Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Lake Aloha Trail is a 13 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Echo Lake, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. 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.

Length 13.0 mi Elevation gain 1,889 ft Route type Loop
Dogs on leash Backpacking Camping Fishing Hiking Horseback riding Nature trips Bird watching Running Forest Lake Views Wild flowers Wildlife Bugs Rocky Fee
Description
Waypoints (15)
Tips

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 Placerville Ranger Station in Camino, CA to reserve a wilderness permit ($6 reservation fee plus $5/person for the 1st night, $10 more than 1 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 at the trailhead (Echo Lakes Trailhead), so that people know where you are in case anything goes wrong. NOTE: the lake is drained each fall, so plan accordingly.

Parking at Lower Echo Lake can be tough--get there early or you will need to park on the side of the road. There is no water fountain at the trail head, so fill up water bottles ahead of time.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (763)
Photos (2457)
Recordings (532)
Completed (1893)
View user's profile page
Consuelo Chavarria
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 24, 2020
Hiking

Very well marked trail. Beautiful views, lots of lakes to stop by. Make sure you bring fitter or plenty of water.

View Consuelo's Recording
View user's profile page
Lauren Campbell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020
Hiking
View Lauren's Recording
View user's profile page
Rob Campbell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020
Hiking
View Rob's Recording
View user's profile page
Padma Diamond
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 16, 2020
Hiking
View Padma's Recording
View user's profile page
Arnyl Raymond Barot
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 15, 2020
Hiking
View Arnyl Raymond's Recording
View user's profile page
Jesus Barot
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 15, 2020
Hiking
View Jesus's Recording
View user's profile page
Kelly Cavolo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 15, 2020
Hiking
View Kelly's Recording
View user's profile page
Alexis Reid
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 12, 2020
HikingGreat!

GORGEOUS hike. Still totally worth it even after Lake Aloha has been drained for the winter. we accidentally added a few miles by hiking down the shore of Lake of the Woods but it's beautiful and worth the detour if you have the energy. We carried lots of layers and were glad we did - lake aloha was pretty breezy and chilly.

View user's profile page
Brian Voelker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 11, 2020
Hiking
View Brian's Recording
View user's profile page
Shalyse Ahl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 7, 2020
Hiking

Didn’t make it to the end but will be back to finish!!

View Shalyse's Recording
View user's profile page
K P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 7, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike along the entire trail, even with the smoke. As other reviews mentioned, there are a few miles where the trail is covered in rocks, some are larger and can be quite slippery, so exercise caution. Lake Aloha is drained already, but Lake of the Woods was lovely.

View K's Recording
View user's profile page
Kathleen Tang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 4, 2020
HikingGreat!

Beautiful trail! You pass by a few lakes heading to Aloha. The incline is steady, but not rough. Only downside is there is about 3 miles where it’s straight rocks so it can be tough on your feet. Also, a lady on the trail wanted me give a PSA “everyone should carry a bag when you hike so you can pick up your trash or others”

View user's profile page
mel l
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 3, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trail that passes several lakes. Lake aloha and Lucille we’re drained so water levels not as high. Looking forward to doing it at regular levels!

View mel's Recording
View user's profile page
Ryan Moore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 2, 2020
Hiking
View Ryan's Recording
View user's profile page
J. Lori
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 2, 2020

This area is stunning! Echo Lake seems to get a decent bit of foot traffic, particularly on the weekends, but as you get 4+ miles in the trail gets into solitary, wild and beautiful landscapes. Very refreshing contrast to Tahoe proper! There are a lot of rocks on this trail, so it helps to have walking sticks or shoes with a decent toe buffer. We noticed several backpackers in the higher elevation remote areas before Lake Aloha. Lake Aloha itself is so much fun to explore - a very mountainey lake with a wild, raw panorama. Would love to do again sometime!

View user's profile page
Creighton Bundy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 29, 2020
Hiking
View Creighton's Recording
View user's profile page
Maegan Cloutier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 13, 2020
HikingGreat!

Easy to navigate, great trail and not difficult at all for either a day hike or over nighter. Beautiful out there!

View user's profile page
Chris Nguyen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 8, 2020
BackpackingNo shadeRocky

Busy trail. Get there early to find parking, avoid the crowd, and beat the heat. Beautiful alpine lakes. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Happy hiking!

View user's profile page
Shana McCarl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 8, 2020
HikingGreat!No shadeRocky

Great trail! I didn't visit all of the lakes but it was beautiful and a lot of fun. Not as hard as it's reported but very rocky in some areas that make it difficult to walk properly. The incline was steep in a few areas but not too bad overall.

View user's profile page
Ed Pagh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 7, 2020
Hiking

Trail was great. Lots of traffic. Unfortunately air quality wasn’t that great.

View Ed's Recording
View user's profile page
Faye Pha
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2020
Hiking

Great hike. The thing that makes it hard was the walking through the rocks. Other than that is not bad. Lake Aloha was dried but there are other lakes that are a few steps away that can be enjoy. Suggesting to arrive early because parking can fill up quick. We arrived at 730am and it was full already had to find parking 2 miles out.

View user's profile page
M User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking
View M's Recording
View user's profile page
John Ramirez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 4, 2020
Hiking

Best day hike ever!

View John's Recording
View user's profile page
Michael Sanchez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 3, 2020
Hiking

It was an amazing hike. It is very definitely worthwhile

View user's profile page
David Barocio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 31, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

Excellent hike on a fairly populated trail. Plenty of great views along the way, although the water level seemed fairly low on some of the lakes.

View user's profile page
Tara V
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2020
Hiking

Fun trail, love the destination. The south end of Lake Aloha is empty, which is a strange sight to behold. Beautiful through the hazy skies and very friendly folks on trail.

Showing results 1 - 26 of 763