Lake Tahoe Hiking: Echo Lakes and Lake Aloha (Desolation Wilderness)

This post is a bit late, but in late October we went for a nice hike in Desolation Wilderness, near Lake Tahoe. Tahoe absolutely never gets old–this hike was filled with beautiful scenery: gorgeous trees, many lakes, and some rocky terrain. It was about 10 miles round trip, so it’s best for an all-day trip.

We started out parking at the Echo Lake Chalet (parking up on the hill above there fills up fast!), and then walked alongside Lower Echo Lake. The path here was pretty level, so this part went by fast. After Lower Echo Lake, you’ll  hike alongside the smaller Upper Echo Lake.

The trail along the Echo Lakes looks like this:

Echo Lakes Trail
Echo Lakes Trail

Once you get to the top of Upper Echo Lake, you’ll get a view like this:

Upper Echo Lake
Upper Echo Lake

As you enter into Desolation Wilderness, the terrain gets rockier and steeper, so good hiking boots are a must! Here it is pretty open, with hardly any trees around. It is actually quite a climb for a while, but then it levels out and there is a clear path:


As you get closer to Lake Aloha, you’ll get more into a forest, surrounded by these beautiful trees:

IMG_6489 IMG_6488

And then…Lake Aloha!

Lake Aloha
Lake Aloha

It is really beautiful up there–very open and quiet, with lots of places to walk around. Unfortunately it was also pretty barren–there were whole sections that were completely dried out. This of course came after 4 years of drought in California, before the rainy winter we’ve been having. Hopefully it’s filled up a little bit now 🙂

We hiked back down the same way we came–the sun was setting and it illuminated everything in such a beautiful way 🙂 Here are some of my favorite photos from the hike down:

IMG_6491 IMG_6493 IMG_6494

And then one last look at Lower Echo Lake from the Echo Chalet 🙂

Lower Echo Lake from Echo Chalet

Beautiful hike!!