Desolation Wilderness Area is one of the most crowed hiking areas in the Sierra Nevada. It is so crowed that a pass is required for day hiking. Given the scenic beauty of the east shore of Lake Tahoe, the crowds are understandable. The combination of the Sierra Nevada, and Lake Tahoe makes the struggle with parking and the crowds worth the effort. Start early and make the effort to hike into the interior of the wilderness, and you will forget the crowds.