Backpacking Trip to Lake Aloha

Lake Tahoe Echo Lakes Boat Taxi

Added by Kyle Frost

  • A low effort, high reward backpacking trip to Lake Aloha in Desolation Wilderness
  • This is a great trip for beginner backpackers!
  • Distance: about 12 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 1000ft

You'll start the hike at the Echo Lakes trailhead, just off of Highway 50 in Lake Tahoe. The trail meanders past Lower and Upper Echo Lakes, slowly gaining altitude as you pass a smattering of summer cabins. The climb is enough to make you feel it, but before you know it, it's over.

Once cresting the "pass" you'll traverse mostly flat and slightly downhill terrain into the lake basin. The trail continues on the east side of the lake up towards Mosquito pass, but you'll want to jump off on one of the side trails heading west into the lake area.

There is plenty of camping around here; I recommend wandering around the myriad inlets and ponds until you find a spot sufficiently isolated and with a fantastic view. Fair warning, the basin can get VERY windy and VERY cold at night.

Enjoy an amazing sunrise and sunset over the Crystal Range!

Pack List

  • 10 essentials
  • Camp stove
  • Warm clothing
  • Tent
  • Water filter
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Backpacking, Camping, Hiking

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



12 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1000 Feet




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How to Get There

about 2 months ago

The heart of "Desolation Wilderness"

The Lake Aloha area is what I consider the heart of Desolation Wilderness. It's an easy to access destination that has the feel of desolation because of all the granite and lack of trees. It's also one of the few places in the Tahoe area that comes close to the big mountain feel of the central and southern Sierras. Lake Aloha can get very crowded in the summer but if you have a map and some basic off-trail navigation skills you can easily explore other lakes in Desolation Valley and find a lot more privacy.

about 2 months ago

Added by Kyle Frost

Designer and Adventure Photographer based in Boulder, Colorado. Fan of mountains, coffee, beer, and witty banter. Available for commissions and collaborations. I'm @kylefrost pretty much everywhere.

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