3 Easy Days in Desolation Wilderness

After hiking for 7 days straight it was time for a little more relaxed approach. We spent a day with a friend’s kids exploring a little water fall, hanging out by a fishing pond and balancing on a fallen tree trunk. The next day we went to the ranger station and got a 3 day permit for the wilderness. After that we setup camp in DL Bliss State Park and spent the day napping on a beach of Lake Tahoe and driving along the lake a little for some great views.After those 2 rest days we entered the Desolation Wilderness from Eagle Falls trail head and hiked to Middle Velma lake. At the lake we picked a camp site and had some snacks. With still plenty of day light left we decided to hike up to Phipps Peak. It was a bit hazy and the views were a little limited. After a good break on top we headed back down to our camp and prepared dinner as the last rays of sun hit the lake. Perfect.

The next morning we had breakfast at a completely smooth lake and we enjoyed the perfect reflections of the trees in the water. Then we decided to move camp to Dicks Lake. It was only a 3 mile hike up there. Along the way we passed the beautiful Fontanillis Lake. The western and northern shore of this lake is big granite cliffs and slabs which are polish smooth by glaciers. Unfortunately there are really no good camp spots around this like, at least not if one sticks to the 100 ft from water and trail rule. At Dicks Lake we had no problem finding a nice site on soft forest ground among big trees.

We spent some time cooking lunch and hanging out by the lake. When it got warmer I could not resist taking a quick swim in the clear, cold water. It only took a few minutes to really cool off and afterwards I spentĀ  a good deal of time just lying on a big, warm rock by the shore to warm up again. We then explored the area between Dicks and Fontanillis lakes a little. The lakes are connected by a nice stream that was fun to follow.

On day 3 we packed up our stuff and headed back out to the trail head. Along the way we took a detour to the extremely popular Eagle Lake (just 1 mile from the trail head). At the truck we changed into clean cloth and then drove to town for some Pho (noodle soup). Then we started our drive south towards home. There appear to be an unusual number of fires burning in California this year and so a new one forced us to detour since Hwy 395 north of Bridgeport was closed. We made it to Bishop before we were too tired to continue. We checked into a motel and then strolled up main street in search for a dinner place. The next day we drove home to conclude a great couple of weeks in the mountains.

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