echo lake | solstice weekend pt.1


after a long week in front of the screen, and the usual summit climbing session didn’t seem like enough, so we made the choice to switch it up. we set our sights on Echo Lake in South Lake Tahoe. it’s rated as low key adventure in my book. in the weiner dogs book… well the trek to the other side of the lake might have been a bit more than he wanted, but he is the “adventure weiner” and made no complaints even with his short legs.

we started off the morning with a quick pit stop at Tahoe House for a quick snack (tip: try the spinach scone – warm it up) and coffee. I had never been, and hubs always raves about it so it was a must! I got an iced coffee, which was perfect, but then was disappointed after I got a taste of the creamy mocha that Chris splurged on; pretty sure they have a healthy dose of tasty swiss chocolate. we then headed for for the infamous PDQ Tahoma Market for sandwiches to pack-in. we all argued over the perfect bread, meat, mustard combo as we ordered, selected our salty beverages and were finally on our way! we made the twist and turns, survived the tourist traffic through Emerald Bay, through the “Y” and made it to our destination.

there was quite the crowd when we arrived; it was expected since there is parking lot, a mini-market, and it being an easy access point to desolation. however, once we hit the trail we would come across small groups of people, but it wasn’t bad at all.


the hike to the west side of lower and upper Echo Lake is about 3 miles round trip. the trail is fairly flat, with a few rolling hills, and an easy walk even on a warm day. the alpine lake was a bit breezy (very common apparently) and we noticed lots of climbing routes on the north side. not knowing too much about the lake, we were surprised to see so many cabins, all with boat docks. good news was that all the people were on the trail, and nobody seemed to be on the lake as we reached our lunch spot


we made it to the west side of the lake, and made our way down to poach a dock for our lunch spot. the lake was that standard pins and needles cold for the first minute, but was a nice contrast to the hot sunshine. we enjoyed the water, the dogs swam after a flock of geese, the boys attempted to “deep water” solo and we all took in view. occasionally we would see a boat out, and caught the attention of one paddle boarding mom + daughter + dog, other than that we had the lake to ourselves. it was perfect!

after a few hours we packed up our stuff, and headed out. we flagged down a boat, because you we had heard you could hitch a ride back to the parking lot + lodge, but quickly ditched that idea. DO NOT TAKE THE BOAT… it’s alpine robbery! they will take dogs for $5 and its $12 a person. we had considered it not knowing the price, because we had just planned to make it part of the adventure to see the lake in another way, but ultimately chose to use our legs to get us back to the car.


it was by no means a strenuous adventure, but all summer adventures deserve an ice cream cone! the Echo Chalet provided perfect scoops (mango, rainbow sherbert, pistachio, and mint chip), and was waiting for us at the parking lot.

this was the first trip to Echo Lake for all of us, and I can say that I will be back sometime. we joked how awesome it would be to rent a cabin for the weekend, and just hang out. it also has easy access to many other great spots, like Lake Aloha to our list, which is found only a few miles beyond the lower and upper lakes.

// the spot: Echo Lake | South Lake Tahoe // photos taken from 11 am to 3 pm //