Monday, June 25, 2012

Desolation Wilderness Photography

A fun family and photo adventure into Tahoe's incredible Desolation Wilderness.

"Tree at Lake Aloha 2" - This tree was photographed at
Lake Aloha in the Tahoe Desolation Wilderness.
Last week, I made a last minute decision to join some good friends on a 4 day and 3 night backpacking trip in Tahoe's Desolation Wilderness. We decided to go from Echo Lakes to Emerald Bay via the Pacific Crest Trail and other trails. My 11 year old son went with us so I had a lot to pack. With my backpack weighing in at over 50 pounds, I actually considered not brining my camera to spare my back. Boy am I glad I decided to ditch some of the trail mix and bring the Canon 5D MarkII.

My son Kane and I backpacking Tahoe's Desolation Wilderness.

I only brought the one body, a 24-105L lens, and a 580 flash. I don't have a carbon fiber tripod so I decided not to bring my heavy one. Although I missed having the tripod, I still pulled off some nice photos. Many of the photos that I shot were during quick stops along the trail so I wouldn't have really had time to set up a tripod anyway. For carrying my gear, I was able to remove the shoulder strap on my trusty old LowePro Topload Zoom AW camera bag and attach it to my backpack shoulder straps with 2 caribiners. It worked out very well for accessing the camera quickly without having to remove the backpack. 

If you ever get the chance to visit the Tahoe Desolation Wilderness, I highly recommend toughing out the extra weight of a good camera. There are an incredible amount of lakes to shoot in the Desolation Wilderness backcountry, I saw Echo Lakes, Lake Aloha, Heather Lake, Susie Lake, Half Moon Lake, Dicks Lake, and Eagle Lake.  You'll also find incredible granite formations and mountains, beautiful trees and wildflowers, wildlife, and more.  Here's some of the images I was able to get: 

Echo Lakes, at the start of our journey.  We "cheated" and took the water taxi across the lake so we could make it to Lake Aloha before dark.

Lake Aloha at Sunset, the first lake we spent the night at. In my opinion, this was the most photogenic of  all of the beautiful lakes. I want to go back for more photos here...

Heather Lake, a spot along our trip that we cooled off in with a quick swim. 

Gilmore Lake, the second lake we spent the night at.   The mosquito swarms here were probably the worst I had ever seen. 

Dicks Lake, we were going to stay here for the night but decided to continue on to Eagle Lake.

Desolation Wilderness vista view, an incredible spot where we were able to see much of the area we had traveld through.   A sliver view of Lake Aloha can be seen in the top center. 

Eagle Lake, the last lake we spent the night at. It was a short hike out to Emerald Bay in the morning.  We saw plenty of day hikers here as it is not too far of a hike from the road.

Below is a slideshow of even more Desolation Wilderness photos with some fun family snapshots mixed in. Get out there and enjoy it for yourself! (More info on visiting Desolation Wilderness HERE.)

-Scott Thompson

Most of the Desolation Wilderness images above (the ones without people) are available as large fine art prints, gift items, and to license, download, and use as stock photography. Click on an individual image for more information. 

A BIG THANK YOU to Todd Bromley of Class V Electric and the Bromley family for getting us out there!