LOGIN     Get our Monthly Newsletter 
Photo Gallery Blog Donate
Wilderness Volunteers

Rubicon Reservoir, Desolation Wilderness, El Dorado National Forest, CA (Sep 8th - Sep 14th 2019)

  • Description
  • Details
  • Map

John Muir referred to the Sierra Nevada as "the most beautiful of all the mountain chains" or, more poetically, "the range of light." The Desolation Wilderness, located southwest of Lake Tahoe, above Emerald Bay contains 63,960 acres of subalpine and alpine forest, bald granite peaks, dramatic cliffs, and glacially-formed valleys and more than 100 lakes. The Desolation Wilderness takes its name from the barren, rocky basins and gnarly old-growth conifers that characterize its heights. Many visitors comment that the name is entirely inappropriate for an area with such a rich diversity of scenery, topography and natural beauty.

This service project will be held in the northern end of the wilderness area and will be accessed by an 8.3-mile hike starting at Loon Lake. The trail follows the shore of Loon Lake and also the nearby Rubicon Jeep Trail. Once inside of the wilderness we will set up camp at Rubicon Reservoir. This large lake with scenic views is a great place for groups to camp. The work on the service project will comprise of clearing trees from the trail with crosscut saws, general trail maintenance techniques, rock step and water bar construction, illegal campsite removal and restoration using a grip hoist, and campsite data collection for wilderness stewardship performance measures. Some campsites are too close to the lake, and our task is to remove those illegal camps and naturalize the area. We'll also maintain trails in the area by improving trail tread on nearby trails, and improving stream crossings. The project will require doing a fair bit of rock work. The Forest Service will provide pack animals to carry tools, group food, and kitchen supplies to our base camp. You will get the opportunity to work closely with Wilderness Rangers and Desolation Wilderness Volunteers on this exciting project.

This project is rated as a challenging project.

Check out more photos from previous years Desolation project in our gallery.


Sep 8th - Sep 14th 2019

Service Project

Trail clearing/maintenance, rock step/water bar construction, illegal campsite removal & area natura

Agency logo

Free Days

Dayhiking, swimming, photography


Backpack camping

Project Difficulty

Challenging : 8.3-mile backpack @ ~6500' with moderate gains/loss. Digging, bending, moving rock & soil. Pack anim


Aidalicia Swertfeger
Max Gordon

Equipment List