Lake Aloha Trail

MODERATE 77 reviews
#2 of 19 trails in

Lake Aloha Trail is a 14.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near South Lake Tahoe, 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
2132 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

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.

6 hours ago

Great hike, i just finished it earlier today, its nearly July and there is still 5-8 feet of snow once u get to haypress meadows, very cold during the night also, every lake except echo lake is frozen at this time of year, trail posts are hard to find and see because of the snow, all in all it was a great hike, only bad thing was the snow covering the trail and trail posts, there are beautiful views within less than a mile of each other

hiking
3 days ago

Could not make it all the way to Aloha lake. Lost the trail in snow a half mile past the Tamarack trail. Beautiful hike but very wet. The trail is a running stream at several points. 90% in the sun. Poles would have been nice.

backpacking
4 days ago

Did an overnight trip to Lake of the Woods on June 23rd. Beautiful trail but expect mostly snow about 0.5 miles after the turn off to Tamarak Lake. Snowshoes would probably be nice but we made it all the way to LotW with boots and some ice cleats/coils. Make sure to have some sort of GPS since the trail isn't visible. There was a lot of water before the snow, including running water down the middle of the trail. Waterproof boots made it doable. Lake of the Woods was still mostly frozen with a few feet of snow on it. Looking forward to future trip reports to see how long this snow lasts!

backpacking
9 days ago

Did a 2 day overnight 6/16-17. Beautiful but expect to find plenty of snow on your hike. The hike is 100% snow from the end of upper echo lake on. Highly suggest a GPS unless you know the area well, the trail can be tough to find at times. The snow does make it pretty easy to adventure off to the different lakes around.

Camped in the middle of Lake Aloha on a little island since it's completely frozen, highly recommend if you can handle the snow!

backpacking
10 days ago

I hiked this on 6/16/17 overnight. There is still a tremendous amount of snow and ice on the ground. We encountered patchy snow from the back of Echo Lake, and about half way up the incline we went to crampons... it was 100% snow onward. Passable, but bring appropriate footwear and clothing, and a GPS, as the trail is not marked. Beautiful country!

hiking
21 days ago

I did this hike on May 30, 2017. The road from the Snopark to Echo Lake was clear of snow, but still closed to car traffic. It may be open for cars now, but I'm not sure. The trail itself was mostly clear of snow until you get to the end of Lower Echo Lake. From then on the snow is still deep all the way up to Aloha. Crampons were effective in the early morning while the snow was still icy, but by early afternoon it became slushy and harder to move in.

25 days ago

1 month ago

Completed 2st week of May. You will need a Cali SnoPark pass until May 31st. You can buy these online. Snow is between 0 and 6 feet. Strongly recommending snow clampon/ cleats . The snow in the shade is solid ice and you can slide into Echo Lake which has a little open water on it. You can't see Trail markers yet. It was an amazing early spring hike. Just cold and windy at night.

hiking
3 months ago

backpacking
3 months ago

Probably one of the best lakes in Desolation

3 months ago

Great overnight backpacking

hiking
5 months ago

This was our first big hike back in August I suggest leaving early in the morning. We made it in 5 hours 15 minutes and we stopped enjoyed the views and had lunch. It's definitely worth the trip. The highlight of our trip to Tahoe. We will do it again next time we are here.

6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Stunning trail

hiking
7 months ago

8 months ago

As other reviews have said, the views were spectacular! Such a beautiful way to spend a day. The only tough part was the terrain. The rocks were very loose and I felt like I missed a lot of the views in order to watch my footing. Will definitely do it again!

8 months ago

Early Oct 16 - was windy and the water level on the lakes was low but some beautiful views. Trailhead is a bit hard to find - leaves from behind the Echo chalet

hiking
9 months ago

I've done this hike several times. Always a great time! Hiked it in the heat of summer, during a downpour and a beautiful spring day. Never disappoints. http://hustzkergies.blogspot.com/2016/08/Echo-Lake-to-Aloha.html

hiking
9 months ago

Amazing views on this hike. Beautiful!