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Thirsty Thursday: Desolation Wilderness Trip

Rambler: Beth

Drink at Hand: Ancient Peaks Rose

Hey Welliver Photography fans! Thanks for tuning in for another Thirsty Thursday...time to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. This week I'll give you a little recap of our recent backpacking trip to Waca Lake and Lake Aloha in the Desolation Wilderness.

Desolation Wilderness is in the Lake Tahoe area and is one of the most heavily visited wilderness areas in the country. Therefore, getting a wilderness permit for this area is a challenge. We wanted to go to Lake Aloha, but that's super easy trek destination, so the permits were sold out for that zone. I figured, hey, the Team Welliver is a hardy bunch, so the three of us could handle a little cross-country travel to a zone that still had overnight permits available. After much topo map studying, I was sure that a roughly 2-mile off-trail, cross-country over a saddle point that was only 1 contour interval on the map to a beautiful alpine lake would be easy peasy lemon squeezy for us. So on a warm Friday afternoon we left the Echo Lake parking lot for Waca Lake.

crosscountry
predawn
waca lake
redshirt
camp
tent camp
lake aloha sunrise

What's that? You've never heard of Waca Lake? Yeah, turns out most people haven't. Why is that? Because its ridiculously difficult to get there. The first 6 miles of the trail (yes, trail) were easy, straightforward, no big deal. Then we left the trail to begin our 2 miles of exhausting scrambling up and down granite boulders with our packs on. Not as easy as it looked on the topo map. But we made it and the lake was pretty and we collapsed into our tent. The next morning had a nicely colored, albeit cloudless, sky. One of these trips we'll get some clouds! We decided to pack up camp and head back toward Lake Aloha in order to cut off a little bit of distance and pain for hike back to the car on day 3. We originally planned to spend most of Day 2 exploring the numerous lakes and playing around with a little bouldering. Unfortunately, little Miss Massey and her delicate little paws had a rough time on the abrasive granite on Day 1, so once we made it back to Lake Aloha for Day 2, we took it easy. Terry didn't seem to mind either. The final sunrise at Lake Aloha wasn't too bad either. Get out there and find your own backcountry adventure this weekend!