Hiking Maggie’s Peak, Azure Lake and looping down Cascade Creek in Desolation Wilderness

This turned out to be difficult.

The trail up toward Azure Lake from Bayview Campground is steep. The vast majority of people leave the trailhead going towards Cascade Falls. On Sunday we did the climb and spent a few minutes on the summit of Maggie’s Peak. There’s still a lot of snow at the higher elevations of Desolation Wilderness.

After returning to trail from the summit, we saw the side trail to Azure Lake and we wrongly decided that it wasn’t what we were looking for. By the time we reached the Eagle Lake trail, we’d gone too far. I really don’t recommend just cutting over from there to Azure Lake. But that’s what we did and it kicked off our afternoon of difficult cross country travel.

The view from Maggie's Peak towards the west. Snow Lake and Azure Lake, peaks of Desolation Wilderness and the route we took lay below. Lake Tahoe is behind my back.

The view from Maggie’s Peak towards the west. Snow Lake and Azure Lake, peaks of Desolation Wilderness and the route we took lay below. Lake Tahoe is behind my back.

My legs are scratched, abraded and they still sting. That’s what it was like. Very steep, thick brush. Steep granite and cliffs. Steep water courses. I doubt that we took the best route at all times but that’s just sort of how these things go. You push through. When trail appeared, it disappeared quickly and was of pretty scarce quality.

All in all it was a fantastic hike. And arduous.

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