Lake Aloha Trail is a 14.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near South Lake Tahoe, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
A long hike from Echo Lake past several lakes to a great swimming spot in Lake Tahoe's beautiful Desolation Wilderness The hike to Lake Aloha is the ultimate day hike in Desolation Wilderness. The trail is fairly flat for most of the hike, with only two sections of significant elevation gain, and you will pass by 5 lakes in under 12 miles round trip. After a hot day of hiking there is no better way to relax than with a swim in beautiful Lake Aloha where you can spend hours swimming from island to island. This trip can easily be extended to an overnight backpacking trip with a stay near Lake Aloha. Make sure to call ahead to the El Dorado Ranger Station to reserve a wilderness permit ($5 plus $5/person per night). You may find the area so remarkable that you will want to stay longer--it's hard to see all its beauty in such a short amount of time. For day hikes, fill out a day permit so that people know where you are in case anything goes wrong.
Early Oct 16 - was windy and the water level on the lakes was low but some beautiful views. Trailhead is a bit hard to find - leaves from behind the Echo chalet
I've done this hike several times. Always a great time! Hiked it in the heat of summer, during a downpour and a beautiful spring day. Never disappoints. http://hustzkergies.blogspot.com/2016/08/Echo-Lake-to-Aloha.html
Amazing views on this hike. Beautiful!
Went on a backpacking and fishing trip here in August. If camping and you are able, do yourself a favor and try to go midweek, it gets packed on the weekends and suddenly Desolation Wilderness isn't so desolate.
A few tips: you'll want to wear sturdy hiking boots as the landscape is almost entirely granite shards of every conceivable shape and size. It's not hard to imagine turning an ankle. Bring rope to tie up your food well out of the way of marmots and bears. No fires permitted (for now) so a backpacking stove or a middle finger to the rules is a must (we used a stove). For anglers, black and yellow panther Martin was gettin em all day but very consistently at sundown. Some really beautiful brook trout in all the creeks and lakes here.
Would love to come back and explore the numerous other lakes out here. Great rock jumps into water too!
Great, varied trail! The lake was all dried up :( Beautiful views of many lakes though. Quiet.
Awesome views and lakes the entire way. Tamarack, echo, lake of the woods, aloha and its nearby lakes are all worth visiting. Great views of the crystal range
Beautiful views. The rocks can be slippery, if you're hiking with a dog keep an eye on their paw pads or make them wear shoes. The granite tore three off by the time we got to lake of the woods and we had to carry her back. Woof!
Awesome hike to catch 3 lakes in 15 miles. Walking on the rock trail after Echo is challenging because you've got to keep you'd eyes on the trail at all times so you don't trip or stub your toes, but so worth it. We did a day hike, I'll make it an overnight trip next time.
Awesome and rewarding
We did this hike in mid-June, and woooow, the views were AMAZING. Tons of lakes and not too tough on elevation change. We did have to hike through a couple miles of snow but that only added to the hike. Lake Aloha was one of the most beautiful lakes I've ever seen too!
Beautiful hike ! Take the ferry which runs from 9:30-5:30 weather depending . Very rocky for the first hour up and in direct sunlight . After that it is very shady and moderate. Lake of the woods is on the way if you want a detour before pushing on to Aloha. They are very different! Aloha is stunning and has quite a bit of camp sites . It would be a great day hike but you should stay and watch the sunset and rise!
It was beautiful not much water went last year hoping to go back this year and see it full :-)
Fun lake to explore! lots of boulders to jump off. Made it a day trip, but next time I will definitely backpack and stay a night or two.
Boat ride in will save three miles. $14.00 per adult. Dogs $5.00. You need a minimum of three people or pay $42.00. After initial uphill the rest if the hike is easy to moderate. Great views and wild flowers. Lake Aloha is spectacular. Still some snow on the trail and muddy. Lots of bugs and lots of people. Get an early start.
Fun trail. Heavily traveled. Beautiful reward with Aloha Lake. We went early June '16 and the lake was still 90% frozen over with snow roughly the last mile or so to Aloha.
Beautiful views of the lake, some fun beach access areas, easy and accessible trail
We had had some late snow this year 2016, so when we went in the middle of May, there was still snow on the ground. The last half of our hike from Upper Echo lake into Lake Aloha was snow covered in most areas. The weather was moderate but did freeze the snow back into ice overnight. If there is snow in the ground, take good boots, or crampons and poles to make the hike out bearable. Otherwise this would have been a 4 star hike. It isn't difficult, just a little challenging when you can't find the trail.