Echo Peak Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"The Pacific Crest Trail coincides with the Tahoe-Yosemite Trail (17E01) through most of Desolation Wilderness, the two splitting just north of Middle Velma Lake. The PCT also coincides with the Tahoe Rim Trail until Twin Peaks. You begin this PCT section by crossing Lower Echo Lake’s dam. Then you make an initial climb south before heading west on your sparsely treed, rollercoaster trail. The trail traverses below some prominent granodiorite cliffs, and then switchbacks twice and climbs high above lakeshore summer homes. Scattered Jeffrey pines give way to thick groves of lodgepoles as you descend toward the lake’s north shore. Then you traverse to a rusty, granitic knoll, round it to forested slopes above Upper Echo Lake, and continue westward. The tree cover is thick enough to blot out any possible view of the public pier at which the water taxis land, and several short trails down to the lake add to the confusion. (The proper one is usually signed.) One can follow any of them down to the shore, then follow a shoreline trail to the obvious pier on the lake’s north corner. If you’ve taken the taxi, you’ll know which trail to take to get back on the PCT."
--Jeffrey P. Schaffer, Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California (Wilderness Press).
"With a boat ride on Echo Lakes Chalet’s water taxi across Lower and Upper Echo lakes, you can easily access a cozy basin holding three delightful lakes tucked into the southeast corner of Desolation Wilderness. Without the water taxi, the round-rip distance increases by 5 miles. Tamarack, Ralston, and Cagwin lakes are distinctively different from one another, each with its own unique charm and appeal. Due to the lakes’ close proximity to a trailhead and the resulting popularity, camping at the lakes is not allowed."
--Mike White, Afoot & Afield: Tahoe-Reno: 201 Spectacular Outings in the Lake Tahoe Region (Wilderness Press).
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