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Desolation Wilderness (Aloha Zone) Campsites

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Desolation Wilderness (Aloha Zone) Campsites

Postby valeofoakland » Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:24 am

Where's the best place to camp in the Aloha Zone (33) in Desolation Wilderness? I've read that the south and west sides of Aloha have the best sites, but they be out of our zone for the first night. Any recommendations for Zone 33? Heather Lake? Margery or Lucille? It's a relatively large party (5), so we'll space for a couple of tents if needed. Or a couple of sites in close proximity.

Thanks!



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Re: Desolation Wilderness (Aloha Zone) Campsites

Postby SSSdave » Sun Jun 07, 2015 3:59 pm

You asked for Best without offering any personal preferences. Best for many from what I've seen is closer to worst for us. As someone that dislikes tenting near others especially usual "tent cities" so many backpacking groups ironically gravitate towards, I would instead look for some place well away from the lake edge and trail. We don't need a spot with usual immaculately smoothed and cleaned tent sites nor a bunch of rock and wood furniture. For us natural works and the less beat up a site looks the better. And like most on this board, we rarely make fires so being next to a wood supply is of no interest. Upon departure we try to leave such places as when we arrived.

Instead of asking for prospective campspots for a modest group of just 5 people at a huge body of water like Lake Aloha, why not just look at what the terrain looks like on Google Earth and then after arriving with boots on the ground, check them out and report back?

Only the half mile on the southeast side has any dense trees as the rest is barren glaciated granite bedrock with scattered trees I'd expect are mostly lodgepoles. Thus one can expect there are many campsites in those forest areas because it is the only sites with reasonable shade and supplies for campfire types. Granite sand flats where there are likely used places groups have camped at are rather obvious on GE versus rocky areas. I just took a look and in fact there are many. Look for little flats or areas with small groups of tress and then check them out after arrival. Heck mark them on your topo so you know where to look. Often people make tent spots up against or under the branches of trees in such places. Here is an obvious tenting flat up above Lake Le Conte.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=38.87093,-120.13981&z=20&t=H

A group of 3 of us have a permit for the Twin Lakes area on the other west side of the ridge for next weekend where with GE I readily found an excellent place to camp I doubt any dayhikers will happen by even though that zone is hounded by day hikers.

David
http://www.davidsenesac.com/Spring_2015 ... 015-1.html
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Re: Desolation Wilderness (Aloha Zone) Campsites

Postby kpeter » Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:17 pm

Every SSSDave said.

However, if you are looking to find the conventional campsites along Lake Aloha, follow the map and find the triangle formed by the PCT, the lakeshore trail, and the cutoff that connects the SE most part of the lakeshore trail with the PCT near Lake Margorie. All along the lake to the west of this triangle you will find campsites. I don't actually have a photograph of one of the campsites, but here is a shot of the lake from the general area:

IMGP3032.jpg


No great tent sites here, but you will find them tucked around in areas like this, and a few back in the woods.

IMGP3036.jpg
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Re: Desolation Wilderness (Aloha Zone) Campsites

Postby FeetFirst » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:49 am

valeofoakland wrote:Where's the best place to camp in the Aloha Zone (33) in Desolation Wilderness? I've read that the south and west sides of Aloha have the best sites, but they be out of our zone for the first night. Any recommendations for Zone 33? Heather Lake? Margery or Lucille? It's a relatively large party (5), so we'll space for a couple of tents if needed. Or a couple of sites in close proximity.

Thanks!


I think you're on the right track. The area around Heather and Le Conte is nicer than Margery and Lucille, which can be a bit boggy. My personal favorite in Zone 33 is Jabu Lake. You're more likely to be alone up there and the views of the Crystal Range across Aloha are great.

Jabu Lake:
Image

The view from Jabu:
Image
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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