Desolation Wilderness: Glen Alpine





(One Way)



Grass Lake




2 miles



Susie Lake




4 miles



Heather Lake




5 miles



Lake Aloha


difficult, technical


6 miles


33, 15, 22

Half Moon Lake




5.5 miles



Alta Morris Lake


difficult, technical


5.5 miles



Gilmore Lake




3.9 miles



Dicks Pass


difficult, technical


5.4 miles



Mt. Tallac


difficult, technical


5.7 miles




Directions to the trailhead


Take Highway 89 north approximately 3 miles from South Lake Tahoe to Fallen Leaf Lake Road. Watch for bicyclists and other cars on this narrow, one-lane road. Continue until you see the Glen Alpine trailhead sign and turn left. Trailhead parking is across from Lily Lake.



Many different hikes can be taken from this trailhead. For a short walk, take the southern spur 3 miles to Grass Lake or stretch the hike to 6 miles all the way to Lake Aloha. This spur leads you past a small waterfall, a beautiful meadow and three alpine lakes. Another moderate spur takes you to Half Moon or Alta Morris Lakes.  A third spur takes you to Gilmore Lake and then on to Dicks Pass. Or, at Gilmore Lake, you can head up Mt. Tallac.  The Glen Alpine Trailhead offers a more moderate approach to the strenuous hike up Mt. Tallac, Lake Tahoe's signature peak.

Attractions and Considerations


A wilderness permit is required. Day hikers, pick up your permit at the self serve area at the trailhead. Overnight hikers will need an overnight permit for Desolation Wilderness. This permit must be purchased before you get to the Glen Alpine Trailhead.

Useful Map Information


U.S. Forest Service map: Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit:
R.17 E.   T. 12 N. 


Trail Difficulty Ratings

Each trail in our guide is rated for difficulty.  These ratings are generally based on trail condition, steepness of grades, gain and loss of elevation, technical aspects, and the amount and kinds of natural barriers that must be traversed.  Here's what these ratings mean:

easy  Easy: Trail requiring limited skill with little challenge to travel.

moderate  Moderate: Trail requiring some skill & challenge to travel.

difficult/technical  Difficult, technical: Trail requiring high degree of skill & challenge to travel.!ut/p/z0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIjo8zijQwgwNHCwN_DI8zPyBcqYKBfkO2oCABZcx5g/?position=Not%20Yet%20Determined.Html&pname=Lake%20Tahoe%20Basin%20Mgt%20Unit%20%20-%20Desolation%20Wilderness&ss=110519&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&pnavid=&navid=110000000000000&ttype=detail&cid=stelprdb5162353