TR Fontanillis Lake + Dicks Peak 8/31-9/2

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TR Fontanillis Lake + Dicks Peak 8/31-9/2

Post by nightowl » Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:22 pm

Got a walk in permit for two nights in the Dicks/Fontanillis Lakes region over Labor Day Weekend. Only my second trip to Desolation, but after this trip I think I'll be back for more.

We were recommended to go in Bayview over Eagle Lake because it was less steep, but the trail is still surprisingly steep nonetheless - 1.5k in the first two miles.
We already spotted several tents on the northern shore of Dicks, so we pushed on to Fontanillis and found a spot on the ridge above the lake with great views of Dicks Peak in the distance. In total the first day we hiked 5.1 miles.
The next day we decided to summit Dicks Peak and backtracked towards Dicks Lake.
Dicks Lake definitely seemed like there were more backpackers & dayhikers enjoying the shore and surrounding mountain views. We crossed the outlet and decided to head up towards a lower section of the ridge to the right of Dicks Peak.
Had a blast finding gorgeous, unnamed lakes that were fed by snow melt. Finding our way up wasn't terribly difficult, but we did find ourselves on one section hiking on some pretty loose rock. Once we made it to the ridge the traverse to the peak was pretty mild and easy going.
I spotted so many lakes from the peak, and it was really cool seeing Mt. Price/Mt. Agassiz/Pyramid across the Aloha Lake basin. We even saw a rock wind wall around the perfect camp site at the top for those lucky 4 that have a permit for Dicks Peak.
We thought about continuing on the ridge line to descend down towards the southern end of Dicks Lake, but after seeing a faint trail zig zagging down the face of the mountain, we decided to take the more direct route. It was actually quite fun, and we ended up at the base of the mountain in only 15 minutes.

Round trip our day hike up to Dicks Peak was only 4 miles.

Day 3 we continued along Fontanillis Lake, and instead of following the trail up on a ridge, we followed the Fontanillis Lake outlet stream down some slabs towards Upper Velma. The stream cascaded down making a waterfall, and the Velmas looked absolutely idyllic from up here.
We saw lots of people at Velma, so we didn't stay long and headed back on the loop towards our car.

All in all, a great second trip to Desolation. After seeing all those lakes from the top of Dicks Peak, I now know where my next couple of trips here will be! More photos and maps here:
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Re: TR Fontanillis Lake + Dicks Peak 8/31-9/2

Post by windknot » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:48 pm

Nice shots and thanks for the report! Sounds like a great trip.
You can read a few backcountry reports here:

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