In the Summer of 2012, I got the opportunity to hike within the Desolation Wilderness. For those who are curious, the Desolation Wilderness is federally protected forest within the El Dorado National Forest, which is in the Lake Tahoe region, managed by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit of the U.S. Forest Service. I received the opportunity to hike within this wilderness when my friend, Don came out for a visit for a few days in the Summer of 2012. I had a couple of hike suggestions planned out, when a former work colleague of mine suggested I take him to Eagle Lake, which is in the Desolation Wilderness. Eagle Lake, as I discovered is right across from Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe, just off State Highway 89. The Emerald Bay/Eagle Lake area during the warmer months, attracts a LOT of tourists and visitors!!! So much so, parking is a serious premium; people tend to park along the highway in the most death-defying angles!!! The Desolation Wilderness is open to everyone, but you need to get a day pass in order to hike within the Wilderness. The passes are usually at the trailhead. You fill a permit out, date it, state how many are in your party, and sign it. You tear off the signed section of the permit and place it in the box; the rest of the permit you can tie to your backpack during your visit. Now if you wish to camp within the Wilderness, you may obtain a permit from the U.S. Forest Service ranger station. You must have it with you at all times while camping in the Wilderness, as you may have to show it to a ranger. Unfortunately, campfires, nor pets are allowed in the Wilderness. The Eagle Lake hike we did is actually pretty easy to moderate. No major elevation gain, but it does make for a good workout. I think any hike can make for a good workout!! Once you get to the lake, there are many places to chill out, have a post-hike lunch, nap, even jump in the lake for a swim if you wish! Don and I didn’t do that that day, but that water sure looked nice. If you ever get the chance to, definitely do this hike to Eagle Lake; it’s a great and scenic, wonderful hike!!
Don’t forget your permit before entering the Desolation Wilderness!!
Don takes time for a quick hiking picture!
Crossing a rushing stream to hike to Eagle Lake.
Looks like a nice stream to dip your toes in and wade around!!
Great shot of a nearby mountain!
And I introduce to you, Eagle Lake!!
Don chilling out on a rock by Eagle Lake
On the other side of the mountains are the Velma Lakes, within the Desolation Wilderness.
Calm and inviting Eagle Lake, as these two hikers and their dog have found out!
A cool rushing stream!
A distant view of Lake Tahoe from the trail.
A view of Emerald Bay!
Eagle Falls, which is on the other side of Highway 89 from the Eagle Lake trailhead.
Checking out the landscape around Eagle Falls.
Don and I take time for a picture at Eagle Falls after our hike!
I hope you enjoyed the little tour of Eagle Lake and Eagle Falls! It is a great and easy hike to do within Desolation Wilderness. Tip: if you go there, be sure to get there early as parking spaces fill up fast!!!