Day 3: Desolation Wilderness

Saturday September 21, 22.0mi/35.4km

Campsite near Richardson Lake (43.4/7546ft) to Tamarack Lake (65.4/7874ft) (CA)

It was another cold morning, so I stayed in my warm sleeping bag until 7am, and was hiking by 7:30am. A few minutes later, I was in Desolation Wilderness.

It was a peaceful morning of hiking, with lots of cool granite boulders to look at.

Granite was covering the surrounding mountaintops too.

The trail was very well built in this section, and soon after I started seeing hordes of people.

I passed by so many lakes today too. Middle Velma Lake, Upper Velma lake, and this was Fontanillis lake:

I hiked a couple more miles uphill, to the top of Dick’s Pass. The pass is at an elevation of 9400ft/2865m, so it was a decent climb. A nice view of the choss pile that is Dick’s Peak:

A few minutes later, there was a better view of Dicks Peak, and I stopped to eat lunch.

And looking north to Dicks Lake, back from the direction from which I’d come:

As I sat eating my wrap, I counted 52 people on the pass, either stopped for a break or hiking by. It must be a weekend! I started down the pass, and crossed a tiny patch of snow that remained from last season.

The view down this side of the pass was pretty lake-y, too.

And the trail was being held to the side of the mountain by some boards, which made for easy walking.

At the bottom of the pass, I hiked by many more lakes. Halfmoon Lake, Gilmore Lake, and this was Susie Lake, with its neat island:

And Heather Lake:

And finally, I arrived to the junction that would take me to Aloha Lake. I don’t know why anyone would ever choose the other direction, mosquito pass. Sounds itchy.

Aloha Lake was just as big as I remember it.

The trail followed the lakeshore for 1.5mi/2.4km, and I stopped for a swim.

The air temperature was warm, but the water was quite cold. There were some other day hikers here, and we all waded in a short distance.

Then, I entered snake-mode, and sunned myself on a nice warm rock for an hour.

By 4:30, I figured it was too windy to camp here, so I hiked two more miles to Tamarack Lake. My campsite had a wonderful view of the Echo Lakes in the valley below.

I chatted with some other weekend hikers at camp, made dinner, and then hung my bear bag for the first time in a month. This area is known for un-shy bears!

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