Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'll have the scramble...

Action Report
Desolation Wilderness
July 2008

Horsetail Falls main cascade

Scrambling up the Horsetail Falls in Desolation Wilderness is spectacular! Imagine granite boulders in every direction, as far as the eye can see. Now imagine yourself climbing those rocks along side a gushing 1000 ft high cascade, up to a handful of crystal clear mountain lakes hiding at 7400'. Pine trees pop out of the rocks, and the manzanita ground cover grows along side wild flowers. Ok, it's time to stop imagining, and time to start exploring this accessible but challenging gem.

Eric takes a plunge in one of the many stunning lakes of Desolation Wilderness. SAFETY NOTE: Always check the depth of any water before jumping in!

Eric and I met up with fellow summit poster, "squishy." We had a quick drive up HWY 50, and found that it's very close to the popular climbing playground, lover's leap. The great thing is that anyone can visit this place as long as you pay the $5.00 parking fee. The beginning of this hike was easy to follow, and we found a permit station where the wilderness boundary is. (Make sure to fill out a permit, rangers will ask for it if you cross their path.)

The hike to this special wonderland was tough, but it had stunning features. There are many mountain lakes to explore, and Eric even went swimming! The path up to the top of the cascade was not easy to see, but we were able to make out the old yellow arrows spray painted on the rocks. It's a puzzle to get to the top!

Pyramid Peak from near the top of Horsetail Falls

Once at the lakes, there's an amazing view of Pyramid Peak, and the route to the top of the peak continues on for those who care to adventure higher. At the end of our hike, we checked out the historic Strawberry Lodge for dinner. They are very close to the trail head, have some great burgers, and a full bar. It was a refreshing way to end the day.

This hike was challenging due to the elevation gain, and puzzle like features, but it was one of the most rewarding routes I've ever taken. If you like your hikes the same way you like your eggs, this scramble is just the dish for you. Just don't forget to bring a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water.

Album Link:
Desolation Wildreness

No comments: