Lake Tahoe Travel Guide

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Lake Tahoe Desolation Wilderness Area

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|| Introduction

|| Trailheads

|| Overview

|| Zone Quotas

|| Regulations

|| Zone Map

|| Use Permits

|| Fees

"Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the
mountaineer.  Camp out among the grass and the gentians of
glacier meadows, in craggy garden nooks."
   – John Muir

Desolation Wilderness Area ─ Introduction

The Desolation Wilderness is made up of 63,960 acres of subalpine and alpine forest, granite peaks, and glacially-formed valleys and lakes. Located west of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50 in El Dorado County, the  Desolation Wilderness is jointly administered by both the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

The land which became Desolation Wilderness was part of the Lake Tahoe Forest Reserve, established in 1899. In 1910, when the first tourists were beginning to make their way over the narrow dirt roads of Echo and Donner summits, the are was made part of the newly formed Eldorado National Forest. The are was named the Desolation Valley Primitive Area in 1931, and in 1969 Desolation Wilderness was Congressionally designated and included in the National Wilderness Preservation System. This unique area now totals 63,960 acres of wilderness land which is ours to enjoy, protect, and care for. Enjoy your visit and be sure to Leave No Trace so that future generations may return to enjoy its permanent but changing beauty.

The Desolation Wilderness is managed according to the Wilderness Act of 1964 to "ensure an enduring resource of Wilderness for present and future generations." The wilderness character of the Desolation and its values of solitude, physical and mental challenge, scientific study, inspiration and primitive recreation will be protected, and where necessary, restored. Natural ecological conditions will be preserved under a concept of non-degradation, to prevent further loss of naturalness or solitude.  

What’s on Tap

Events

Lake Tahoe Festivals & Events:

 

Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival—7/8 – 8/21

North Lake—Imagine your toes in the sand, a fantastic bottle of wine nearby, a gourmet meal in hand and first-class entertainment before you…

Labor Day Lake Tahoe Fireworks Extravaganza—9/4/16 @ 08:30 PM

South Lake—This pyrotechnic exhibition explodes over Lake Tahoe after dusk and features a variety of patterns, shapes, and designs.

Big Band Jazz Concert at the Sugar Pine Point State Park—9/4/16

West Lake—Concert goers are encouraged to bring a picnic, low-back chairs, blankets, and be prepared to have fun.

The Great Reno Balloon Race—9/9 – 9/11/16

Reno—This is the 35th year for one of Reno’s most colorful and spectacular events! It attracts nearly 100 hot air balloons

For more event information, click on our Festivals & Events page for Half Moon Bay.
  
  

Attractions

Top Attractions:

Winter Outdoor Activities  – 2015/16

The ski areas were finally blessed with SNOW! The recent drought took its toll, but finally were seeing some action…

Summer Outdoor Activities – 2016

Lake Tahoe  – In a couple of months, Lake Tahoe will be bursting with outdoor activities!

Desolation Wilderness Area 

Awesome hiking from late spring to late summer. 

 

For more information on local attractions, click on the Lake Tahoe Attractions or Recreational Activities.
  
  

 

Advisories

The Region’s Fall Advisories:
  

Traffic Conditions. During the summer months, Lake Tahoe is inundated with tourists making driving challenging. Another issue, is the warm summer months are the best to complete road work. This combination can create very long delays in certain sections. Go to www.caltrans.com to learn about road conditions. 

Yes, It’s Still Water! California’s extreme drought has created some long-term consequences. If you are planning a lake vacation be sure to check about water levels. That rafting trip, fishing, or skiing may be impacted. It has also create EXTREME fire conditions, so be sure to check with local authorities about campfire and camp stove regulations.   

The Plague! It sounds medieval, but chipmunks and squirrels around Lake Tahoe can carry the Plague and health officials urge caution. Click here to learn more.

Yellow Jackets! I don’t know why it’s so bad this season, but from Tahoe City south  along the beaches the bees are everywhere! Click here to learn more.
  
  

  
  
  

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