El Dorado County's Desolation Wilderness in California
is a federally protected wilderness area with many waterfalls and alpine lakes.
Lake of the Woods is one of them.
This lake at the bottom of a glacier-scoured basin is accessible via the
Pacific Crest Trail from the
by taking an
Echo-Lake-Chalet-operated water taxi to
the upper lake pier or
by hiking 2.5 additional miles (one-way) above these lakes and then
entering the Desolation Wilderness. Lake of the Woods is located
between Tamarack Lake and the
larger Lake Aloha.
What about the woods?
They include western white pine, lodgepole pine and
mountain hemlock—species that endure a life on and between granite rocks.
Heather is growing around the boulders and pebbles.
For a dip or summer swim, carefully slide down the polished granite surface
into the cold and clear water.
Numerous campsites invite backpackers to stay at the lake.
Overnighters may get their camping permit
from the Lake Tahoe Visitor Center (or want to visit the
Desolation Wilderness Permit
website for further information and planning).
Day-hikers should self-register at the Echo Lake trailhead.