|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
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Behind the forbidding name lies California's glacier-polished playground.
Contact Information: Eldorado National Forest Information Center 3070 Camino Heights Drive Camino, CA 95709 (530) 644-6048
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit 870 Emerald Bay Rd. South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 (530) 573-2600
Taylor Creek Visitor Center: (530) 573-2674
Location: Desolation Wilderness is in north-central California along the eastern border, 3-1/2 hours northeast of San Francisco, 2 hours east of Sacramento, and 1 hour southwest of Reno, Nevada. It's bounded by logging roads and operations to the north and west, Lake Tahoe to the east, and US 50 to the south. Getting There: Access it from I-80 or US 50.
Seasonal Information: This is a land of stark contrasts. Warm summer days, mild falls, and relatively low elevations belie the barren rock and harsh, windswept alpine winters and the sudden summer storms. Summer temperatures of 60 to 75 degrees F draw crowds in mid-June. In winter, the temperatures are in the high teens or 20s.
Wildlife: Deer, marmots, and a few bears make up the region's wildlife.
Insects: Contact the park office for information. Plant Life: Cedar, pines, firs, mountain grass, and wildflowers characterize the area.
Facilities: Camping is primitive in the wilderness area. Closest to the wilderness border is Bayview Campground (916-544-5994) to the east. It's a free site with a 48-hour limit operating on a first come, first served basis. For information on campgrounds outside of the wilderness, call (800) 280-2267. Parking: Contact the park office for information.
Permits: Deolation operates under the U.S. Fee Demonstration Act. Contact the Eldorado Information Center in Camino for more permit information. Between June 15 and September 30, when a quota is in effect, overnight hikers should be sure to contact the Forest Service 90 days before their outing.
Policies: * There is a limit of 12 people per group. * No campfires, motorized vehicles, or bicycles are allowed in the area.
Hazards: Be alert to extreme weather conditions.
Leave No Trace:
All LNT guidelines apply.
Other Trip Options: