Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used wilderness areas in the country. It can be difficult to find solitude, especially if you’re hiking to Lake Aloha or up Pyramid Peak on a summer weekend. The hike over Rockbound Pass is far less crowded than many of the trails on the eastern side of the wilderness. This 24-mile loop offers some of Desolation’s best scenery with numerous alpine lakes and stunning views of the Crystal Range. Continue reading “Rockbound Pass: Desolation’s Desolate Side”
April 1st marks the average maximum snowpack date for most years in the Sierra. In other words, if you want to see the most possible snow on the ground in California, early April is probably a good time to head to the mountains. The Peter Grubb hut is one of several old Sierra Club huts around the Tahoe region. It’s a relatively easy hike and in winter, it makes for a great ski or snowshoe trek. Continue reading “Snowshoeing to the Peter Grubb Hut”
When our friends booked out the Lost Trail Lodge for a weekend, we jumped at the opportunity to explore some new terrain. Apparently it’s called the Lost Trail because nobody goes there. I can confirm that very few people venture back in Coldstream Canyon, compared to other places in the Tahoe area. The only tracks we followed all day were from snowmobiles. Continue reading “Tinker Knob in the Winter”
Andesite Peak is less crowded and easier to summit than its taller neighbor Castle Peak. It’s a fun hike to the top with good views towards Castle Peak and the surrounding valleys. Continue reading “Snowshoeing Andesite Peak”
The hike up Castle Peak is a short and steep. We previously snowshoed to the summit, but we headed back out there last week to check out the snow-free trail. Continue reading “Castle Peak”
Pyramid Peak gets all the attention, but its two sisters in the Crystal Range are definitely worth a visit. Mount Price (9975′) and Mount Agassiz (9967′) can easily be hiked in one day. The Lyons Creek trailhead offers a direct approach to both peaks from the west side. The roundtrip hike is approximately 13 miles with over 3000-ft of elevation gain. Continue reading “Mount Agassiz & Mount Price – Desolation Wilderness”
Boat-in camping! It is as fun as it sounds! Especially when the campground is located in Tahoe’s beautiful Emerald Bay.
Continue reading “Emerald Bay Boat-In Campground”
On this day in 1844, John C. Fremont and Charles Preuss summited Red Lake Peak. It wasn’t a particularly impressive climb, or circumstance; it was however the first documentation of an identifiable peak climbed in the Sierra. Surely many people climbed peaks before this, but since this blog is a place where we document climbs of peaks (and other hikes), the 171st anniversary of the first documented peak climb seems significant. In any case, repeating this climb seemed like the best possible way to spend a Valentine’s Day. Continue reading “Red Lake Peak”
We’ve attempted and failed to hike Pyramid Peak more times than I’d like to admit. Poor planning, late starts and crappy weather have all thwarted past attempts. Our friend Nolan has had a similar experience. After climbing far more challenging peaks, we (jokingly) began to wonder if we’d ever make it to the top of “the elusive Pyramid Peak.”
Finally, this past weekend we made it happen. The weather was looking to be perfect. We chose the most direct route – Rocky Canyon from Highway 50. We were determined to finally knock this one off our list. Continue reading “Pyramid Peak via Rocky Canyon”
Shortly after our last failed attempt at backpacking in Desolation Wilderness, I was ready to try again. We waited a few weeks for more snow to melt, then made our reservation for Lake Aloha (Zone 33). We snagged 6 of the allotted 25 spots for this zone.
Basics: This overnight hike was about 13 miles round-trip. This distance sounds easier than it is – the Ralston trail begins by climbing 2400-ft in a few short miles. Anyone looking for an easier approach can access Lake Aloha from the Echo Lakes area. From the route described in this post, it’s possible to take short detours to climb Ralston Peak or visit several other Desolation Wilderness lakes. Continue reading “Lake Aloha via the Ralston Peak Trail”