Echo Lakes Trail

MODERATE 266 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

hiking
5 days ago

This is an amazing hike. I went out and back from echo lake trailhead to tamarack lake in 4 hours. It’s a hell of a hike without much shade. There aren’t any steep climbs but don’t expect a nice dirt trail as it’s mostly rocks. Nice views along echo lake.

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful hike. Lower and upper lake taxi tour is a fun extra. Hiked the PCT to Tamarak lack last year. There was still a lot of snow so we trekked back earlier than expected. Will do this one again for sure!

10 days ago

Nice trail. Beautiful views.

hiking
16 days ago

Go early and wear sunscreen, and you will love this trail. I don’t usually like out and back trails but this is a highlight of our week. I’m not sure you can find an empty trail in late July so we were thrilled that it was such light traffic. Also, the adventurous can go beyond the lake for a longer trip. Those who are tired can do the water taxi return for $14. Highly recommend.

hiking
20 days ago

super busy trail, get there early cause parking is sparse. Lots of good trails nearby. An easy place to set your feet on the PCT.

28 days ago

Great trail with great views of Lower and Upper Echo Lake. Just wish there wasn’t so many cabins along the shoreline.

hiking
29 days ago

I did this hike last summer it had a nice view when you get the the top but it was right next to houses and cabins and lots of people. Took away from why I hike. Beautiful yes and fun to swim because you need too considering this is VERY exposed. No shade. It was okay but I wouldn’t do it again . The boat taxi back though was fun. So that’s also an option if you don’t want to hike all the way back

hiking
1 month ago

Great moderate hike with awesome views. Go early to avoid most of the other hikers. We went mid July and there were plenty of wild flowers to add to the many photo ops. This trail has a lot of loose and uneven rocks so wear shoes with good solid soles and our hiking poles came in handy. There is a little store at the trail head were you can get lunch or a treat after the hike.

1 month ago

Very nice view along the lake. Not much elevation. can take the water taxi back for 14 dollars.

1 month ago

Nice scenic trail for an early morning but too crowded thereafter. A good cut-in to the wilderness/PCT/Aloha.

1 month ago

Go as far as you need and then turn around. Fantastic views!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked in mid-June. Cute lakes and cabins and pretty easy walking though rocky in places. Good for kids. Would go again.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice easy section of PCT but area is very populated and overbuilt. Much nicer once you pass the Desolation Wilderness sign.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike in late May above the shore of Lower and Upper Echo Lakes. It offers a spectacular view looking back. We hiked to Tamarack Lake, but left too late to make it to Lake Aloha. If you want to do that, leave early, around 7, to get a parking spot and a good start. The water taxi offers shortcuts, but it’s $14 each way. On the trail and around Tamarack Lake, we logged 11 miles. We plan to return to hike to Lake Aloha.

2 months ago

It was beautiful and easy with kids.

2 months ago

A beautiful hike along the shore. There was some small climbing but definitely doable. A good mix of sun and shade. I believe what makes this a moderate hike is the distance. At the end there are some benches along the shore and a water taxi to bring you back to the start if needed. Also, the trail gets busy as the day goes on so I would start early.

2 months ago

Quick scouting trip today - just a couple miles in and back along Echo Lake. Nice trail, fairly flat in this section. We look forward to returning soon so we can hike all the way back into Aloha Lake.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail, quite rocky in places. Very scenic.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike. Easy in and out. Totally doable for kids. The trail is easy to follow and marked well. Beautiful views of the lake along the way.

3 months 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!

3 months ago

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

hiking
6 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
7 months ago

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

7 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.

8 months ago

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

hiking
9 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

9 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
9 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
9 months ago

Well maintained beautiful hike. Beautiful views.

9 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 :(

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