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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 (736)
Photos (2297)
Recordings (508)
Completed (1835)
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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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M User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking
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John Ramirez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 4, 2020
Hiking

Best day hike ever!

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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

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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.

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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.

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Thuy Pham
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Hiking
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Kristina Tuason
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2020
BackpackingRocky
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Thuy Pham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 29, 2020
Hiking
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AllTrails User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2020
Hiking

Awesome! Lots of loose medium rocks to hike through, but so worth it. Would like to spend the day at Lake Aloha next time

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Jayzack Leonard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 20, 2020
Camping
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Lauren Fletcher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 19, 2020
Hiking
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Chiew Saeteurn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 18, 2020
WalkingNo shadeRocky

8/16/20 Okay this trail itself is hard due to the fact large portion of the paths have rocks you’ll have to step on going forward and going back and might take a toll on your feet on some hikers, and a few area has gradual incline. At the time when I reach to lake aloha it was pretty much low (dry and drained) so if you’re planning to swim I suggest you make a swimming stop at Lake of the woods would be better. Anyways, you start the trail passing thru both echo lakes down to lake of the woods and finally lake aloha and back around the loop to probably the easiest part of the trail with lot of flat land. I decided to make a slight turn up to echo peak on the way back which was well worth it but at the time very tired from all the rock stepping and a lot of up up and up to get to the peak. This part was tricky to find the trail once you’re up near the peak, not very well distinguish. Luckily the offline map helped a lot to stay on track. The view was amazing as you’ll see a lot of the lakes. Just bring a lot of sunscreen and a plenty of water and you’ll be fine.

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Scott Bissing
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 17, 2020
HikingFeeGreat!Rocky
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David Sauder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 17, 2020
Hiking
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Ngingv Zaanx
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 17, 2020
HikingGreat!

It’s a beautiful trail, good shades going but coming back was a bit hot. I just wish more people would be more considerate and respectful during these hard times toward their fellow hikers and wear a mask when passing another and at least try not to talk if you have no mask

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Kendra G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2020
BackpackingGreat!Rocky

This was my first real backpacking experience - and as a newbie backpacker, I would not consider it easy. The beginning of the hike is nice- but the steep elevation gain that occurs around 4 miles is definitely exhausting with 30 lbs on your back!! However, the camping experience @ Lake Aloha was definitely worth it! And the views along the hike are hard to beat. We camped on the West side of Lake Aloha and there were no mosquitos by us the whole trip. I'd definitely recommend SUNSCREEN, and maybe some water shoes that you can use while you are swimming and island hopping. It was pretty warm at night during August, and I did not even need pants or a jacket.

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Charlotte Sally
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2020
Hiking

Gorgeous trail! Get there early- it gets hot and busy. Bring plenty of water and enjoy!

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