Tree, Poison Flat, Carson Iceberg Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Your Backpacking Guide to the High Sierras Yellow Flower
Middle Velma Lake Rock Formations, Desolation Wilderness.
Rock Turtles basking in Middle Velma Lake

 

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Backpacking
Middle Velma Lake

Hiking the Pacific Crest,
TYT, & TRT
South
through the
Desolation Wilderness.
Lunchtime!

 

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North
TYT-PCT

PCT-TYT junction

South
TYT-PCT

South
of
Middle Velma Lake

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Map

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maps index

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PERMITS
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forest wilderness PERMITS

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Trail Work
on
PCT-TYT-TRT
North
of Middle Velma Lake

ARMORED TRAIL
Trail Feature: Wood Walk over Spring wet/creek spot

A section of Armor-Plated Trail necessary for the high Density of hikers in the Desolation Wilderness.

LTBMU trails has virtually built a bridge across this wet meadow section of trail.

 

Down
the
Final steps to Middle Velma Lake

Elevation
7920 feet

We have a small drop in elevation, a loss of 160 feet over the .82 miles hiking South from the Tahoe to Yosemite trail junction with the Pacific Crest Trail to Middle Velma Lake.

Meek Bay to Middle Velma Lake: 16.83 miles

Middle Velma Lake to Echo Lake Trailhead: 16.39 miles

Almost exactly halfway.

 

Phipps Pass to Heather Lake
15 minute topographic backpacking MAP
30 Min North
Desolation Wilderness MAP

Meeks Bay to Echo Summit
Backpacking Miles and Elevations

 

Middle Velma Lake
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Middle Velma Lake
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Our Next Climb
Dicks Pass

At Middle Velma Lake we are at the low point of our upcoming Southbound climb of 1470 feet over the 4.51 miles up to Dicks Pass' 9630 feet of elevation.

Dicks pass will be our second pass out of Meeks Bay.

But first we are going to have a nice long relaxing break and enjoy the beauty on display along and around the shores and across the waters of Middle Velma Lake.

 

30 Min North Desolation Trail Map

 


Middle Velma Lake
Trail Information

Desolation Wilderness

Meeks Bay
to
Middle Velma Lake

Middle Velma Lake

Elevation
7920 feet
-880' elevation decline from Phipps Pass

 

Mileage
3.44 miles South of Phipps Pass.
12.32 miles South of Meeks Bay trailhead.

We are between climbs.

 

Mileage
16.39 miles South to Echo Lake trail head.
18.39 South to Echo Summit.

Our next climb over Dicks Pass is our Last Substantial Climb before (small climb) and an extended descent to Echo Lakes.

 

miles and elevations

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Middle Velma Lake
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Middle Velma Lake
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Backpacking
to
Middle Velma Lake

Middle Velma inlets, future meadow
Looking across the seasonal pools emerging from the main body of Middle Velma Lake as water levels drop in Fall.
Middle Velma Pools
Late season low water forms beautiful pools along perimeter of Middle Velma Lake. Though grassy and moist, there were few mosquitoes during late September.

Some of the crystal blue lakes sitting in Desolation's granite basins divide into groups of beautiful pools as water levels recede through Summer into Fall.

Lake Aloha is the prime example of this seasonal transition.

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Gear Notes

Backpacker's Full cooked lunch at Middle Velma Lake My fully loaded Pack, or the Harness of Pain! (HOP)
Time for a hot lunch

My "HOPP," or the Harness Of Pain and Pleasure.

Notes on the Rig

This is my mobile Joad Wagon. You know, from the Grapes of Wrath. Note the socks drying, shoes hanging off, big second food bag strapped on, the tripod, and the snack bag with today's hiking lunches. It may not be pretty, but it works!

Regular Sock changes keep your feet, and your socks, fresh and dry. One pair is always bleaching in the Sun. The trip above carried food for 11 days, and the tripod along with a bunch of trail guide writer gear to make this website, making the pack inhumanly heavy.

The two huge external food bag are each holding five days of food, and a Garcia food canister is stashed in the bottom of the pack above the sleeping bag holding another 5 days of food.

This rig is tight and does not bounce about on the trail. This rig is secure, and does not fall apart when I wreck on the trail.

My sleeping pad is ready to be a seat pad, and the tripod is ready for deployment.

Camp Skills

View from Middle Velma Lake on the Pacific Crest and Tahoe to Yosemite Trails.

View from my lunch spot.

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Gear List

Planning Backpacking Trips

Five Day Food Supply

 

Time
for a
Hot Lunch!

A few paces off the trail where the trail comes closest to Middle Velma Lake there is a fine lunch/camping site that you will see sitting alongside one of Velma's beautiful pools.

These pools were created by the decline in lake level late in the season. Early in the thaw these pools will be submerged, then later they will be bays, and at the end of the Summer they become pools isolated from the main body of Middle Velma Lake by the receding water.

The shaded seating around these pools is very relaxing place to have a long break, cook up some food and coffee, rest and re hydrate.

My Daily Hiking Plan calls for two lunches. The first is big snacks, consisting of cheese & crackers and dried fruits and nuts.

The second lunch is the great feast. I pull out the stove and cook up a real meal to restore all the calories I've burned, and chill out the body for at least an hour.

I re hydrate and pump up the water to cover the miles to my next watering hole.

 

Gear Notes

I've got to pull out the necessary gear and food for lunch.

My sleeping pad is first placed by a fine natural rock backrest, to make a very comfortable field chair with a commanding view of the scenery. This will be the center of my gear and food layout: everything will be within reach of this seat.

I fill up my water jug, and pull my external food bag off the pack, pictured above. This contains all the snacks and food I will consume on the trail that day, as well as holding a few day's food supply. I carried an 11 day food supply on this trip.

I pour enough water into my pan to heat for coffee and soup, then set up the water filter in the jug, also within reach, to pump fresh water as necessary.

Notice that I do not filter water at the lake, but use the light plastic jug to bring a load of unfiltered water to my site.

I don't filter water that I am going to boil in camp, which is at least half the water I use. It's a complete waste of time and energy to filter all the water we bring to camp.

The stove comes out, the water goes on, and I sit down with everything I need within reach for a relaxing lunch.

North: Pacific Crest Trail /Tahoe Yosemite trail jnct                                 South: South of Middle Velma

The Tahoe to Yosemite Trail
at
Middle Velma Lake

The Pacific Crest Trail backpacker passes directly by a series of pools off of Middle Velma Lake formed by the low level of the Velmas late in the season.

The Middle Velma Lake offers a nice place to drink a whole bunch of water, refill my water bottle, make a pack of Ramen Noodles, and have a nice cup of hot chocolate and coffee before continuing down the trail towards Fontanillis Lake, where I was thinking about spending my second night.

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Topo Hiking Map
North

Meeks Bay to Dicks Pass

 

Topo Hiking Map
North

Lake Genevieve to Phipps Pass

Topo Hiking Map South
Phipps Pass to Susie Lake

Miles and Elevations

Next page South
South of Middle Velma

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Backpacking
TYT-PCT
TRT
North

Trail Guide

Pacific Crest Trail-Tahoe Yosemite Trail Junction

Compass and Map point the way down the old trails.

Backpacking
TYT-PCT
TRT
South

Trail Guide

South
of
Middle Velma

 

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Middle Velma Lake

Add your, comments, trips, and pictures about Middle Velma Lake, and your hiking experiences in this area to expand our knowledge of this beautiful location.
Section
Meeks Bay to Echo Summit
Segment
Middle Velma Lake

North: Pacific Crest Trail /Tahoe Yosemite trail jnct                                South: South of Middle Velma

Trailhead

Contact
Alex Wierbinski

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Backpacking Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney

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