“Trail from a roadside parking area into fir forested Lassen National Park backcountry that is sprinkled with lakes.
— Joan Pendleton
Lake · Views
The Echo Lake/Twin Lakes Trail starts at the Summit Lake Trailhead parking area behind a couple of trailhead signs. The trail immediately crosses a wet grassy meadow area on a short boardwalk, and enters the fir forest. Flat at first, the Echo Lake/Twin Lakes Trail reaches Summit Lake, the Summit Lake North Campground Connector
, and the Summit Lake Amphitheater
Path at the 0.4 mile mark.
Leaving Summit Lake behind, Echo Lake/Twin Lakes Trail begins a 1.2 mile climb that takes the trail to its high point. As the trail climbs, it emerges from the fir forest onto more open terrain with green manzanita ground cover and stands of firs. Snowy Lassen Peak and Chaos Crags can be seen to the west. At the 1.3 mile mark, Bear Lakes Trail
is passed to the left (north).
After passing Bear Lakes Trail
, the Echo Lake/Twin Lakes Trail high point is reached at the 1.6 mile mark. From here the trail descends rapidly, re-entering the fir forest as it loses altitude. Now in the fir forest, Echo Lake is reached at the 2.2 mile mark, and the trail follows its shoreline for the next 0.2 miles. Echo Lake is a sparkling blue-green lake set in the dense fir forest.
After passing Echo Lake, the trail continues descending though the fir forest to reach Upper Twin Lake at the 3.6 mile mark. A small unnamed lake is also passed on the way to Upper Twin Lake. At Upper Twin Lake the trail levels out and follows the lake's forested shoreline for 0.4 miles.
Leaving Upper Twin Lake behind, the trail almost immediately reaches forested Lower Twin Lake and a trail junction with Lower Twin Lake South Shore Trail
. Stay to the left here to follow the Lower Twin Lake northwest side shoreline for about a mile to where Echo Lake/Twin Lakes Trail ends at the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).
Flora & Fauna
Beautiful fir forest, except at the higher elevations that are more open with equally beautiful green low growing manzanita and stands of firs.