Desolation Wilderness Overview

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The 63,500-acre Desolation Wilderness located in California's Eldorado National Forest contains many small streams and about 150 lakes. Elevations within the wilderness range from 6,500 to over 10,000 feet. Alpine timber and flora abound.

The wilderness primary use season runs from June through September. Snowpacks sometimes close higher passes until July. There is heavy use on trails from Wrights, Echo, Fallen Leaf, and Eagle Falls trailheads and lighter use in northwest portions of the wilderness. You must carry in feed for packstock. Visitor permits are required year-round. There is a 700-person limit on overnight use June 15 through Labor Day, but campers may reserve permits up to 60 days in advance for that period. Groups are limited to 15 people. No open wood fires are allowed, but portable stoves are permitted.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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