Velma Lake

Location: Northwestern California
Trip Starts: Eagle Falls
Trip Ends: Eagle Falls
Total Distance: 12.8 miles
Hike Type: Roundtrip, Loop Hike
Hike Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Trails Used: Pacific Crest Trail, Eagle Falls Trail, Bayview Trail
Trail Traffic: Moderate to Heavy
Trip Type: Day or Overnight Hike
More Information:

El Dorado National Forest
National Forest Service
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
P.O. Box 8465, South Lake Tahoe, CA 95731
(916) 544-6420


The Eldorado National Forest is located in the central Sierra Nevada. Portions of Alpine, Amador, El Dorado, and Placer counties lie within the Forest Boundary. The forest is bordered on the north by the Tahoe National Forest, on the east by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, on the southeast by the Humboldt-Toiyabe, and to the south by the Stanislaus National Forest. Eldorado ranges in elevation from 1,000 feet in the foothills to more than 10,000 feet above sea level along the Sierra crest. The mountainous topography is broken by the steep canyons of the Mokelumne, Cosumnes, American, and Rubicon rivers. Plateaus of generally moderate relief are located between these steep canyons. The Eldorado National Forest has a network of trails totaling 349 miles. I hiked it with The Ox during a cross-country road-trip in 1998 and we decided to explore the Desolation Wilderness which is a section near Lake Tahoe. Although we passed a number of day hikers and backpackers during the trip, we had Velma Lake all to ourselves during our visit.

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