Desolation Wilderness is America's most popular wilderness, with more user per square mile than any other wilderness area in America. The July 4th weekend is probably one of the busiest weekends in the Desolation Wilderness. By the end of the day we had seen more people than on all the other sections of our hike combined.
We passed several more beautiful lakes before climbing up to Dick's Pass (9,380 ft). From the pass we could see back to the white granite peaks near Lake Aloha, and the reddish tan volcanic hills and peaks that surrounded Lake Susie and some of the other lakes in the basin.
The pass still held a large snowfield, and I stopped to scoop up a large handful. "Is the snow good?" asked Sierra hopefully, wanting to make another slushy. "Sure!" I replied, hurling the snowball. Moments layer I felt a cool, wet explosion on the back of my neck, and rivulets of water from Sierra's snowball trickled down my back.
We descended past several lakes, dropping into a dark, shaded forest. Crossing several dry, seasonal streambeds, I began to worry about water. The seasonal Phipps Creek was a mere trickle, but I was able to scoop enough water from it before hiking on to escape the swarms of mosquitoes there.
Climbing up to the ridge we found a camp overlooking Lake Tahoe. Although we hoped gentle breezes across the ridge would keep the mosquitoes at bay, the night was calm and the mosquitoes were plentiful. We ate wearing headnets, then escaped into the tent for the night.