Lake Aloha Trail

MODERATE 124 reviews
#2 of 29 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.

backpacking
1 day 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.

6 days ago

backpacking
7 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

11 days ago

hiking
12 days 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!

backpacking
12 days ago

backpacking
17 days ago

Absolutely stunning hike - Day hike or overnight. I hiked beyond Aloha, up and over Dick's Pass to Fontanillis Lake - stopping at Susie lake on the first night. Stunning views the entire trail. Wild flowers, lake views all along the trail. I stopped at Aloha 1 night and Lake of the Woods on m fourth night. Took a day hike to Ropi Lake on an unmaintained trail but was able to follow trail with AllTrails app on my phone.

hiking
17 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

hiking
27 days ago

30 days ago

Stunning lake!!!
Worth the effort

hiking
1 month ago

Honestly I didn't hike the whole thing but what I did hike was pretty easy and it seemed really popular for people with dogs.

backpacking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike!! A little steep and rocky by Lake Tamarack but not bad. Breathtaking views! Lake Aloha is absolutely AMAZING! I will be returning. Water taxi is convenient and $14 per person one way. Don't forget mosquito repellent.

hiking
1 month ago

One of the most beautiful hike I've done but the busiest too. The trail is very rocky and it did gave us a workout. Definitely not for beginners. Hiking poles were a big help especially going downhills back to echo lake. Lake Aloha is gorgeous. I must go back there again but with at least one night of stay.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago