El Dorado County, California

Looking for the best backpacking in El Dorado County? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around El Dorado County. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Backpacking Spots in and near El Dorado County

  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Lower, Middle, and Upper Velma Lakes

    3.0
    10.14 mi / 2316 ft gain
    The hike starts at Bayview Trailhead (Latitude: 38.938619 | Longitude: -120.14197). A wooden sign points right to "Desolation" and left to Cascade Falls. Follow the sign towards Desolation. The first 3/4 mile is comprised of switch-backs that lead to a high point with a spectacular view of Lake T...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Camp at Bayview Campground

    5.0
    Bayview is a first come, first serve campground in South Lake Tahoe, halfway between Emerald Bay and Cascade Lake. You can catch an amazing sunrise over Emerald Bay! Large pine trees provide ample shade, and each site is equipped with a picnic table, grill, and bear boxes. Bring plenty of water -...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    Hike to Jabu Lake in Desolation Wilderness

    3.7
    Although this hike can be done as a day hike, there are incredible camping spots near the lake. The easiest way to start this hike is to start at the Echo Lakes. There is ample parking above the marina and you even have the option of taking a water taxi across the echo lakes to cut off around 2.5...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    "Waterfall Camp" in Desolation Wilderness

    4.7
    10.5 mi / 1522 ft gain
    Although this hike can be done as a day hike, it is an awesome place to camp. There is a lot to explore and you will want to spend as much there time as you can. The easiest way to start this hike is to start at the Echo Lakes. There is ample parking above the marina and you even have the option ...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    Cross-Country Ski or Snowshoe to Ralston Peak

    5.0
    This loop is best accomplished in 2 days, spending a night at either Ralston, Tamarack, or Cagwin Lake. Although this route is similar to hiking Ralston Peak in the summer, the trails are completely covered by snow so solid navigation skills are necessary. A map is required to find the best possi...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    Lake Aloha

    4.0
    12.34 mi / 1552 ft gain
    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 cresti...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    Hike the Echo Lake Trail

    4.0
    5 mi / 688 ft gain
    The Echo Lakes Trail goes through California's Desolation Wilderness and features incredible views. This trail is rated as moderate, and is best for excited beginners or intermediate hikers. This hike takes roughly 3.5-4 hours. Dogs are allowed on trail if kept on leash. The trail is best used fr...
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  • Tahoma, California

    Backpack to Crag Lake

    4.0
    11.1 mi / 1220 ft gain
    Day 1:This trip is a great early season trip while you are waiting for the snow to melt in the high country or it could be a good first backpacking trip because of its proximity to the trailhead and the fact that it's a relatively easy hike.  Also, you get to camp by a beautiful lake with a drama...
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  • Tahoe City, California

    Ride Twin Peaks in Lake Tahoe's Backcountry

    This trip is best done in two days with an approach day and then a descent day. Get started at the base of the Sherwood Chair on the backside of the Alpine ski area. Head up, outside of the ski area boundary toward the high ridge.Once on the ridge, you follow it south for a few miles until reachi...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT): Big Meadow to Echo Summit

    17.51 mi / 2949 ft gain
    Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT): Big Meadow to Echo Summit is a point-to-point trail that takes you by a lake located near South Lake Tahoe, California.
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Meiss and Round Lake via Tahoe Rim Trail

    10.5 mi / 1257 ft gain
    Meiss and Round Lake via Tahoe Rim Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a lake located near Kirkwood, California.
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  • Loch Leven Lakes Trailhead, California

    Loch Leven Lakes Trail

    4.4
    7.6 mi / 1480 ft gain
    The trail is easy to follow for the first half mile until you get to some large slabs of granite. As you continue up the trail look for stacked rocks, these will give you a an easy route as you continue up the mountain. The trail then starts to switch back eventually leading to a small bridge. Af...
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  • Arnold, California

    Snow Camp at Bull Run Lake

    15 mi / 2400 ft gain
    This is a long, beautiful snowshoe to a lake that is very accessible in the summer but almost untouched in the winter! There are a couple of ways to access the lake during the winter, but this is the most interesting: Starting at the easternmost sno-park along Highway 4 going east of Bear Valley,...
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  • Truckee, California

    Backpack the Palisades Creek Trail

    4.0
    15 mi / 2200 ft gain
    After driving out to Kidd Lakes and parking at the trailhead, you take off through some easy forest hiking past Cascade Lakes and Long Lake. Pay attention to the cairns marking the trail as you traverse across a large granite section with Devils Peak to your West. The trail is easy to follow and ...
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  • Arnold, California

    Backpack To Wheeler Lake

    5.0
    7.8 mi / 1000 ft gain
    The trail to Wheeler Lake begins at the Woodchuck Basin Trailhead. This trailhead is located a little over a mile east of Lake Alpine on Highway 4. The trail starts off relatively flat and winds through forests and meadows, taking you into the Mokelumne Wilderness. Time it right and you'll be met...
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  • Markleeville, California

    Backpack to Grouse Lake

    4.7
    11.43 mi / 2283 ft gain
    It is a 6 mile hike to Grouse Lake. You begin at the trailhead which is right by Damsite Campground at Upper Blue Lake. Park in the dirt parking area and then cross the metal footbridge, and you will see the trailhead marker on your left. The trail takes you into the Mokelumne Wilderness. Follow...
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