Jump to content

Desolation trail work


Recommended Posts

Now that I am an official part of the volunteer team for the Desolation Wilderness, I am supposed to spend a few days actually doing something there--as if I needed a reason to spend more time in the mountains!

So I spent that last two days hiking up to Maud and Gertrude Lakes, cleaning up the trails as I want. I made sure that campsites were regulation size, shape and location, and even spent a little time chatting with hikers at the trailhead, just making myself available to them if they had questions or concerns. 
Of course, I did get to spend two days out on some of the most beautiful trails in the Sierra...

And I hiked some great trails, met some great people, and even watched a Search and Rescue operation...from the trailhead. 

And did I mention it was beautiful? 

In all, it was good fun.  I spent a few hours chatting with hikers at the Twin Lakes Trailhead,, where I met and talked with more than a hundred hikers. I moved more rocks and branches than I could count, and was thoroughly impressed with the visitors to Desolation Wilderness, who left very little except some footprints. 

As usual, here's the link to all the photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/sUMpzAgjVzyRdi9E7

And a link to the full trip report on our blog: https://www.backpackthesierra.com/post/desolation-trail-work

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

More trail work that is, this time hiking out of Wright's Lake to Grouse, Hemlock and Smith Lakes.  As usual, the goal was to pick up trash, clean up the trail, and remove any fire rings that might have been built. 

Well, there was no trash, really. I did pick up a small plastic Sutter Home White Zinfandel bottle that someone probably dropped, and a few bits of micro-trash, but that was about it. And I found only one fire ring--ironically, way up on the ridge above Grouse Lake where I had decided to camp. I made quick work of that in the morning. 

But my goodness, there were a lot of unnecessary cairns on this trail---even on the section that I had cleaned up only two weeks before.  I must have knocked down at least sixty of the things, some of them directly across the trail from each other!  And on the way back down, I found that someone had added another 15-20 of them...so I knocked them down again.  


Meanwhile, I heard from a couple of hikers that the fire rings I removed two weeks ago from Twin Lakes were back...and happily, I was able to share that with another volunteer who was headed up that way, and promised to take them down again.  


I did get a nice sunset--and a few more photos, as well as some wonderful conversations with other hikers.  The link to all my Desolation Volunteer photos is here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/sUMpzAgjVzyRdi9E7

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I keep going back for more...

I'm just back from a four-day trip into Desolation Wilderness, but this time I started at the Glen Alpine Trailhead, near Fallen Leaf Lake, and worked on the Tahoe Basin section of the wilderness. 

Gosh, is it beautiful.  We set up a base camp at Suzie's lake, about four and a half miles in, and then worked on eliminating illegal campsites and fire rings, all the while picking up trash and burying clouds of toilet paper.  

People, please.  Pack it out. 

We did find some odd items, including a perfectly good Luci solar light, a very nice Buff,  and a hammer.  Yep--somebody thought that there were no rocks in Desolation Wilderness, and brought a hammer to pound in the tent stakes.  

Meanwhile, we heard a very amusing bear story, got posed a puzzle by a mysterious bear canister, and managed to clean up a number of lakes: Aloha, Heather, Suzie's, Half Moon, and Alta Morris. We met well over a hundred people on the trail, from PCT thru-hikers to elderly meandering day-hikers, and enjoyed truly spectacular scenery--and the most wonderful juniper trees anywhere.

Oh, and wildlife sightings included the cutest pika ever, a soaring osprey, and more than enough grouses (grice?) exploding out of the bushes to give anyone a heart attack. 

All in all, a great four days.  And if we can ask one favor from anyone who reads this: Please. 
Leave. No. Trace. 

Thank you. 

the photo log is here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/sUMpzAgjVzyRdi9E7    This trip starts on August 22.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...