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Echo Lake, California

Looking for the best hiking in Echo Lake? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Echo Lake. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Hiking Spots in and near Echo Lake

  • Echo Lake, California

    Hike the Echo Lake Trail

    4.0
    5 mi / 688 ft gain
    The Echo Lakes Trail goes through California's Desolation Wilderness and features incredible views. This trail is rated as moderate, and is best for excited beginners or intermediate hikers. This hike takes roughly 3.5-4 hours. Dogs are allowed on trail if kept on leash. The trail is best used fr...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    Lake Aloha

    4.0
    12.34 mi / 1552 ft gain
    You'll start the hike at the Echo Lakes trailhead, just off of Highway 50 in Lake Tahoe. The trail meanders past Lower and Upper Echo Lakes, slowly gaining altitude as you pass a smattering of summer cabins. The climb is enough to make you feel it, but before you know it, it's over. Once cresti...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    Explore the Alpine Lakes of Desolation Wilderness

    5.0
    This incredible hike offers you the opportunity to visit the heart of desolation without climbing more than about 600 feet of elevation. Begin at the boat taxi at Lower Echo Lake. The taxi costs $12/person each way and is $5 each-way for your furry friend. The taxi leaves the dock at frequent int...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    Hike to Jabu Lake in Desolation Wilderness

    3.7
    Although this hike can be done as a day hike, there are incredible camping spots near the lake. The easiest way to start this hike is to start at the Echo Lakes. There is ample parking above the marina and you even have the option of taking a water taxi across the echo lakes to cut off around 2.5...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    Ski Ralston Peak

    5.0
    Ralston Peak is a classic south Lake Tahoe backcountry skiing and snowboarding area, and is excellent for hiking in the summer, too. Please note, however, that backcountry skiing and snowboarding is dangerous – make sure you know the conditions and have avalanche equipment.There are two main appr...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    "Waterfall Camp" in Desolation Wilderness

    4.7
    10.5 mi / 1522 ft gain
    Although this hike can be done as a day hike, it is an awesome place to camp. There is a lot to explore and you will want to spend as much there time as you can. The easiest way to start this hike is to start at the Echo Lakes. There is ample parking above the marina and you even have the option ...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    Hike Flagpole Peak from the bottom of Echo Summit

    3.5 mi / 1900 ft gain
    For this hike there are two places you can start from. One is at the Echo Lakes parking lot and the other is at the bottom of Echo Summit (where we started at). Parking at the gun tower at the bottom of Echo Summit you'll be looking right at the face of Flagpole. After parking just off the side o...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Gilmore Lake in Desolation Wilderness

    8.66 mi / 1919 ft gain
    The easiest way to get to Gilmore Lake is to start at the Glen Alpine trailhead. The trail head is southwest of Fallen Leaf Lake. There is a decently sized parking lot at the trailhead, but parking is also available on the road up. Because desolation is a wilderness area, you must fill out a perm...
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  • Tahoma, California

    Glen Alpine Falls and Grass Lake

    4.8
    5.29 mi / 725 ft gain
    Park your car at the Glen Alpine Trailhead adjacent to Lily Lake and southwest of Fallen Leaf Lake. Head west on Glen Alpine Creek Trail passing Lily Lake on your left. After a little over a mile and a half of trekking through the alpine forest and taking in mountain views, you'll arrive at Alpin...
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  • Tahoma, California

    Susie Lake, Desolation Wilderness

    5.0
    7.96 mi / 1496 ft gain
    Starting at the Glen Alpine trailhead (best access to Susie Lake): To get to the trailhead, head toward Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe. From HWY 89, turn onto Fallen Leaf Rd and drive past the summer homes and marina until you reach a small firehouse on the left side of the road. You'll fol...
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  • Tahoma, California

    Hike to Half Moon Lake in Desolation Wilderness

    5.0
    11 mi / 1600 ft gain
    This hike starts at the Glen Alpine Trailhead near Fallen Leaf Lake. Because Desolation is a wilderness area, you are required to fill out a day-use permit which can be found at the trailhead. If you are backpacking make sure to obtain an overnight permit either online or at the Taylor Creek Visi...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Capture the Sunset at the Angora Ridge Fire Lookout

    The Angora Ridge Fire lookout sits above the serene Fallen Leaf Lake with incredible views of Mt. Tallac and Desolation Wilderness. You can hike, bike or drive to the lookout. This is a great spot to photograph the sunset, as the sky will reflect off both Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe. Bring a ...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT): Big Meadow to Echo Summit

    17.51 mi / 2949 ft gain
    Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT): Big Meadow to Echo Summit is a point-to-point trail that takes you by a lake located near South Lake Tahoe, California.
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Hike to Round Lake through Big Meadow

    3 mi / 1197 ft gain
    You will start out at the Big Meadow trailhead at the Luther Pass parking lot. It's three miles one way.  Near the end of the hike just before the lake the rock formations are prime...big trees, a crystal stream. The trail is well defined and easy going even though it's an 1100 foot gain in eleva...
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  • Twin Bridges, California

    Hiking to Ralston Peak

    4.0
    7 mi / 2375 ft gain
    Starting at the lower lot it's less than a mile to access the trail. The hike starts off in shade through a lot of red fir forest and continues at a steady upward route. Approximately 45 mins into the hike you'll come across a sign that says you are entering desolation wilderness. The forest will...
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  • Twin Bridges, United States

    Hike Horsetail Falls

    4.2
    2.8 mi / 700 ft gain
    Great views are waiting for you at the top of Horsetail Falls. Pyramid Creek flows down the steep, glacier carved granite faces of Desolation Wilderness to create this awesome waterfall that is estimated to be about 800 feet tall. You will follow Pyramid Creek up the granite rocks to the top of t...
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