Desolation Wilderness: Echo Lakes Trailhead

Destination   Difficulty     Mileage 
(One Way)
        Zone

Upper Echo Lake

 

easy

   

2.5 miles

       

n/a

Tamarack Lake

 

easymoderate

   

3.8 miles

       

41

Triangle Lake (northbound trail)

 

moderate

   

4.2 miles

       

42

Triangle Lake (eastbound trail)

 

moderate

   

5.4 miles

       

42

Ralston and Cragwin Lakes

 

moderate

   

4.2 miles

       

41

Haypress Meadows

 

moderate

   

4.2 miles

       

41

Echo Peak

 

difficult, technical

   

8.1 miles

       

42

Lake Margery

 

moderate

   

5.1 miles

       

33

Lake Lucille

 

moderate

   

5.2 miles

       

33

Lake of the Woods

 

moderate

   

5.3 miles

       

40

Lake Aloha

 

moderate

   

6.1 miles

       

33, 38, 39, 22, 27

Lake LeConte

 

moderate

   

6.7 miles

       

33

Lake Aloha (northeast corner)

 

moderate

   

7.5 miles

       

33

Clyde Lake

 

moderatedifficult, technical

   

9.3 miles

       

22

Ralston Peak

 

difficult, technical

   

6.9 miles

       

45

Ropi Lake

 

moderate

   

7.0 miles

       

44

 

Directions to the trailhead

   

Take Highway 50 to Echo Summit and turn onto Johnson Pass Road. Stay left and the road will lead you to the parking area by Lower Echo Lake.

Access

   

Many different hikes can be taken from this trailhead. For a short walk, hike to the far end of Upper Echo Lake. Many longer hike options await you farther down the trail!

Attractions and Considerations

   

A boat taxi operated in the summer by Echo Lakes Resort cuts three miles off your trip. A nominal fee is charged for this service. Contact the Echo Lakes Chalet for more information: (530) 659-7207.

A wilderness permit is required. Day hikers, pick up your permit at the self serve area at the trailhead. Overnight hikers will need an overnight permit for Desolation Wilderness. This permit must be purchased before you get to the Echo Lakes Trailhead.

Useful Map Information

   

U.S. Forest Service map: Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit:
R.17 E.   T. 12 N. 

 

Trail Difficulty Ratings

Each trail in our guide is rated for difficulty.  These ratings are generally based on trail condition, steepness of grades, gain and loss of elevation, technical aspects, and the amount and kinds of natural barriers that must be traversed.  Here's what these ratings mean:

easy  Easy: Trail requiring limited skill with little challenge to travel.

moderate  Moderate: Trail requiring some skill & challenge to travel.

difficult/technical  Difficult, technical: Trail requiring high degree of skill & challenge to travel.