It’s been a busy few months since moving to Reno, starting a lab at UNR, making friends, skiing, biking, and welcoming a small dinosaur (parrot) into our home, but at long last Aubrey and I finally had a chance to do some backpacking over the past two weeks. Here’s a few images from our first trip.

To get back into the swing of hiking and camping we decided to take a short warmup trip to the Desolation Wilderness, an area I’ve heard of often, and probably visited many years ago, but have few memories of. The Desolation Wilderness is southwest of Lake Tahoe (just an hour from our home!), and is mostly known for the plentiful lakes. The largest and most famous, and in many ways most beautiful, is actually a shallow reservoir called Lake Aloha. I’m not sure who decided on the name, but it inspires a tropical hawaiian feeling that is surprisingly appropriate. Aubrey brought along an inner tube floaty and we took turns paddling among the many granite islands. The pine trees almost looked like palm trees, and despite the snowy backdrop, it almost felt like floating in a tropical lagoon.

Sierra Nevada, Snow, Melt

Summer Melt : Prints Available

Summer greenery impatiently appears as the winter snow finally begins to melt away in mid July in the Sierra Nevada.

Lake Aloha, Sierra, Desolation Wilderness

Alpine Lagoon : Prints Available

The warm(ish) waters of lake Aloha and plentiful granite islands make for an almost tropical experience in the Sierra alpine. To get this view point I scrambled up to an overlook of polished granite.

Pollen, Desolation Wilderness, Lake Aloha

Sierra Pollination : Prints Available

Pollen collects along the shores of Lake Aloha in California's Desolation Wilderness, arranging itself in gentle curves on the calm water. 

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3 Comments to “Alpine Lagoon ~ Desolation Wilderness”

  1. lynn says:

    Beautiful, beautiful photographs! The first one seems unreal – it looks like you got down under a melting piece of ice – smart! Such colors. What a trip! Thanks for sharing.

  2. It’s hard not to like the Lake Aloha basin. My grandparents had a cabin on Upper Echo Lake when I was young, so all my first serious hikes and overnights were in that area. I love that pollen image! I remember one time when the pollen was so thick on the lake that our dogs mistook it for solid ground, at least for a second.

  3. Michael says:

    Great “experimental” photos as always. I especially like the dominant minimalistic foreground in Alpine Lagoon. Looking forward to new trip reports.