Desolation Wilderness - Summer Solstice 2014

klank

one step at a time
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
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In May I had planned to solo Velma, Dicks & Fontanillis Lake loop in Desolation Wilderness; near South Lake Tahoe. Before the weekend of trip my sinus infection that has been lingering all winter came back to bite me. So, on the off-chance Mark could head out in June I inquired, with response "It's in the calendar!". Music to my ears! Permits for DW can be obtained through Rec.gov with around 30 days planning.

As normal I tend to pick the most strenuous route.. we began at Eagle Falls Trailhead. Alternative is to start at Bayview campground TH. Immediately hiking up boulder steps heading for Eagle Lake.

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Welcome to Desolation Wilderness by clifton dobbie, on Flickr

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climbing from Eagle Lake TH by clifton dobbie, on Flickr

Climbing to trail intersection with Bayview was a grind; we didn't realize how much work till coming out the following day. After roughly 2.5 miles we merged onto Velma Lakes trail; first lake arrive at is Upper Velma - drainage with trail continuing to Middle Velma.

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Middle Velma lake by clifton dobbie, on Flickr

We ran into a trio that was camping at Middle Velma lake who were headed out for a DH. I made the mistake of asking "know any good spots?" only to receive a WTF look. Campsites can be found on the western end of Middle Velma; be prepared as wind picks up during day. Aside from other party we ran into only one other group camped near us. Never heard either group.

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Middle Velma Lake campsite by clifton dobbie, on Flickr

Logging 5 miles and climbing roughly 1250 ft we pondered tomorrows plan: reconnoissance around Velma's for prime campsites or complete loop around Dicks & Fontanillis? Deferring decision till the morrow we decided to complete loop. Awesome decision we made!

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Middle Velma lake reflections by clifton dobbie, on Flickr

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along the PCT by clifton dobbie, on Flickr

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Mountain Heather - Desolation Wilderness by clifton dobbie, on Flickr

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Fontanillis Lake by clifton dobbie, on Flickr

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Dicks Lake by clifton dobbie, on Flickr

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Velma Lakes by clifton dobbie, on Flickr

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Snow! by clifton dobbie, on Flickr

Fun, challenging, safe trip! Can't wait till next outing with Cobra Kai.
Total mileage: 11.3

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South Tahoe is very beautiful. I did the 36+ mile Tahoe to Flume Trail bike ride last summer and it was exhilarating.
 
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