I choose to highlight this section because of its easy access and magnificent views of the Tahoe area, a place I have never been but like many of you have heard a lot about. My plan shows us starting the beginning of this section with a resupply at Echo Lake Resort on June 26th, a perfect place and time for you to meet me as transportation there would be easy, we then will hike 3 days to the end of this section and then another 2 days to reach the end of Section L and resupply in Sierra city, but that dosen’t mean you have to hike the whole way between resupply points. Like the guide book says this section of The PCT is very popular and finding transportation along any point to and from the trail should be relatively easy.
From The Guide Book
Of all the roadless areas in California , compact Desolation Wilderness probably ranks number one in popularity – at least, it has a greater density of hikers per square mile than any other roadless area. The reason for its popularity is simple: it is a beautiful area and it is incredibly easy to reach, lying north of busy highway 50 and just west above sprawling, urban south Lake Tahoe. It also competes for the number one spot in density of mountain lakes. From Echo Lake north to Middle Velma Lake you’re never more than a few minutes away from a lakeshore or lake view. The glaciers that scoured out these lake basins, lasting until about 13,000 years ago, also removed the pre-existing soils and loose rocks. Hence in some areas, particularly Desolation Valley, the landscape has a pronounced lack of trees – whence the name Desolation. Desolation Valley has been made even more desolate by large lake Aloha, a Sacromento city reservoir, which floods it. A stand of lodgepoles once greened the south end of this flat-floored valley, but today you’ll see only gray snags rising out of the shallow lake, a stark compliment to the valley’s gray granite walls.
North of Middle Velma Lake, you’ll hike a few miles through viewless forest on a wandering, non-crest trail that certainly deserves replacement by high-standards crest route. Better tread appears before you leave Desolation Wilderness, and not far north of it you reach Richardson Lake, which offers lakeshore camping and a nice swim. Onward, you enter Granite Chief Wilderness and can make a short diversion to the popular Five Lake basin or, a few miles further, make a 20 minute diversion to the lightly used Neddle Lake. Beyond, you climb to a saddle, and if you are not too exhausted, you can climb to nearby Granite Chief for panoramic views of the Tahoe area. After a considerable drop, you climb up to the base of Tinker Knob, which also offers a 360 degree panorama of the Tahoe area. Good crest views continue as the northbound PCT stays on or close to the volcanic, windswept crest for about five miles, then another group of views – of the Donner Pass area – urge the hiker onward for a 2 mile drop to old highway 40. You conclude the section with a 2 hour, rambling hike over to bustling Interstate 80, one of the nations busiest arteries.