Explore Five Breathtaking Backcountry Lakes On This Exhilarating Northern California Hike
Consisting of nearly 64,000-acres of wild and scenic beauty, an adventure in Northern California’s Desolation Wilderness is always one to remember. A popular destination for day hiking and backpacking, the wilderness area contains a plethora of trails that showcase its pine forests, granite outcroppings, and backcountry lakes. The trail to Lake Aloha is often considered Desolation’s ultimate hiking destination, as it takes you to not just one or two but
five backcountry lakes. It’s an incredible trek, for sure, and one that you’ll definitely want to take on when you feel like an adventure!
The trek to Lake Aloha is perfect for those looking to experience the best of California's Desolation Wilderness. Taking you to at least five different backcountry lakes, it's the type of hike that grabs your attention from beginning to end.
The Lake Aloha Trail is a 12-mile out-and-back adventure with about 1,800-feet in elevation gain. It can make for either a moderate day hike or an easygoing multi-day backpacking trip. However you decide to conquer it, you will not be sorry!
The hike begins at the Echo Lakes trailhead. You'll find it by heading east on Highway 50 past Twin Bridges. Turn left onto Echo Summit Rd. and left again at Forest Rte 11N05. Follow the road to the end where you'll find the trailhead.
Right off the bat, hikers will be treated to the sight of Lower and Upper Echo Lakes. A popular summertime destination, you'll often see boaters, anglers, and swimmers enjoying the bright blue lake.
After Echo Lakes, the trail makes a gradual ascension up the mountainside while treating you to pristine views of Tamarack Lake and Ralston Lake below. You can even take an optional .5-mile detour straight down Tamarack's beautiful shoreline if you wish.
The next section of the trail is the steepest but has even more in store for you. About a mile before reaching Lake Aloha, the trail splits and you'll have the option to take a route that leads you to Lake of the Woods. It'll require a little more energy, but it's well worth it!
The trail then continues to Lake Aloha, the largest and most brilliant lake of them all. Here you can spend time relaxing in the lake's cool waters or even set up camp at one of the nearby campsites.
Permits are required within the Desolation Wilderness for both day hikes and overnight trips. You can fill out a day hike permit at the trailhead, and reserve and pay for an overnight permit
What do you think? Are you up to see all these backcountry lakes on the Aloha Lake trail? This hike looks truly amazing! For even more must-do hiking trails, check out
10 Trails In Northern California That Will Lead You To Unforgettable Places.
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