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Echo Lake Snowshoe

Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, California

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Echo Lake Snowshoe

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  • Leaving for Echo Lake. Always be cautious in the backcountry.- Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • The Echo Lake Trailhead.- Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • Ridge toward Becker Peak visible on the snowshoe to Echo Lake.- Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • Frozen Echo Lake.- Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • Echo Lake and the summit of Echo Peak from the ridge.- Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • Lake Tahoe in the distance seen from the route to Echo Lake.- Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • Fresh powder toward the ridge on the way to Echo Lake.- Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • The ridge leading to Echo Lake.- Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • Sunlight streams between the trees on the way to Echo Lake.- Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • Sign at the dock.- Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • Playing around the dock at Echo Lake.- Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • A frozen Echo Lake. - Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • Always be very cautious when testing the surface of Echo Lake when it is frozen.- Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • The Echo Lake snowshoe is a great hike for dogs.- Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • Backcountry skier on the ridge near Echo Lake.- Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • Lake Tahoe in the distance on the route to Echo Lake.- Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • If your dog likes the snow, this is a great spot to explore.- Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • The only bathroom by the Sno-Park for Echo Lake.- Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • Echo Lake Sno-Park.- Echo Lake Snowshoe
  • - Echo Lake Snowshoe
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Fantastic winter views. Easy access. Lake.
Cons: 
Can be crowded. Weather dependent.
Region:
Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, CA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Groomed trail: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
574.00 ft (174.96 m)
Parking Pass: 
Sno-Park Parking Permit (required in OR + WA 11.01 thru 04.30)
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Summer
Total Distance: 
3.30 mi (5.31 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
7,257.00 ft (2,211.93 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Echo Lake is located just a few miles to the west of South Lake Tahoe, and this makes it a very popular destination in the summer. During the winter, however, the road leading to the lake is covered with snow, which makes it a perfect opportunity for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Start at the Echo Lake Sno-Park, and don't forget to pick up a permit beforehand and leave it on the dashboard where it can be easily seen. Permits can be purchased at local stores or online. If you can manage it, try to arrive before 10 a.m. to avoid traffic and find a parking spot.

Head back toward the main road to find the sign marking the Echo Lake Trail that is right across the street. If you are lucky, someone will have broken the trail for you; otherwise, be sure to pay attention to the route to stay oriented. Head northwest to reach the lake. In a healthy snow year there will be plenty of snow from the start, and once you are away from the main road and noise the trail becomes a peaceful winter wonderland.

After 1.5 miles you'll reach the lake. While the lake usually freezes in the winter, always proceed with caution as you test the surface. The dock by the lake is a perfect place to hang out and have lunch before heading up to the ridge if the conditions permit.

Backcountry Safety

Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.

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(18 within a 30 mile radius)

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