Desolation Wilderness Update: PCT is Clear from Echo Trailhead to Haypress Meadows | Blocked by 8-Foot Drifts Beyond There…

desolation wilderness
Credit: Jennifer Leonard and Kristine Koran

On June 26-28th Desolation Wilderness Rangers hiked from Echo Trailhead to Aloha Lake. PCT is clear of snow from Echo trailhead to Haypress Meadows. Once you hit Haypress Meadows the trail is obscured by snow with up to 8-foot snow drifts to Lake Aloha. The snow is punchy and makes it hard to follow the PCT. Trekking poles and good footwear is strongly recommended. Crampons or snow cleats are helpful. GPS is also a great tool to have because the trail is very hard to follow.

The few lakes that are mostly clear of snow have very wet tent pads. For example, lakes such as Tamarack, Ralston, and Cagwin have very recent snow melt pooled around the lakes. Lakes that have very few open tent pads and are covered in snow are Lake of the Woods, Aloha, Margery, and Lake Lucille.

desolation wilderness
Credit: Jennifer Leonard and Kristine Koran

Wrights Lake Campground gate is still closed. Snow drifts are on the road to the Twin Lakes trailhead and the last mile of Twin Lakes trail is still covered in snow and is very difficult to follow. Twin Lakes to Island Lake have very little to no tent pads open to snow.

With the amount of snow still on the ground in the Sierra Nevada, officials are warning that this might not be the year to do the PCT due to the high avalanche risk.