Echo Lakes Trail

MODERATE 199 reviews

Echo Lakes Trail is a 4.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near South Lake Tahoe, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
554 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

About 3.5 hours out and back

8 days ago

Wonderful trail! Great view of the lake, beautiful rocks, boulders and trees all along the trail. Easy trail. It's also part of PCT and TRT!

24 days ago

Unfortunately he road was impassible and we could not get there. April 26,2018

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike with incredible views of the lake the entire way. Would definitely recommend it! Went during first week of February and the trail was snow covered but easily walkable in regular hiking boots (though notably this was after a week of no snow and 50 degree temps). Note that you have to turn off the main road and drive an additional 1+ mile to get to the actual trail head- would need all wheel drive to do this, at least during the winter. Otherwise can park in the lot right off the paved road and walk to the trail head. You have to have a Sno-Park permit to park there between November and May. This can be purchased at nearby gas stations or online and print in advance ($5 for day pass).

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike once we were on the path but it is hard to find the path.

5 months ago

The road is blocked from hw50 so it’s an additional 1.8 mile walk in the snow/ ice to the trailhead. Awesome views though.

5 months ago

Beautiful views. Very flat most of the way—not a tough hike. You’re just walking along the lake.

hiking
6 months ago

Went the second weekend in November. Perfect weather. There was some snow along the trail in higher elevations but it was still a very a nice, easy hike. Beautiful views. We only saw 1 other person on the way up (around 8 am) then didn’t see anyone for the rest of the morning. On the way back down (around noon) we encountered several people making their way up but it was spaced out enough to not be an issue. It was quiet and peaceful. Parking was no issue in the morning. Will definitely be doing this again

6 months ago

Beautiful views. You pass a lot of small cabins along the way so it is not a completely off the grid trail

hiking
6 months ago

My husband and I did a short hike on this trail as we were leaving the South Tahoe area. We just did a leisurely 3 mile out and back. The views were lovely and the trail mostly flat. The weather was in the cooler side and a bit windy, but not too bad. This was my first time on the PCT and I hope to visit it again.

hiking
6 months ago

Well maintained beautiful hike. Beautiful views.

6 months ago

Such a beautiful place ! The trail was challenging as I am not in the same condition but I still completed it slowly but surly started the hike @ echo lake @10:30am and headed to lake aloha ended back at the parking by 7:09pm super sore but worth it !


The bad new I lost my black and gold Ray bans on my way down :(

6 months ago

great terrain, absolutely beautiful views the entire hike.

hiking
7 months ago

Perfect day packing trip. amazing views throughout hike and the trail is nicely groomed.

hiking
7 months ago

Took this trail in the late afternoon to the fork between the two lakes, pretty level the whole way, but easy to get off the path. Nice cabins you can view along the way.

8 months ago

Today is the perfect day for hiking, sunny and cool enough. Everything just is perfect.

backpacking
8 months ago

Entered at Echo Lake and exited at Eagle Falls/Emerald Bay over five days and it was spectacular. Lake access and views every night from Lake Aloha to Gilmore Lake to Dick's Lake. This was a section of the TRT and the PCT that I would recommend all day long. Great midweek trek long after the PCT'ers were gone so we had a good bit of the real estate to ourselves. Dick's Pass had plenty of snow as did the lake and elevations over 8k. No fires in the Desolation Wilderness was the only bummer.

8 months ago

Gorgeous views of the lakes, we did the extra 2 miles or so to Tamarack. Easy hike, but not much shade so it gets hot! Parking is a shit show. Cute little community of cabins all around the lake, love it!

8 months ago

Love this walk. Beautiful view of the lake and a great little boat ride back if you choose!

hiking
9 months ago

It's on the easy side of moderate, partly shady, and absolutely beautiful! We arrived about 8:30 am today - Sunday - and the parking areas were pretty packed.

10 months ago

Hiked to Upper and Lower lakes. Arrived about 10 am on a Tuesday and parking lot and road sides were full. Very popular place but the trail was not overly crowded. Beautiful snow-free hike and a great spot to cool off

hiking
10 months ago

July 12. A beautiful high Sierra hike! Magnificent mountain and lake views, old grove trees, manzanita and wild flowers! Nice areas to swim off of the rocks, but you will have to go off trail. Take plenty of water, sunscreen and insect repellent if you want to hang out in the shade. A "plan B" option is to take the water taxi on the return from the west end of the lower lake, check with the marina for more details.

hiking
10 months ago

Best hike yet! Views of echo lake the whole hike. Great for families and pets. The 2.5 mile hike takes you to a boat taxi that will take you back to the trailhead or you can simply turn around at that point and go back totaling your hike at 5 miles. Pet friendly. Will do again!

10 months ago

I usually hike back to Aloha. Awesome trail with amazing views

hiking
10 months ago

Hidden Gem: Hit the trailhead at 9:30am. Bathrooms are available with a small store nearby. We did an out-n-back by 1:30pm with plenty of time to head off-trail and enjoy some of the many creeks and upper echo lake shore. This trail has a lot of sun exposure and I would suggest packing a 2L water bladder (which is more than enough). I packed
a 20lb Osprey Talon and a DSLR camera without issues. We did not head into Desolation but plenty of folks were trudging out there. Wear mosquito repellant and good shoes and socks. Make sure you fill out your day pass and have fun.

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail with views all the way out and back. You can take water taxi but you are here to hike so we enjoyed that. Went to Desolation Sign and back. My wife's new favorite trail!

10 months ago

This is our new favorite hike. We came last Monday and brought family back today. You have views the entire way, and a nice little picnic area up at Upper Echo to relax at before heading back.

hiking
10 months ago

This is a great trail! I don't hike very often, and it was perfect for me. Great lake views the whole way. Some parts are narrow and require walking over rocks, but was very doable. Parking can be challenging on busy weekends so arrive early. We had a great time!

hiking
10 months ago

Very nice hike that runs fairly close to a couple of beautiful lakes. We made at to the end of both echo lakes but turned just after due to water and snow hazards.

10 months ago

Beautiful hike and lake, and there is still a few patches of snow!!!

snowshoeing
Thursday, May 18, 2017

We went on April 30. (5.6 miles total) Parked at the Sno-Park and snowshoed to lower Echo Lake. Tried to find the PCT, but no luck, as the snow is still deep. Trekked up to Flagpole Peak and back down, had lunch on the boat dock. Saw backpackers snowshoeing across the west side of the lake, but since the east side was starting to thaw, I didn't think it was a good idea for us to try. Hoping to get back soon, so we can get to upper Echo Lake.

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