Today I’m featuring this superb night photograph from Desolation Wilderness taken by Angel Moreno from Anywhere at Home Blog.
Although he moved to a different country at the age of nineteen.
It wasn’t until the last year when he started documenting his adventure experiences along with his girlfriend on their blog!
Photo Story: Desolation Wilderness
We’ve been exploring California for the past two years and hadn’t yet made it to Lake Tahoe.
Desolation Wilderness is south-west of Lake Tahoe and is the most-used wilderness area per acre in the United States.
It’s a great destination for backpackers and for weekend adventures. Although most popular during the summer season, there is just as much beauty during the winter and early spring.
To prepare, we made reservations, looked at the weather, and traced our route. During the week leading up, a snowstorm hit Tahoe, and Desolation Wilderness was blanketed with snow.
We packed warmer clothes and included a snow shovel and our best sleeping bags. After a drive from Mountain View. We were ready to adventure out into the Wilderness.
The car was left at Inspiration Point, overlooking Emerald Bay. We strapped on our packs and started our trip via the Bayview Trailhead.
The trail steepened quickly, leading to heavy breathing and little conversation as we ascended Maggie’s Peak. There, the ground disappeared under the snow, and our steps were cautious, following the footsteps and snowshoe tracks of adventurers before us.
We hiked for hours through an alpine forest, enjoying the white powder and pines of the mountains.
A couple of backpackers passed us, they had come from Dick’s Peak, our intended destination for the following day.
We knew we were going in the right direction, and so we trod on through the snow.
Around six o’clock, it was time to stop. The night was just around the corner. It was then we decided to start looking for a place to set up camp. It’s never fun to try to set up camp with no sunlight and frozen fingers.
We melted snow to cook our meals and prepared hot chocolate. They were basic dehydrated backpacker meals.
It wasn’t high cuisine you can get at a five-star restaurant, but to us, it tasted like the best five-star meal.
We earned that meal with each step we took through the snow. It tasted, for the lack of a better word, delicious. With warm bellies and tired bodies, we were ready to be done with the day.
Before heading to bed, we wanted to be safe from bears, mountain lions, and any other creature out there looking for a meal.
It’s not enough to cook your meals 100 feet away from your campsite, but you also have to think about where to store your food and trash.
There was a tree with the perfect branch to hang our trash and our food for the days ahead, along with anything that smells. We set up camp off the trail near an embankment of snow.
Tahoe was visible in the distance, peeking out through a set of peaks. Right when I was about to head to bed, I grabbed my camera. I had to share the magic of the night and the soft blanket of snow.
There is nothing better than sleeping outside, even in the brisk cold. Curled up in our sleeping bags, we breathed in the cold air and felt refreshed.
The next morning, there were mountain lion tracks twenty feet away from our tent. We had a visitor in the night, who was kind enough to not disturb our slumber.
With breakfast in our bellies and our packs on our back, we were ready to head deeper into the Desolation Wilderness.
The Desolation Wilderness is a 258.8 km2 federally protected wilderness area in the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, in El Dorado County, California.
The crest of the Sierra Nevada runs through it, just west of Lake Tahoe.
Desolation is a popular backpacking destination, with much barren rocky terrain at the edge of the tree line. It has extensive areas of bare granite rock formations.
The Tahoe Rim Trail and Pacific Crest Trail pass through the wilderness. A list of other trailheads that provide access to the wilderness follows.
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