Explore Tahoe - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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It’s really awful trail. We were walking on ground road, every 5 minutes cars drove near us and we have eaten a dust.

Pretty and relaxing walk!
Easy to access trail, lots and lots of parking.
You can access the beach at many different places.
The trail itself just goes along the right bank of the river it doesn’t cross back and forth like the map shows.
Dog friendly!

Pretty poor trail markers. I would recommend going clockwise to have better luck staying on the trail. I read another hikers recommendations about having to scramble up some rock and step through some plants. I did that too and got totally completely off the path. If you stay on the path it is completely unnecessary to rock scramble and get scratches on your legs. It’s pretty around the lake but pretty a bit frustrating to keep seeing dead end signs on the roads and have to back track your route.

backpacking
5 days ago

Amazing trail!

need better trail markers nice hike you gotta do it

hiking
11 days ago

This was an amazing trail. It's a great deep dive into Desolation with visits to multiple lakes and sweeping views, despite not including scaling a peak. Each leg of the trail is more spectacular than the last, and it's gorgeous from the start. The view of Lake Aloha from the top of Mosquito pass is stunning. There's still plenty of water in parts of Aloha despite it being so late in the season. I'm looking forward to doing this one again early next summer.

Beautiful!! Offering different scenery’s

Beautiful trail. The aspens were turning - lake was low.

I like to only report the positive things about any trail. A few of us hiked to Scott’s Lake to take pictures of the fall colors yesterday (Sept. 25, 2018) and it was beautiful with all the changing colors, especially the Aspen. I used my Garmin to create a track, but I don’t think there is a way with All Trails to import it. The hike is close to 3.5 miles (7miles RT) from the parking area at Big Meadows to the lake with about 985 feet of gain. It’s not a hard and there is still a couple of water x-ing that have enough left for dogs to get a drink. At about 3/4 mile there is a post sign to direct you to the lake. Veer left. I gave it a 5 cause it is everything I want in a fall hike. If I want something harder then I chose other hikes or something easier and closer to home then I chose a suitable hike for that. It was a great day with friends and to see the fall changes in the Tahoe Aspen.

I did this hike on 8/28/18. The climb up from the trailhead is a pretty good pull but not too tough. The views at the summit are really nice. The trail to Velma Lakes is kind of barren and desolate, I'm thinking now I know why it's called Desolation Wilderness. At the first lake it was so beautiful I was really glad I had my camera. Went over to see Middle Velma then turned back and headed to Fontanillis Lake. Once again I was glad to have brought my camera! From there I stopped at Dicks Lake, then took the Eagle Falls trail back to The trailhead. What a wonderful hike and not too hard. I love the Desolation Wilderness.

Did this hike on 09/19/18 Great hike. My advice is to start at the trail head and move counter-clockwise around the lake. The beginning of the hike wasn’t too daunting. About 1/4 in though the path is extremely overgrown and parts you’ll need to scale rocks up and down, so be sure to wear good shoes and maybe long pants and long sleeves to protect your skin from rubbing against plants. Towards the halfway mark you’ll end up in a Standford Sierra Camp. We rested here for a bit and even managed to refill our water using their water refill station. Now I believe this is only supposed to be for campers, so proceed with caution if doing that. We also stopped there for a quick lunch as well.
Moving along you’ll end up next to a fire station and a small chapel. The chapel is quaint, but if it’s open it will also be a nice spot to rest. If you keep going, you’ll end up in Fallen Leaf Marina/Lodge. This is another very nice spot to rest, it has a cafe and clean restrooms. Had I known this was here I would have eaten lunch there versus packing one in (less to carry is always good).
After that, about 1/4 of the trail is on paved road, so make sure to step aside for cars. With the exception of two cars, most noticed us and gave us a courtesy wave when passing. This part might have been my favorite since I love looking at houses lol. After that, you’ll have to “trespass”. Honestly, just stay on the path and don’t venture beyond property markings. The last 1/4 if the hike or so isn’t the best maintained, so again, long pants and sleeves to protect your skin.
Overall, decent hike. Would do it again, the views were fantastic.

Lookout for: burned hollow tree and the lone standing fireplace.

a good portion of the trail is paved road on the one side, but otherwise it was a lovely, not terribly trafficked trail on the 4th of July weekend.

hiking
26 days ago

This is my favorite trail that we hiked this year! I would definately do it again! It was strenuous but not to hard and so beautiful.

Kind of a disappointing backpacking trip. The permit system kinda sucks if you want to be secluded...After the first night, backpackers can camp wherever they want, not just in their zone. Cathedral Lake ended up being extremely busy and there are only two decent places to camp. Also, be very aware that people will be hiking up the the peak of Mt. Tallac as early as 3 AM to catch the sunrise. I understand hikers need to be loud to warn bears, but blasting electronic music and hollering was a bit much.

hiking
1 month ago

There was a light shower for an hour early this morning, but it cleared up! Beautiful sunny day after that. Very nice trail with little incline. Come early because the parking lot is always full.

1 month ago

We just walked 2 1/2 miles out and back - to the top of the Meiss Valley - but the views are spectacular!

hiking
1 month ago

Ok. Let's start the list

1. 6.5 hours for 12.41 miles on a artificial knee celebrating my 62 birthday
2. It is a moderate trail, only hard for those not accustomed to long treks or wearing the wrong shoes
3. Get there early if you want any decent parking spot. We arrived before 7am and still had to park up the hill.
4. Parking at the marina is only for 4 hours
5. It is dog friendly - we passed a few dozen dogs today. Be sure your fur friend is use to rocks
6. Aloha Lake is very low but the lower end is still holding water. The low water exposes a lot of rock formations which adds to the value
7. We had animal encounters - one small black bear - one mini bear (aka chipmunk) who felt he was obliged to check out our pack, our pants, our shirts, anywhere to find food
8. Take water - We took 4 quarts and used it all for 2 people
9. The trailhead starts at Echo Lake dam where the check-in point is
10. It is difficult to find the place to begin with so check you maps well

Now this really is the tale of 3 trails
1. The lower section travels along Echo Lake and Upper Echo Lake. It is mostly in trees. Mostly sand and small rock. Changes elevation very little as it follows along the shores. You will also walk behind a number of cabins which are interesting in the fact they are built there to begin with. The lakes are beautiful and offer different views depending on the sun and time of day
2. The climb - This middle section of the trail is rock, rock, and more rock. The rock is jagged in many areas which will bruise your feet if you not wearing good shoes. The climb is standard 2-3% forestry grade and not hard. Just a lot of rock. It is open but has a lot of interesting cedar tree formations growing in crevices. Just as you start the ascent up to the pass, you get the best views of Echo Lakes by far.
3. The top - fairly easy walk thru trees as you top out of the pass and start a slight descent into the Aloha basin. The rock is glacial and definitely different from the ascent. Trees are massive. We are puny in comparison. Once you arrive at Aloha, trails go every which direction, just stay to the right. The lake is low now so you need to go another few hundred yards down the shoreline to find open water. Majestic and grand views in all directions.

Enjoy.

backpacking
1 month ago

My first backpacking trip in 30 years and this was a great one - not too hard or too easy - and camping at Lake Aloha was wonderful.
The lake was quite low this time of year so would like to go back in June next year. The echo lake shuttle boat was not operational so we didn’t have the option to cut a few miles off to get back. Not that my daughter would have let me!
My favorite part of the hike was the forest after the switchbacks and also a little outing up the ridge to the west side of the lake.
I’m an older hiker and had planned to use a trekking pole but sadly it broke before I could use it and it wasn’t necessary for me even though there were some quite rocky parts.
Love this hike and will definitely do it again.

this was a easy hike,the last two miles was uphill,it was crowded this pass weekend,we camp near the lake,few hikers show up late with head lights on,and since it was dark they saw my camp first and decided to came feet away,had no respect for other campers

hiking
1 month ago

The trail was nice and relatively easy. Itself the trail would only be 2-stars. The treat was coming across the soda spring and circa 1900 resort at Glen Alpine Springs with cabins and other buildings designed by Maybeck.

Good 5 mile hike out and back. Beautiful views with a lot of other hikers coming through. Overall increase in elevation was about 900 feet from the parking lot. Please don’t feed the grouse. A pair was calmly walked alongside us for 20 feet or so.

Beautiful hike with different degrees of difficulty along the way. I’d rate it somewhere between moderate to strenuous due to its distance round trip. Some parts of the trail along the Echo Lakes were gently sloping with packed dirt and rock. Past that the trail got steeper with only rocks underfoot. As you approach Lake Aloha the trail flattens and gets easier on the legs. The stark beauty of Desolation Wilderness opens up before you as the final destination approaches. There were a few dry shallow lakes along the way but Lake Aloha still had significant water as of Labor Day weekend. Our dog definitely felt beat after the 12 mile hike. Highly recommend booties for your canine buddies to protect against the sharp rocks.

Walking on rocks the entire time, not very scenic. This has to be one of the worse in Lake Tahoe

hiking
1 month ago

09-02-18: Overall this is a very nice hiking trail. The trail through Echo lakes is easy to traverse with a nice view, if you don’t mind see cabins all along the shoreline. Past Echo Lakes, the trail becomes more harsh and quite rocky for some distance until getting closer to Lake aloha where the trail smoothes out through the forest. Unfortunately at this time of year, the waters around Aloha were very low or completely dried up. Better to go earlier in the season. I recommend that dogs wear booties and some of the trail may prove difficult for smaller breeds.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail is definitely not a “Hard” trail. It’s rocky but no elevation really. We hiked almost 6 miles back and couldn’t find Lake Aloha but we found plenty of other lakes and island. Definitely pretty view but if your the type of people who like your heart rate up for a strenuous hike this isn’t it. Mostly flat rocky trails. There is a lot of loose rock too so make sure your balanced and stable.

hiking
1 month ago

relaxing easy trail to lake aloha. water level is a little low but was still pretty easy to find a secluded spot to hangout. trail was very busy. I took the dogs with me and it wore them out pretty quickly. I wouldn't recommend taking dogs with you on a clear day. not much shade for a majority of the trail and their paws got pretty beat up on the Rocky parts.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this hike- somewhat rocky but a nice challenge! Our 2 Golden’s loves the swim in the lake!

Our dog really enjoyed this trail and the easy access to the lake water. Parking was a bit crowded but once we were on the trail it was great.

1 month ago

What a gem of a lake. well worth the hike.

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