Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

This "trail" is absolutely terrible. The park to echo peak is unmarked and a majority of the loop is marked. It's an EXTREMELY dangerous trail as it's slippery very steep inclines and not well worn. I'd recommend to take this off all trails if I could. I managed to slip and scrap my elbows back and wrist and my boyfriend the same. ALSO! bring bug repellent with you. Mosquitos will eat your ass alive. If you decide to risk your life go counter clockwise. After a long 8 mile hike this was not worth almost losing our lives. Do yourself a favor and do the other trail where it's a walk along the lake and then back.

7 days ago

This hike is beautiful! If you are an avid hiker you will not find it hard, as it’s quite flat. You do need some fancy footwork as the path is mostly pebbled granite rock. My boyfriend and I did this hike with our 7 month old GSD. If you have a pet with sensitive paws, you might want to consider dog booties. We spent the night at lake aloha
and it was glorious! The rangers walk along the path and check permits so make sure to take the time to get one beforehand.

very difficult. i did the hike today & if you go counter clockwise for this loop, there are no markers except for stacked stones and no visual trail, which makes it all the more fun! we asked passing hikers for some tips & asked the right person who showed us the granite highway (also difficult and sketch in places) i recommend going counter clockwise so way back through is downhill. steep terrain and granite rock are toughest part of hike! but. the. view. totally worth it!

Truly beautiful. Started at Echo Lake to Aloha Lake. The view at Aloha Lake is amazing and jumping into the water was refreshing.

Note: if you have a k-9 please be mindful of their paws. The granite rock will do a number of their paws (saw a couple of dogs having to be carried back).

Do the trail counter clockwise. Lots of trail unmarked. Have gps. Did in four hours. Good workout. Beautiful up top!! Take the water taxi on way back.

14 days ago

I am section hiking the California PCT. This has to be one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done in my life. I day hiked this section plus Susie Lake and exited at Glen Alpine. I would of camped for at least two days at lake Aloha! Everyone on the trail is super awesome. I didn't want to leave. Already wanting to go back with my backpacking gear! Absolutely breath taking! Truly one of the most amazing alpine views in California.

16 days ago

First time on this hike - easily one of my favorites so far! We hiked to Lake Aloha and back on a Saturday. Started around 9:30am and arrived back at 5pm, including a 2 hr lunch break / nap break at the Lake. We ran into a few different day hiking, backpacking and PCT thruhiking groups, but the trail never felt crowded.

Parking, on the other hand, was tricky - definitely get there early if you want to find a spot in the lot or even off the side of the road. We saw some... interesting parking solutions from adventurous folks.

Once we arrived at the lake, there was plenty of space for people to “claim” different spots around the lake, and still get a bit of privacy. Weather was warm, so we also took the opportunity to dip into the lake! There were a few folks swimming from island to island - very relaxing. Though of course the water was crisp, the rock slabs were warm and a great place to dry off and nap afterwards :)

At this time (end of June) there were a lot of mosquitoes - unfortunately we didn’t bring bug spray, and left with quite a few bites. Also, there’s some shade on the trail but not much - don’t forget to bring a hat!

The trail has a lot of rocky sections, so trail runners or hiking boots are a good idea. We caved and splurged for the water taxi on the way back (picks up at the northern end of upper echo lake, there’s a sign on the trail for it). While steep at $14 per person, it was a perfect way to cap off the hike!

This trail is GORGEOUS, but hikers be warned, this is a tough trail to do all at once. It took us about 5.5 hours (stopping at Aloha for lunch) and we were exhausted by the time we got back to our car. 15+ mile hikes are nothing new to us either. The entire way to Aloha is a gradual incline. You will ask yourself many times over several miles “how am I still going uphill?” It’s a rocky trail, too. I definitely would not recommend to anyone to do it without good boots.

Overall, this is the toughest “moderate” trail we’ve done. It was lovely and so hard at the same time. It’s a one and done for us.

17 days ago

We paddled canoe across Echo Lakes (Saving $56 and having a blast in the process) The winds blowing up the lake made for a tough paddle in, but 2 day later they were still blowing and we enjoyed the tailwind back. The weather was very breezy the whole 3 days. We camped at Lake of the Woods, which is protected but there are only designated sites around the lake which aren't easy to find. We set up an awesome campsite on Lake Aloha, only to have to move late in the afternoon when the wind got to gusty. We didn't swim because of the gusty winds, but there were a few brave souls that did swim. There was still snow on the Desolation Range and a few spots here and there. Oh and the mosquitos were thick, Be prepared. Beautiful place.

20 days ago

Once past the Desolation sign you are in truly beautiful surroundings. Once at Aloha its pretty much aw inspiring scenery. Hike is a long slow gain in elevation but worth every step. Plenty of wild lakes to explore once past Echo Lakes .

One of my most favorite hikes in desolation. I have done this as a day trip and as of two days ago did it as a backpacking trip. The trail is rocky so hiking shoes and poles I think are a must. The snow on the trail is all melted. Stayed on a Sunday night which was nice since less crowded.

25 days ago

This is a great trail, do to complications I only made it to the end of lake Echo and back. It would be an all day hike if I were to go to Lake Aloha around 6-8 hrs to walk there. Wish I could have made it but started too late.

The path from Lake Echo is very VERY, rocky so watch your step had a few people trip and sprang an ankle on this one, hiking poles are almost a must. If your not used to scaling the side of the mountain this trail is not a 2 person path it's narrow and almost no shade so wear some sun screen. I had 50 protection on and I still got burned lol. Start early so you can make it by lunch or so other wise when it gets dark out and you ....will....get...cold.

Beautiful views and great hike, this is a moderate hike/hard if you do not take the Ferry that will cut the hike to Lake Aloha down to 5 miles. $15 per person for the ferry.

27 days ago

Some great views of Lower and Upper Echo Lakes as well as plenty others. Aloha Lake is beautiful and we had no problem with the six miles there (closer to 13 miles round trip). However the trail is extremely rocky...schedule a foot massage for afterwards. Uneven and tricky trail made for a much less enjoyable trip back.

28 days ago

Wow, what a location. Backpacked in with 3 boys ages 13,12,11. Fantastic hike, not too hard but hard enough for them to accomplish something cool. The lake is amazing, fantastic day hiking. Caught tons of trout. All the boys got big brook trout, more than enough for dinner.

on Lake Aloha Trail

1 month ago

Very beautiful hike! Some snow left but mostly melting. Water proof shoes recommended. Not a lot of shade so apply sunscreen. Aloha lake is beautiful right now with some snow left.

horseback riding
1 month ago

I would recommend an experience horse and rider on this trail, we were 15 minutes into the ride when we encountered granite as in the trail turned into granite and one of the horses slipped and fell maybe 40 feet below and stopped before going over. it took Cal Fire over 2 hours to extract the horse with the help of an equine veterinarian. If you don't like cliffs, this is not the ride for you.

1 month ago

Just hiked this 3 days ago. The snow was melting quickly and made for some sketchy steps. Overall very nice backpacking location. Did well fishing Aloha as well. The only thing I would have done different is if you’re planning on bringing a dog consider bringing boots for them. The granite was tough on my pups feet after the hike up and out and a couple days at the Lake.

There is no trail between Dardanelles and Round. You will need GPS. We ended heading around to the back side of Round and connecting to the Pacific Rim Trail. Beautiful but challenging.

Left thinking I'd come up to echo lake to kayak. thought the hike was great. Very peaceful up at Aloha Lake. Yes, you are not alone out there. Plenty of people make the hike.

1 month ago

I hiked this on June 10. Still some snow from about the Woods Lake turn off, the snow is melting quickly from underneath so you need to take care not to post hole. The water from the melting snow is mostly running down the trail so expect to get your shoes wet and muddy. I took a left turn at the Aloha Lakes sign (past the Woods lake turn off), lost the trail had to use the GPS to find again. Would recommend going straight at that sign, trail much easier to follow. Aloha Lake is not longer frozen but still a lot of snow on the Crystal Range which makes for pretty scenery.

We did this on June 8th. Patches of snow on the PCT after lake of the woods crossing but easy to through. The trails are full of running water from the melt off around Aloha so waterproof shoes or extra socks recommended. Overall a gorgeous trail and great backpacking trip to take first timers too.

long and strenous, very easy to get lost due to knee-deep snow after mile 4. the views are magnificent!
would come back for overnight camping trip, not another day hike

Completed this hike yesterday. Decent amount of snow past the Lake of the Woods cutoff trail but easy to follow the trail with all of the foot traffic. Ton of people on the first section of the trail but thinned out after Tamarack Lake. Such a beautiful hike and Lake Aloha was gorgeous with snow still covering portions of it.

1 month ago

Beautiful views of both Echo lakes and Aloha, along with several other lakes. Aloha was partially frozen over and worth the hike through the snow.

1 month 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!

I love this hike! It's a pretty strenuous hike but so worth it! The views at the top are spectacular!

2 months 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.


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