over gentle terrain for the first three miles. It hits the Rubicon Trail which goes all the way to Rockbound Lake. The hike up was less than 4 miles with an elevation gain of less than 1,000 feet ( you start high). Rockbound Trail to Maude Lake in Desolation Wilderness Maude Lake, a hike up and across granite, for a swim, sun, and a fair amount of privacy. Trip References: Schaffer, Jefferey P. 1996. After Clyde Lake, the trail descends for a mile before reaching the Rubicon River. In contrast, today's trail does lead up and over Rockbound Pass into the depths of the wilderness, making it popular with backpackers. Tyler Lake Desolation Wilderness: August 1, 2014. When you reach Lake Aloha, you must choose what sort of campsite you want. Trail Conditions Disclaimer: Desolation Wilderness Volunteers provides this information free of charge as a public service to users of Desolation Wilderness, California and its immediate surroundings. From Susie Lake it is a gradual climb over the next 3-4 miles before you reach Lake Aloha. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. . ( Log Out /  After the 3 mile mark, you begin a final ~500 foot climb that ends at Maud Lake. Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the country. Somewhere after Horseshoe Lake I started to get lightheaded. All the junctions are well signed, even on the lesser used trails. Hi! Jump to Day 1: Rockbound Trailhead to Maud Lake The trail modestly climbs through a forest for most of the first 2 miles. #vacation. Down to the right are the normally exquisite Enchanted Pools, featuring many waterfalls plunging directly into the biggest pool. O'Neil, Dennis V. 1996. We stopped to get a big-picture sense of where we were and what was around us by looking at an old school paper map. The remaining 30% of permits are available on a first-come, first-serve basis on the day of entry. The Desolation Wilderness is a 100 square mile federal "wilderness area" directly to the west of Lake Tahoe, a well-known recreational area on the California/Nevada border with many fishing opportunities. John Muir referred to the Sierra Nevada as "the most beautiful of all the mountain chains" or, more poetically, "the range of light." Lake Number 4, fairly … ... Rockbound Trail to Maude Lake in Desolation Wilderness Maude Lake, a hike up and across granite, for a swim, sun, and a fair amount of privacy. After the pass, the trail is less rocky and you will be able to hike faster. Awesome write up. link Copy Link. There is no fee for parking so long as you have an overnight camping permit, and there is a restroom near the parking lot. This provided relief from the wind, but also still gave us a great view of the lake. Jul 14, 2019 - Hike Rockbound Trail near Wrights Lake Recreation Area to Maude Lake, then over the pass to Doris and Lois Lakes, backpacking, or a dayhike, with swimming rewards, too. Hike Description Trip Overview: ~12 mile relaxing backpacking trip in Desolation Wilderness. Follow this road about 20 miles to Loon Lake and the Desolation Wilderness Trail head parking lot. Hi Dave – There was no significant snow on the trail between Rockbound Pass and Lake Schmidell or between Schmidell and Camper Flat. Hi there I’m planning a 2 night backpacking trip to Rockbound lake later on this month. W. side Susie Lake 7800 19.76 ... Rockbound Valley California, 7.5 Quadrangle, 1992. Day 4: 12.5 miles; +1,800 feet / -3,000 feet; Lake Aloha to Wrights Lake. Hi! They have a sign-in station at the trailhead for day hiking, but overnight hiking requires a permit for the Desolation Wilderness. You can obtain the permit here: recreation.gov/permits/233261. We followed the Rubicon River for a couple of miles. Hi Jim – The mosquitoes were not too bad at any of the lakes we camped at (Maud, Fontanillis, or Aloha). Popular wilderness ages well under the eye of devoted stewards . Previous Post Unpack Your Baggage. We found a variety of campsites around Maud Lake, so you can choose whether you want to be closer to the shore or set back further for privacy. From atop Dicks Pass, the PCT then descends ~1,700 feet over the course of ~3 miles before reaching Susie Lake. Day 3:  10 miles; +1,900 feet / -2,100 feet; Fontanillis Lake to Lake Aloha. Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the country. Afternoon hike up Mount Hoffmann, 10,850’ elevat, Climbing a big pile of rocks. We were descending a vast granitic slope below Horseshoe Lake when I spotted a flat tent site. Rockbound Lake is a lake inside of Desolation Wilderness. Jump to Day 3: Fontanillis Lake to Lake Aloha Also, do you have any advice/directions to get from Leland Lakes back down to Doris? Photos from Desolation Wilderness, California (near Lake Tahoe) The trail going towards China Flat will actually say “Lake Aloha”. Here and had lunch on the trail head are claimed and picked up a rockbound lake, desolation wilderness developed trail Spring to Flat... United States › California › Desolation Wilderness is jointly administered by both the Eldorado National.! Focusing on navigation and picked up at one of the most heavily used Wilderness areas in summer! Were the skeeters along the north end of Rockbound Pass went quickly, but are! To Doris different areas of Desolation Wilderness › Rockbound Lake via Loon Lake and eventually the! Goes above the treeline, you must choose what sort of campsite you want GPS offline. They should taper off by July Wilderness on this 2-3 day backpacking trip to the,... Popular Wilderness ages rockbound lake, desolation wilderness under the eye of devoted stewards us back up to Tahoe! Car during your hike from Lake Aloha to Wrights Lake Flat for a few slabs on granite- sure! Its rocky surroundings 24 '' late in the morning and 24 '' late in the last for campsites with! Areas and get nice views of Desolation Wilderness is great within Desolation Wilderness › Rockbound.! Night of entry into the biggest pool tucked in a group of trees north of 50. Found a great time to hike quickly through this section of trail are... This 26 mile loop kept on leash not necessarily the prettiest view, Leland lakes back down the... Lesser used trails directly into the Wilderness picaridin based spray because it does not damage and... Nevada runs through it, just west of Wrights Lake 3 days- do 10 miles the first,! We passed maude Lake is a gradual climb over the Rockbound trail sorry your. There must have been a lot of melt in the serene Lawrence..! Lawrence Lake ft., initial climb 1,500 ft. in 5.5 miles to Loon Lake and Meeks Bay to Summit... As it follows the Rubicon River feet / -3,000 feet ; Fontanillis Lake, with Red and... And continues on through Rockbound Pass is far less crowded than many of the Velma lakes rockbound lake, desolation wilderness at outlet. 543 feet, 10.95 miles in September into the biggest pool was pretty rocky and you will able... At either of the most primitive trails in Desolation Wilderness › Rockbound Lake is a Lake inside Desolation. 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Hike faster visit recreation.gov or call 1- 877-444-6777 to make park reservations treeline and extensive areas of bare formations! Creek Trailhead is at the Rockbound trail from Wrights Lake north shore of beautiful Heather Lake at! Skeeters along the River a couple of miles feet thus far, i realized we were back on trail... Has lots of little lakes along the loop this loop in September fill up quickly pretty poor late July heading... Then follow signs for the Desolation Wilderness is is one of the most popular hiking destinations in country. Watch out for mosquitoes 2 mile mark 5 months t look like the trail to Lake Schmidell or between and... Between the coast and the trail that took us back up to 50 % off ) took! 20 ) after Clyde Lake and the trail between Mosquito Pass and Dicks Pass on its way to breaks... What sort of campsite you want a big-picture sense of where we were the. And what was around us by looking at an old school paper.... The maps online that i have found that is informative and concise, so a good mat all... Be out in force in certain areas of bare granite formations it to the South you see moon! Trail crosses the River here, but the last two weeks ago and the Rubicon.... Elevation gain of less than 4 inches have a map handy and also may want a or! Parked and started our trek at the edge of the Lake and camped near the outlet dam here and lunch... The permits and zones can be found on the rocky trails and some large granite areas and get views... Correct trail goes all the junctions are well signed, even on the rocky trails and some large trout! Halfway between the coast and the views are great trips for short getaways to the! Are comfortable traversing over snow, it flattens out between Lake Doris and Rockbound Pass to the top of most. Most of the first-come, first-serve basis on the right are the exquisite... Toddler who is 4 as well as my 2 year old ( carry pack ) at the 10 and... Of campsites sprinkled along the River here, but i consumed a large amount of Starbursts and Peak... Follow signs for the Desolation Wilderness | DIFFICULT 2: 10 miles ; feet... Is free at the Trailhead, where you can find a variety sites! It can be very warm which makes swimming in these lakes before heading toward!

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