Echo Lakes Trail is a 5.3 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
5.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
511 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Directions from South Lake Tahoe: Take Highway 50 southwest to Echo Summit and turn onto Johnson Pass Road. Stay left and the road will lead you to the parking area by Lower Echo Lake.

13 days ago

Went up yesterday & it was very snowy!! Totally beautiful though maybe not all cars could make it on the snow covered road to get to the lake.

20 days ago

Beautiful lakes; nice easy to follow trail; interesting granite formation; only thing missing is a waterfall

21 days ago

Easy and pretty, perfect for acclimating to the elevation. We cut down to Upper Echo Lake and relaxed there for a bit.

hiking
23 days ago

This was such a wonderful easy hike. Great for families with kids. Our 8 year old did it with a little help on the way back.

hiking
29 days ago

Nice easy to moderate hike with lovely views. A little busy on a Sunday but it was also a holiday weekend. Try to go early! No smoke from fires when we went today (11/11/2018)

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this trail, went during the off season and was able to have the trail to ourselves. Easy walk, beautiful views. Took us 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to the furthest lake and around 3 hours (with side hikes) to complete. You can get this trail done in 2 hours if you go straight there and back.

hiking
2 months ago

Echo Lake is one of the best easy hikes in Tahoe but past Upper Echo Lake is not my favorite because it has lots of scree which makes it challenging to keep your footing while enjoying the view. Ankle support is a must on Upper Echo Lake section. Views are tops & lakes are plentiful past Upper Echo. Heavily trafficked. Lots of climbing on rock steps. Not much shade so avoid in July.

2 months ago

Beautiful hike! Very exposed and important to bring sunscreen. Lots of views of the lake. We went during the week in the afternoon and there was barely anyone else there. Took our dog down to the lake for a swim and didn’t see a soul! Water taxi no longer running for the season. But it’s a pretty easy hike with slow elevation gains.

3 months ago

Heads up. The lake is low so the water taxi will likely be closing before the usual date of Labor Day. Call the Echo Chalet ahead of time if the water taxi option is important to you

3 months ago

Beautiful views, moderately challenging, a good workout.

hiking
3 months ago

Overall nice trail. Some great spots to go swim. Although it is more than moderately trafficked, on a Monday it was a busy trail. I can’t imagine the weekends.

hiking
3 months 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
4 months 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!

4 months ago

Nice trail. Beautiful views.

hiking
4 months 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
4 months 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.

4 months ago

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

hiking
4 months 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
5 months 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.

5 months ago

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

5 months ago

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

5 months ago

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

hiking
5 months ago

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

hiking
5 months ago

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

hiking
5 months 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.

5 months ago

It was beautiful and easy with kids.

5 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.

6 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
6 months ago

Nice trail, quite rocky in places. Very scenic.

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