Desolation Wilderness has so many unique and interesting areas to explore. In this adventure, we backpacked out to the Velma Lakes and set-up camp at the lower lake. This is not an ideal trip for beginners because the elevation gain is quite challenging. For more advanced hikers, this is totally worth the trip.
watch our fun vlog
Awesome switchbacks make for a intense start
You hit the inclines hard out of Bay View into the Desolation wilderness.
view of desolation off maggies peak
A few years ago, Heather and I were up on this peak covered in snow. This time, we enjoyed using the trail!
A view into the tahoe basin from desolation
between the peaks, is the world famous Emerald Bay of South Lake Tahoe.
A pristine marshland in the heart of desolation
Desolation gets its name for a reason. It is a tough terrain, large granite slabs and relentless weather. This little marsh-meadow has prevailed and added some greenery to the landscape.
the view from our campsite
I always look for campsites that are elevated, have features nearby and embody the attraction of that particular hike. Lower Velma is fed by a charming lake with some cascading falls and little cliffs.
not many places to avoid exposure
We loved our little camp site but one thing to always keep in mind is total exposure. The sun was basically baking the area all day so out tent was not even habitable until 9PM.
wilderness serenity at its finest
We got the hammock all setup by the stream and enjoyed half the day in that small area.
colder than it looks, so just the feet
I forgot my sandals so was basically barefoot all day at camp. My feet were getting pretty chewed up and the cold water was welcome!
To be fair, she kind of fell in further than she intended. But she stayed in longer than I would have! She also sat in the river, which I shared in the Vlog. I don’t like being cold and wet but Heather seems not to mind.
our sunrise over the lake
Waking up to this kind of beauty sets the mood fro the next few days! Get out there folks!
filter your water
We are just taking the morning easy and getting ready to head back out 5.5 miles and through some good inclines. We always stock up on fresh water before and after each destination for safety and comfort. Don’t forget to filter!
the lake in the morning
Heading out, we decided to hike a little around the lake to find other camping potential in the future and get a better sense of the environment. We concluded that our camp choice was the best. We plan on coming back!