El Dorado National Forest Pacific Ranger Station 7887 Highway 50, Pollock Pines, CA 95726
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service
Or better yet click here for the Desolation Wilderness information provided by the El Dorado National Forest: recorded message: (530) 644-6048; National Forest Recreation Reservations: 1-877-444-6777; Tahoe Rim Trail information: (775) 298-0012
Desolation Wilderness, located west of Lake Tahoe in El Dorado County, may be considered small for a wilderness area at nearly 64,000 acres, but it compensates with dramatic scenery ranging from starkly beautiful granite to cerulean blue alpine lakes. Visitor permits are required year-round for both overnight and day hikes. Its many glacially formed lakes and streams make it one of the most scenic stretches of the Pacific Crest Trail and Tahoe Rim Trail.
Tahoe Rim Trail
Come hike, bike, and horseback ride on the spectacular Tahoe Rim Trail as it follows the ridges and mountain tops that circle Lake Tahoe. Winding for 150 miles through national forest, wilderness, and state park lands, the trail crosses thick conifer forests and wildflower-filled meadows, meanders alongside aspen-bordered creeks, and skirts the shores of crystalline lakes. Along the route, dense woods part to reveal tantalizing glimpses of sparkling water framed between the branches of ancient firs. Limitless vistas sweep around the horizon from atop high granite peaks. The TRT was built to accommodate hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians, and to showcase breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe, California’s High Sierra, and the Great Basin of western Nevada.
Dave Moore Nature Area
Located approximately two miles west of the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park at at Coloma on Highway 49 in El Dorado County, California, along the scenic and popular South Fork American River, the Dave Moore Nature Area features a loop trail about a mile long which goes from the parking lot trail head to the South Fork American River and back again, passing through several habitat types. Nestled in the heart of Gold Rush Country, the trail is lined with remnants from nearly 150 years ago when Chinese laborers channeled creek water by hand with pick and shovel for gold mining. Tailing piles from the Gold Rush period blanket the area which lend to the characteristic landscape that makes this area so unique. About half of the trail is fully accessible to wheelchairs, walkers and strollers.
The newest trail system to El Dorado County will eventually extend from the western county line to the Lake Tahoe Basin. Currently you can access the trail from the western end of the County through Placerville into Camino. Most of the El Dorado Trail is unimproved and remains with the rails left abandoned. Over twenty-three miles of this natural trail weave through the foothills, all open for nature walks, horseback riding, or mountain biking.