After such a long ride on Saturday, a leisurely hike in Desolation Wilderness was the call, and the trail to Aloha Lake from the Lily Lake/Glen Alpine trailhead by Fallen Leaf Lake provided the perfect combination of lakes, moderate climbing and scenery.
We didn’t bring the camera, thinking that the wildflowers wouldn’t be out if full force after such a dry year, but we were wrong. Terribly wrong. My cellphone doesn’t do the colors justice at all. The best flowers we saw were between Heather Lake and Aloha Lake, along the stream that’s usually still flowing at this time of year. I guess that’s one benefit of a drought year?
It’s about 6 miles to Aloha Lake, passing Susie and Heather lakes en route. It was unusually windless on the trail up, which meant that swimming in Aloha didn’t require braving headwinds and choppy waves. We arrived early enough to have the lake to ourselves, and the dog and I splashed around on the north-eastern shore while N delicately got his feet wet.
This being our ‘taper’ day, we did not continue on to Clyde Lake, another favorite, as that would require another 2 miles up and over Mosquito Pass. So we descended, still wet from the swim, as the sun rose higher and hotter. While we saw a few poor souls who started late struggling on the climb in the heat of the day, it was not as busy as we’ve come to expect mid-summer. All told, a great hike, topped off with finding our car parked in the shade.