Desolation Wilderness Lake Tahoe

We took a quick break from a busy summer of wedding photography to visit Lake Aloha in the Desolation Wilderness area in South Lake Tahoe for a quick landscape photography trip.

After grabbing our permit online, we parked at Lily lake and headed up from the Glen Alpine trail head. Our first day in to Aloha Lake went fine, lots of water still and a surprising amount of snow for mid July, but we got to the lake and found a great site halfway around the north end and set up camp. After eating we scouted around for sunset and sunrise landscape compositions, and of course, for some night time astro-photography spots. Those are always harder to find at night!

For this trip, given that the moon was waning and only about 25%. I brought only my Nikon D810 and my 24mm f/1.4 lens which was a godsend during the night shots. The night shots were all at f2 at about 20 seconds at ISO 2000. This lens allowed me to capture some of the cleanest and most noise free images I have ever got at night with my D810. After leaving Aloha Lake, we headed on to Honeymoon lake just below Dicks Pass. This was on a 2 mile side trail, so we figured there wouldn’t be many people here and we were mostly right. A couple of hikers showed up much later in the day as we where swimming in all the amazing lakes clustered nearby. Unfortunately the Detwiler fire in Mariposa blew up overnight and we awoke to a windy day full of hazy smoke. Rather than battle the smoke for another night, we decided to cut our trip short and head out, a good decision as it turns out since the smoke settled over Lake Tahoe heavy for the next 4 days.

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woman sits in icy lake

Taking an icy plunge into the partially frozen Lake Aloha in the Desolation Wilderness

photograph of frozen lake aloha

Ice over Lake Aloha in the Desolation wilderness area in south lake tahoe.

photo of backpacker camp at lake

Backpacker at camp in the granite around Lake Aloha in the Desolation wilderness hike in south lake tahoe

woman in sleeping bag in mountains

Monique curled up for sunset in her sleeping bag at our camp at Lake Aloha in the Desolation Wilderness.

milky way and cuved tree

The Milky Way over a curled whitebark pine tree at Lake Aloha in the Desolation Wilderness.

snowy mountains and milky way stars

Moon rise and the Milky Way in this landscape photograph of Pyramid Peak behind Lake Aloha in the Desolation Wilderness.

stars and snowy mountain landscape

Moon rise and the Milky Way in this landscape photograph of Pyramid Peak behind Lake Aloha in the Desolation Wilderness.

Pink sunrise on snowy mountain

Sunrise on Pyramid Peak behind Lake Aloha in the Desolation wilderness area in south lake tahoe.

sunrise on snowy mountains with lake and tree

Sunrise on Pyramid Peak behind Lake Aloha in the Desolation wilderness area in south lake tahoe.

woman does yoga by mountain lake

Monique does her Yoga on the granite slabs of Lake Aloha in the Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe.

The corn lily fields were nearly chest high at Honeymoon Lake

Smokey sunrise at Honeymoon Lake

woman sips coffe at sunrise at high alpine lake

Monique sips her morning coffee during a smokey sunrise at Honeymoon Lake in the Desolation Wilderness.

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Fine Art Landscape Photography

Lake Tahoe Landscape Photographer

Scott Sady is a freelance and fine art landscape photographer based in Lake Tahoe and Reno. Scott specializes in Lake Tahoe landscape photography, Sierra landscape photography, Reno and Lake Tahoe stock images and freelance and photojournalism. Scott is available for freelance photography assignments in the Reno and Lake Tahoe area.