Lake Aloha Trail

MODERATE 138 reviews
#2 of 31 trails in

Lake Aloha Trail is a 14.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Echo Lake, California 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.

DISTANCE
14.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1765 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

horseback riding

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

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.

backpacking
8 days ago

10 days ago

Love this trail. Get a camping permit and stay the night to really enjoy this lake.

backpacking
28 days ago

Definitely a must do trail. Although late October there wasn't much of the lake left. It had snowed two days before which made the hike beautiful. The Sunny Trail along echo Lakes in the partially Snow covered mount Ralston across the other side was incredible. The hike is a little rocky in areas stiff sold shoes are nice. Because of the snow and warm weather it made for some soggy trail, I'd advise waterproof boots for the hike. Nice warm days but in the 20s at night. Brrrrr

1 month ago

Trail was very nice but I lost my ray-Bans on the way down :(

hiking
1 month ago

camping
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike, i did a backpacking trip in desolation and stopped here one of the nights. Flowers were blooming and very lush this time of year. Also stopped at zatela and four q.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Absolutely gorgeous!

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely amazing! Beautiful scenery, dog friendly, multiple lakes to hike to! The parking at echo lake is packed so show up early! We encountered at lot of other hikers along the trail, but once we reached Lake Aloha we basically had the lake to ourselves! Would definitely do this hike again :)

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
2 months ago

The hikes in & out each took us ~3.5 hours with our heavy packs - similar to others' reports, my phone reported 5.7 miles in but 7.7 miles out. Unclear precisely how far it is. While many folks seem to report too many campers around Aloha, we couldn't see any other camps from our spot and only occasionally saw people walking around the lake. Was a great (chilly at night time!) retreat for the weekend. Great spot to jump off to other parts of the PCT or Desolation Wilderness as well - we took a day hike up to Gilmore Lake. Trails are all very clearly marked, though tiring on the ankles & hips as much of it is loose rock.

2 months ago

backpacking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Lake Aloha is SO beautiful, making this rocky hike very much worth the effort. The water taxi stops running after Labor Day, so there's no way to shorten the distance, but it's still very doable. The trail is clearly marked and straightforward. There are also maps you can pick up near the trailhead. I'd recommend hiking shoes/boots for this hike rather than sneakers because much of it is very rocky and I was glad to have the support from my boots. The water temperature seemed perfect for swimming, but it was a cloudy day so we didn't end up going in. I'd love to return next summer to backpack because the lake is so gorgeous and it was sad to leave!