The Granite Chief Wilderness encompasses glacier carved valleys, red fir forests, granite formations, and pristine mountain meadows.
Bayview Campground, located near Emerald Bay, serves as a trailhead for Desolation Wilderness. This popular trailhead is the starting point for a relatively easy hike out to Cascade Falls, or for longer treks into Desolation Wilderness above Emerald Bay.
Corral and seasonal watering facilities for horses are available here. Water for the watering facilities is taken from the creek which usually runs dry by the latter part of July, August and September. You should make arrangements to provide your own water during these months.
Summers are typically warm and dry, though nighttime temperatures can be cold and afternoon thundershowers often build over the mountains. Snow is possible during any month of the year. Be prepared for changeable weather and bring clothing that will keep you warm and dry.
A Wilderness Permit is required to enter Desolation Wilderness. Day hikers may pick up a day-use permit at the self serve area at the trailhead. Overnight hikers must obtain an overnight permit before arriving at the trailhead.
Getting Here: Take Hwy 89 north from South Lake Tahoe approximately 8 miles to the Bayview Campground located across from Inspiration Point. Parking is available at the far end of the campground, but it fills up quickly, especially on weekends. Parking is also available along Hwy 89.