Backpack to Susie Lake, Desolation Wilderness

Glen Alpine Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Miranda Leconte

Overnight permit required! Visit desowv.org for everything you need to know and Rangers check permits OFTEN. Water gets very low after August and the Max group size is 12. Ther are No campfires allowed at all in this Wilderness Area (year-round) and The infamous Lake Aloha is a great 4-mile round trip day hike from Susie Lake.

Starting at the Glen Alpine trailhead (best access to Susie Lake):
To get to the trailhead, head toward Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe. From HWY 89, turn onto Fallen Leaf Rd and drive past the summer homes and marina until you reach a small firehouse on the left side of the road. You'll follow the road directly to the right of this firehouse, and at the end of this road will be your trailhead!

This trail winds through a forested area on an old road for the first mile. You'll get to see the old Glen Alpine Springs Historical Site before the trail starts to ascend up the ridge. You'll zigzag upwards for a mile or so with incredible views of various mountains until you get to the trail junction leading toward either Gilmore Lake or Susie Lake. Keep left for Susie- your destination is roughly 1 mile further from this junction!

Mileage/Elevation: From the Glen Alpine Trailhead, Susie Lake is 3.8 miles into the Wilderness. When you return to your car after your trip, you'll have hiked a total of 7.6 miles and experienced about 2,400ft of elevation change.

Note: The above photos of Susie Lake were taken during the Butte Fire (over 70,000 acres burned in September, 2015). This lake does not always have this smoky, orange hue.

Distance

7.6 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

2400 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Chillin, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Nearby Lodging

From $63/night

Outsite Heavenly

South Lake Tahoe, California

From $129/night

Bear Valley Resort Glamping

Bear Valley, California

Coleville / Walker KOA

Coleville, California

Reno KOA at Boomtown

Reno, Nevada

Community Photos

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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Great Intro hike into Desolation Wilderness

As the title states, this is a great way to get started hiking in Desolation Wilderness. The Glen Alpine trail is a relatively gradual climb and distance makes for a great day hike. Pro Tip: There is an island in the middle of the lake that you can swim to that makes for a great way to cool off in the hot summer months.

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