Explore the most popular camping trails near Echo Lake with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
3 days ago

If you aren’t afraid to take a couple knee-deep steps into snow, keep going to Lake Aloha. The last 1.5-2 miles is snow, but I did it in my trail running shoes. The trail is well-marked from many hikers making this trek. The lake is frozen but beautiful!

hiking
14 days ago

Started today at lower Echo Lake, with intentions of Aloha and back. Made it to about Tamarack and had to turn around. Trail is very Wet, which not a problem, some snowpack still but hard enough to walk across. Got to just pass Tamarack turn off and stepped into some snow and fell knee deep. Tons of snowmelt, but still an awesome hike! SO close to being ready! Saw about 10 other hikers out. Parking lot was clear enough, even cars.

Echo Lake to Lake Aloha to Gilmore Lake to Dick’s Lake, exit Bayview Trail. This was a great summer trip with adults and twelve-thirteen year olds. Beautiful lakes, marmots, pika, osprey, and flowers in August.

Beautiful and a butt kicker! We did this as a point to point hike starting out at Echo Lakes parking lot and ending at Inspiration Point overlooking Emerald Bay (via the PCT/TRT and Granite Lakes TR).
The early morning start of the beautiful sunny day was clear but cold - my beanie and gloves came in handy!
The trail starts out on granite following along the Echo Lakes (where You'll see many private homes along the shoreline), then the trail takes you in/out of woods at Woods Lk and Lk Aloha. You then pass more beautiful pines, some wildflowers and a couple more alpine lakes (Heather and Susie Lks). I would suggest filtering water at Susie Lk, as the trail actually passes right next to it and Gilmore lake would take you .5 mile up and off trail. The next few miles are up, up, up and over Dicks Pass. Make sure to bring your camera!...and your trekking poles - as the descent from the 9,400' Pass will be hard on your knees.

Beautiful!

backpacking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike along the PCT. Unfortunately the trail right before Tamarack Lake was covered in about 2 feet of snow. Not knowing this, we only had hiking boots. Ended up camping the night at Tamarack Lake which was just as gorgeous and isolated.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful! Well worth it. Definitely going again.

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

backpacking
6 months 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

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

backpacking
7 months 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.

7 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous!

hiking
7 months 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 :)

backpacking
8 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.

We went out and back, Saturday - Monday. 1st day ~15mile to Dick's Lake. 2nd day ~15 miles to Emerald Bay and back to Gilmore Lake. 3rd day ~ 10 miles back to Echo Lake.

A majority of the trail is made of pebbles or rocks half the size of one's boot. This made for an uneven surface and was hard on the feet by the end of our trip.

Wildflowers all over the trail, especially when approaching Dick's Pass from the south side. The uphill back from Emerald Bay was hard and steep. We stopped at the bathrooms at the Emerald Bay vista point, and refilled water in Granite Lake.

The parking lot by the Echo Lake Chalet at the start of the trail was full, so we parked ~13minute walk away from the trailhead on the side of the road just South of the Berkley camp. A guy at the chalet said not to park on the side of the road where there is a red stripe.

hiking
8 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!

backpacking
8 months 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.

Only try this loop if you are an experienced hiker. After Dardanelles's lake there is no "trail". First attempt I quit since I couldn't find a clear trail. Tried another weekend and I only made to Round Lake because of gps and walking up and down rocks and bushes. You can reach either Dardanelles or Round Lake easy, but if you try the loop you will be on your own. I truly wouldn't have found my way back without gps. My phone gps stopped working after I was around 5 miles in so it didn't record my track. But then it worked again so I was able to finish. Good luck!

Stunning lake!!!
Worth the effort

hiking
9 months 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.

on Lake Aloha Trail

hiking
9 months 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
9 months 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.

on Lake Aloha Trail

backpacking
9 months ago

Gorgeous area but HEAVILY USED TRAILS. This is neither 'desolate' or really 'wilderness' - you will see more people than birds/animals - so go prepared to visit a nice recreation area open to hikers and backpackers but don't expect a John Muir type experience.

Backpacked the first week in August and spent most time off-trail to get away from the crowds. Probably saw 150 people (most of them day hikers) between Echo Lake and Aloha Lake. Crowds get thinner the further you move away from Aloha (heavier again when you travel towards Lake Tahoe).

If you visit while there is still run-off from the snow, calculate having extra ponds (as well as snowy slopes) to navigate around off-trail. For example the area south of Aloha down to Pyramid Lake had many ponds that did not show up on the topo maps.

backpacking
9 months ago

Wonderful weekend hiking from Echo Lake Chalet to Ropi Lake. This is a very rocky hike for the first few miles, be sure to have good boots on & make sure your pup is ready! Once you arrive at Lake of the Woods, continue past and wrap around Pyramid Peak to Ropi Lake. Here you will find some beautiful rapids and lots of granite with little shade cover. We found a great spot near the rapids and had a wonderful night of sleep. We made much better time on the hike back.

hiking
9 months ago

First backpacking trip with our dog and she loved it! Beautiful view once you get to the lake. If you're camping, be sure to bring bug repellant for the mosquitos.

hiking
9 months ago

This hike was amazing. We started at Echo Lakes and made our way to Lake Aloha. It was not too challenging, but definitely a great workout! The weather was perfect. We got there around 7:15 and made it to the lake by 9:30. Spent time swimming and eating...then hiked back! We did take the water taxi...I got overruled...but it was a VERY nice ride! Got to learn a bit more about the lakes also...it is $14 one way though, so beware! I would recommend this hike to everyone! It's amazingly beautiful.

Great hike, clear trail markings and a beautiful area you can use to hop in for a swim.

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike! Make sure you have map downloaded to help find the trail once you hit snow. There is still a lot of mud and snow. You can follow the tracks in the snow but with as fast as it's melting I would not rely on it. Trail is rocky so if you're thinking of bringing your furry friends I'd advise dog shoes; saw a couple whimpering dogs that just wanted to lay down :(. It was cool listening to large chunks of ice break off from the larger masses floating on Lake Aloha. Be prepared to share the trail as it's a busy one but worth it.

Hey FYI according to the rangers there is no trail on the north east side of Rockbound Lake.

backpacking
10 months ago

So beautiful with all the snow out here! Made it to Lake of the Woods and Lake Aloha. Just hiking boots. No snowshoes required.
Pro tip: cache the area on the Google Maps app so you can roughly follow the trail.

Here's a video of our adventure: https://vimeo.com/224277100

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