- Type: Recreation & Natural Areas
NileGuide Expert Says:
Probably one of the best, most beautiful hiking areas anywhere, and that is why it is so popular.
NileGuide Expert tip:
IF you don't want to go all the way into the Wilderness, Eagle Lake (a mile in) is a good stop.
- Because of its beauty and accessibility Desolation Wilderness is per acre, the most heavily used wilderness area in the country. Desolation Wilderness is 12.5 miles long and 8 miles and is accessed by 15 named and numbered trailheads under a quota system. Day Hikers fill out registration forms at the head, but overnighters must pay a fee and register ahead of time. Magnificent views from all over, specifically one atop a granite slope that overlooks Emerald Bay, where you cannot find a better place for a picnic. Desolation contains 63,960 acres of subalpine forests, glacial lakes and valleys, and granite peaks. A portion of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail/Tahoe Rim Trail passes through the area.
All persons entering Desolation must obtain a wilderness permit all year-round. Day hikers may self-register at the trailheads, but overnight users must obtain the permits (fee charged) in person. Since Desolation is so popular, a wilderness permit quota system is in place for overnight campers. You can make a reservation for overnight permits. Fees are charged for both reservations and camping. Desolation Wilderness lies to the southwest of Lake Tahoe and north of Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada.