19 June 2020
Granite & Eagle Lakes Loop
(8 miles, +2,200/-2,200 feet).
The drive around Lake Tahoe was spectacular yesterday. Right as we hit the state parks on the southwest side, it started snowing!
Today we went from South Lake Tahoe back to the state parks, choosing a loop hike that heads up into the Desolation Wilderness.
The first part of the “loop” is actually a road walk on a narrow stretch of the main road around Lake Tahoe. But it wasn’t too bad because we got an early start and most of the time we could walk on the other side of the guard rails.
Once we got to Inspiration Point, we were able to get onto a real trail and start a steep climb up to Granite Lake.
Alas, a group of twenty-something females were blasting their music right ahead of us, and then behind us as we passed them.
I called them the “sorority bros.”
I was tempted to explain to them that they were violating one of the Leave No Trace principles, but I didn’t want to create a conflict.
Leaving the sorority bros behind as we climbed, we heard the “whump – whump – whump” mating call of a sooty grouse, and Half Cookie actually managed to locate it!
There was still some snow on trail, and we did not bring spikes, so a couple of spots higher up were just a little tricky.
Soon we were at the top of the ridge with spectacular — and mercifully silent — views into Desolation Wilderness.
At an intersection, we turned onto a trail that headed back to Eagle Lake and Eagle Creek Falls.
The trail started to get very crowded at Eagle Lake, where people were feeding birds and treating the setting like a city park. Oh well.
I enjoyed this hike, but it reminded me why Tahoe is at the low end of my list of places to go in the Sierra. Next time I come through I will hopefully be deeper in Desolation with a backpack on!