October 12, 2017 · Desolation Wilderness
Check out the route in detail on AllTrails.
We left the city in a rented Zipcar around 10am and drove to the Lyons Creek Trailhead, which is located just before Wrights Lake in the South Lake Tahoe area. My dad flew down from Canada to join this Dece Scouts trip, so I picked a route that would include some off-trail exploring and possibly a summit.
We hit the trail around 2:30pm and hiked in for 5 miles to Lake Sylvia. It was a very gradual incline, which gained 1,400 feet over the course of the 5 miles. When we arrive at the lake we found a smoldering campfire with plastic bottles discarded in the ashes. The campfire was also located in a restoration area, so as you can imagine, we were pretty disappointed in whoever left it there. We pulled out our pots and doused the fire in water from the lake. With all the wildfires in the area, we couldn't understand how someone could just leave a smoking fire unattended.
We found a campsite just up from the lake and set up our tents as the sun was setting. The temperature dropped as fast as the sun set. Bundled in all our clothes, we ate dinner, sipped hot coco, and headed to bed.
The morning consisted of heating up water for tea, coffee, and oatmeal, then packing our day packs for our scramble up to the summits. We headed up the west side of the bowl, over scree and moss which progressively got steeper until leveling out just before the rocky boulder summit of Mt. Agassiz. The summit required one or two 5.5 climbing moves with little exposure. On the summit we enjoyed some crackers, cheese, and snacks while Ash made an entry in the logbook.
We climbed off the summit (which was a little trickier than going up), and headed along the ridge that connected Agassiz to Price. Mt. Price was a less significant peak, but provided us with an amazing view of Agassiz's wave like profile. We took another break on Price, wrote another logbook entry, and chatted about epic survival stories. The wind started to pick up so we decided to head down and complete the loop back to our campsite at Lake Sylvia.
Our route took us down a neighboring bowl to an incredibly beautiful Lyons Lake. We stopped at the lake for a rest, where Mike and Stani took a very brief ice-cold dip.
At this point we were back on a trail which returned us to our camp. We had an early dinner and were in our tents by 7:30.
Up at 6:30am. We tore down camp and cooked our oatmeal as quickly as we could, but it still took us around 2 hours before we were on the trail heading back to the car. We enjoyed the steady decline in elevation and fall colors as we soaked in as much "outdoors" as we could before returning to the city.