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Echo Lake Route

Difficult
 3.0 (1)

Off-trail route with open views to austere alpine lake surrounded by snow fields and high peaks.


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Map Key

1.5

Miles

2.4

KM

87%

Runnable

11,618' 3,541 m

High

11,059' 3,371 m

Low

565' 172 m

Up

15' 4 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

33%

Max Grade (18°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Wilderness permits are required. They can be obtained online at recreation.gov/permits. The trail entrance is JM17. There are daily quotas. In 2020, no walk-in permits are available. No campfires are allowed.

Description

This is an off-trail route with no technical difficulties or dangerous drop-offs. Much of the trail is easy running across open meadows. However, there are 3 areas of 200-300 yards each, where is it necessary to scramble over large blocks of talus. The last 200 feet in elevation before Echo Lake is steep and slippery, but not dangerous.

The route starts from above the north-west shore of Moonlight Lake and immediately comes to the worst of the talus. I didn't find any good way across this, but it seemed worse near the shore. After that, it is an easy run along the shore to the inlet stream.

If you can cross the stream, it is a little easier running on the far (east) side. Either way, as you follow the stream up, you'll reach a talus covered slope that is less difficult than the first. Once over hill, you come to a shallow lake blocking most of the valley. It is a little easier to go around the west side of the lake. From there it is easy running across an open meadow.

As you are crossing the meadow, look up to the final slope before Echo Lake. Try to avoid the talus by picking a path with a much greenery as possible. If you pick the right path, it is not too much trouble. About half-way up this, there is a steep, slippery trail of use. Eventually you'll see grass and shooting stars on the left. Cut over to there for the final easy ascent.

Echo Lake sits in an almost barren basin surrounded by snow fields and the high peaks of Mt. Powell and the Clyde Spires. For the very adventurous, it is possible to run up to the basin below Mt. Wallace and Mt. Haeckel before climbing skills become required.

Flora & Fauna

A lot of shooting stars with wide, green leaves.

Contacts

Shared By:

Lee Watts

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 1 vote

#15

in Bishop Basin

#31117

Overall
  3.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#15

in Bishop Basin

#3,638

in California

#31,117

Overall
2 Views Last Month
43 Since Jul 11, 2020
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Photos

Echo Lake with Mt. Powell (13,386 feet) in the right center.
Jul 11, 2020 near Big Pine, CA
Moonlight Lake sits at the feet of towering granite cliffs.
May 5, 2017 near Big Pine, CA
Moonlight Lake
Jul 10, 2020 near Big Pine, CA

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