Trip report from weekend backpacking in Desolation Wilderness. You can also jump right to the pictures at smugmug. There are a few more pictures there, I didn't put all of them in this post. Clicking on any of the pictures makes them bigger.
We were originally going to hike to Lois Lake, but the ranger station said the lake was still frozen. So we decided to go to Lake of the Woods, taking the PCT in and “a popular trail” on the way out. We parked one of the cars at the Twin Bridges parking lot and shuttled in the other car to Echo Lake Don & I took a boat ride across the lake, while Donna & Ted walked around.Very nice walk up the PCT, and some really fine wild flowers down the trail to Lake of the Woods where we camped for two days.
Got up and took the obligatory Sierra shot of the mountain reflected in the lake.
Sunday, Part I - Pleasant Mountain Sunday
Got up and took the usual group shot. Completely awesome hike through Desolation Lake and Ropi Lake. Got a little lost and had to cross a few streams balancing on some rocks & logs, but eventually made it back to the trail] Foreshadowing: met a woman coming up on the trail and asked her how the trail was. She was pretty surprised we were trying to go down instead of coming up. Split up with Donna & Ted since they wanted to get home early (as it turns out, not to be)
Sunday, Part II - OMG
We got to the head of Horsetail Falls. At this point, the trail ends. The climb down is over boulders, with the occasional cairns to indicate the path down (or in some cases, possibly someone's idea of a practical joke). At one point we needed to lower our packs down to climb down a cliff, so we took them off and I started down first. I threw my pole down, but then chickend out on the actual climb down. We had to backtrack to find a easier route. Goodbye pol] Managed to make it down without injury. Pretty harrowing for someone like me who's scared of heights! Would have been no problem without the backpacks I think. Legs hurting at the bottom. Took about 3 hours to go less than a mile and a half, and dropped about 1500 feet. With 30-40 pound packs. Met with Donna & Ted at the bottom, they made it down just a bit before we did. Long day for them since they had to drive back to Santa Cruz. Don & I made it home to Volcano by 9:00, had a nice dinner (thanks Lola!) and hit the sack.