Echo Lakes to Lake Aloha

 2 votes
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Featured Hike
Trail

12.8 Miles 20.6 Kilometers


100%

Singletrack

1,656' 505 m

Ascent

-1,657' -505 m

Descent

8,346' 2,544 m

High

7,415' 2,260 m

Low

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

18%

Max Grade (10°)

Minor Issues

22 days agoUpdate

Lakes, peaks, and lots of people can all be found on this section of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Nick Wilder

Overview

A beautiful hike around both the Echo Lakes lead to the heart of the Desolation Wilderness and Lake Aloha. This is one of the more popular trails in the area, so expect to share it! Consider taking the water taxi (in season roughly July through Labor Day weekend) to make this journey shorter and easier.
Features: Lake — Views — Wildflowers
Family Friendly: If you take the water taxi, you add fun, decrease the distance by 5 miles, and focus your energy on the prettiest section of wilderness.

Need To Know

You can take a water taxi across both Echo Lakes and save about 5 miles of your hike. It's fun and very scenic as well. Taking the taxi makes this much shorter and easier. More Taxi Information

Description

If you're not taking the taxi, head up the hill to the PCT and start your journey following the banks of Lower Echo Lake. The trail is pretty open and can be quite hot here, and Echo Lake is lightly developed with vacation homes, but after about 2 miles you hit the wilderness boundary and the setting gets a bit more serene.

Pass a wildflower-filled meadow at 4.5 miles and continue past several junctions until you reach Lake Aloha. Enjoy the lake, perhaps a swim and a picnic, and then take a left at Lake of the Woods Trail.

Skirt around the lake, enjoy the views, then take a left on the PCT to Lake Aloha Trail (17E39). This will quickly get you back to the PCT and your return hike back to Echo Lakes.

There are a smattering of camping areas dotted along the way if you'd like to extend your journey.

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4.0 from 2 votes


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Check-Ins

Nov 3, 2016
Justin Lau
Aug 21, 2016
Daiana Segura
Took a different trail back which led to a longer hike. Pretty steep most of the way and rocky but well worth. Beautiful views all the way. 15mi — 10h 12m
Jul 13, 2016
MaryGrace Meyerdirk
3h 30m

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#1

in Lake Tahoe

#1237

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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#1

in Lake Tahoe

#181

in California

#1,237

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11 Views Last Month
63 Since Aug 9, 2016
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Conditions


Minor Issues 22 days ago
Muddy, Snowy, Icy, Fallen Trees - Very wet trail. Like walking in a river.
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