Ropi Lake, Autumnal Equinox 2006: Desolation Wilderness

Published: October 12th 2006
Edit Blog Post

Friday after work at 6pm, Brian called and asked if I wanted to go Backpacking. I asked what time we were leaving- to which he replied "meet me at my house tomorrow morning at 6am!" Thats how it was for all 6 of us who went, a last minute trip to Desolation Wilderness that turned out to be a really nice way to spend the Fall Equinox. Desolation Wilderness outlines the giant granite peaks and lakes that sit at the southwest corner of the Lake Tahoe high country. Here is the last holdout of the Sierra Nevada, where a shimmering granite landscape sculpted by Glaciers gives way to crystal clear lakes surrounded by ancient endemic California trees. The hike was a bit too long for my tastes- 7.5 miles and 1500 feet uphill, one way! We could have taken the ferry across Echo Lake, but unfortunately it had stopped running this season. I suppose the hike was pleasant enough: huge juniper trees hugged the south facing, dry granite slopes while the lake sparkled blue from the sun. It was quite beautiful, and Ropi Lake itself seemed much higher than the 7500 feet elevation it sits at. I could tell all the trees were very old, the thick trunked dwarf junipers are trees that grow where it is sunny and dry, something the south facing lake basin had going for it. Pyramid Peak loomed above us, permanant snow patches letting us know winter isnt that far away. All in all, it was a quick overnight backpack that delivered on scenery and fun. We even spent 27 hours in the wilderness- satisfying my personal belief that one should spend at least 24 hours in any wilderness, minimum! Sorry there aren't more people pictures here, with all that hiking I wasn't really in a people picture kind of mood! :D

Stephen Hayden Photography

Additional photos below
Photos: 34, Displayed: 23


"Two Ancient Specimens""Two Ancient Specimens"
"Two Ancient Specimens"

A Self Portrait at Sunrise
Glacial PolishGlacial Polish
Glacial Polish

The rock is as smooth as glass, polished most recently by the Pleistocene glacier that covered the high country of the Sierra Nevada 15,000 years ago.

13th October 2006

Desolation Wilderness rocks!
Great blog, amazing photos. Kudos to giving the well deserved highlight on this wilderness area! :) C'mon 7 1/2 miles is NOT that long, especially if you're treated with AMAZING views like you saw :)
13th October 2006

Yes it is....
It is too a long way! Especially for just a n overnight trip when my pack is heavy with beer, pasta and sausages. Hey, even Karen who was on the trip said it was too long- and she is training for a marathon that's 2 months away!
16th October 2006

Great Pics
Hi Stephen Paul, I agree, the more photos the better, and yours are amazing!!!
3rd November 2006

Hey Stephen, your pic's rock! Fantastic views, love your images!! Keep them coming! Am a little jealous, think I should move to the states for a bit:-) Cheers, Christina
4th January 2007

Awesum pics!!
Wonderful pictures... it almost felt like i was there.. i am going to this place as soon as i get a chance!! thanks for such attracting pics.. BTW what camera do u have ;-)
5th January 2007

many thanks!
For this trip, I used a small point and shoot- the Canon Powershot A95. Good pictures are all about timing, use of light and composition- not the camera. The hike to Ropi Lake can be made substantially shorter by taking the Echo Lake ferry, which only runs in the summer.
19th January 2011
Ancient dwarf Juniper tree

beautiful picture!

Tot: 0.045s; Tpl: 0.021s; cc: 9; qc: 25; dbt: 0.0074s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.2mb