Trail Run Project Logo

Echo Lakes to Lake Aloha

Intermediate
 4.6 (34) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Lakes, peaks, and lots of people can all be found on this section of the Pacific Crest Trail.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

12.8

Miles

20.7

KM

94%

Runnable

8,340' 2,542 m

High

7,424' 2,263 m

Low

1,434' 437 m

Up

1,436' 438 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

18%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Lake · Views · Wildflowers

Overview

A beautiful run around both the Echo Lakes lead to the heart of the Desolation Wilderness and Lake Aloha. This is one of the more popular trails in the area, so expect to share it! Consider taking the water taxi (in season roughly July through Labor Day weekend) to make this journey shorter and easier.

Need to Know

You can take a water taxi across both Echo Lakes and save about 5 miles of your run. It's fun and very scenic as well. Taking the taxi makes this much shorter and easier. More Taxi Information

Description

If you're not taking the taxi, head up the hill to the PCT and start your journey following the banks of Lower Echo Lake. The trail is pretty open and can be quite hot here, and Echo Lake is lightly developed with vacation homes, but after about 2 miles you hit the wilderness boundary and the setting gets a bit more serene.

Pass a wildflower-filled meadow at 4.5 miles and continue past several junctions until you reach Lake Aloha. Enjoy the lake, perhaps a swim and a picnic, and then take a left at Lake of the Woods Trail.

Skirt around the lake, enjoy the views, then take a left on the PCT to Lake Aloha Trail (17E39). This will quickly get you back to the PCT and your return run back to Echo Lakes.

There are a smattering of camping areas dotted along the way if you'd like to extend your journey.

Contacts

Shared By:

Nick Wilder

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 34 votes

#205

Overall
  4.6 from 34 votes
5 Star
65%
4 Star
29%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#28

in California

#205

Overall
138 Views Last Month
28,207 Since Aug 9, 2016
Intermediate

0%
0%
82%
0%
18%
0%

Photos

Pyramid Peak with Lake Aloha in the foreground.
Sep 10, 2017 near South L…, CA
Northern part of Lower Echo Lake
Jun 25, 2018 near South L…, CA
Lake Aloha from the eastern shore.
Dec 27, 2020 near South L…, CA
Lake Aloha with Pyramid Peak and Mount Price in the background.
Dec 27, 2020 near South L…, CA
You'll enjoy a great view looking over Upper and Lower Echo Lakes from the trail to Tamarack Lake.
Jun 25, 2017 near South L…, CA
The Pacific Crest Trail along Lower Echo Lake.
Aug 16, 2016 near South L…, CA

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Sep 29, 2018
Chad V
Passed 112 hikers and 1 runner. 12.8mi