The Final Lake Aloha Mountaineering & Backpacking Information


I don’t find out about you, however the first time I noticed photographs of Lake Aloha I instantly bought to planning. Would the water actually be that clear? Was it truly that stunning on the market? Might or not it’s that desolate? I simply needed to know, and the reply is sure, sure it’s!

Whereas Lake Aloha is not any secret, there are methods to get all of it to your self, and to get away from the mosquitoes!

Although this may be carried out as a day hike, I spent 4 days backpacking round Lake Aloha and the encompassing space, together with Mt. Tallac. This put up is designed that will help you whether or not you’re simply doing it as a day hike or planning a backpacking journey. 

Right here’s your final information to Lake Aloha from an area:

Day Hike or Backpacking Journey?

That’s the query! The reply relies on your willingness to hike with weight on and the way acquainted you might be with backpacking. Let’s discuss doing it as a day hike first.

Day Mountaineering to Lake Aloha

The most well-liked entry level for Lake Aloha is Echo Lake. Most years there’s a water taxi working in the summertime to chop off a few miles, pending COVID modifications (there isn’t one working on the time of this writing – 2020).

This hike is gorgeous, and pretty flat. There’s an elevation acquire and lack of about 1800 ft over the course of 13 miles when you cease proper once you attain the tip of the lake. Personally I discover this hike fairly simple, however on AllTrails folks fee it as arduous. Nonetheless, I have a tendency to search out AllTrails reviewers to be extremely dramatic and in case you are used to mountain climbing, this gained’t be arduous for you! It’s simply lengthy, so plan accordingly if you would like an excellent period of time to swim on the lake.

Thoughts-blowing, no?

You’ll must fill out a day allow on the trailhead, which is free. You’re allowed to carry doggos as properly so long as they’re stored on leash. There’s path entry year-round, although it’s a snowshoe path within the winter and the lake is definitely a reservoir that’s drained every autumn. 

Needless to say parking at Echo Lakes Trailhead is restricted and tends to refill very early, significantly on weekends. This hike is in South Lake Tahoe, which can be one of many busiest elements of the lake. I’ve heard studies of individuals exhibiting up at 9 AM and having to hike an additional mile every method because of the car parking zone filling up.

You’ll go by 5 beautiful lakes in your route. Lake Aloha is the crown jewel however the others are beautiful as properly. Put together to see an incredible blanket of wildflowers in each colour possible in the summertime months. That is actually a shocking hike!

There’s loads of alternative to refill on water, although you have to to purify it (I exploit a SteriPEN). You should definitely carry snacks and a few sort of insect safety (I desire a bug suit to chemical compounds in bug spray) if touring in the summertime.

Lake Aloha as a Backpacking Journey

I like spending time within the wilderness, and this a part of the Sierras jogs my memory of Patagonia. Desolation Wilderness is totally gorgeous and I virtually don’t even wanna write this put up about it as a result of it’s so treasured and pristine.

That stated, I do know persons are questioning about it, so let me take this chance to share that when backpacking in Desolation there are not any services and leaving no hint is as much as you.

Leaving No Hint

By no means wash within the lakes. Accumulate water and stroll away from the supply to take action. By no means use cleaning soap or shampoo (even biodegradable!) both. Wash off any sunscreen earlier than getting within the lake as properly.

The advice for Desolation Wilderness is that you just both take out human waste with you, or most likely extra realistically for most individuals, a minimum of pack out the bathroom paper with you, dig a gap, bury human waste, and be sure you are a minimum of 300 ft from any water supply.

As at all times, pack out completely every thing you herald and by no means go away any meals, together with apple cores (I eat mine!) out on the path. 

You will want an in a single day allow and this one can’t be obtained on the trailhead. You may organize them here. You should definitely e book early as they e book out far prematurely.

Now that we’ve bought that out of the best way, let’s discuss how wonderful it’s to backpack in Desolation and the entire route choices that you’ve!

Route Planning

Mt. Tallac at dawn

Along with Lake Aloha, I wished to see Mt. Tallac at dawn, so I started my hike there. 

In some methods, mountain climbing all the best way as much as Tallac, which is kind of a steep hike (more on that here), and again right down to Gilmore with a full pack is a horrible thought. In different methods, it’s an awesome thought. 

Sure, it was robust doing that hike with full weight, but it surely meant that Dr. G and I saved stress-free at Lake Aloha for the top. Our itinerary went as follows: 

  • Hike up Tallac and camp at Gilmore Lake.
  • Get up at Three AM and hike again as much as the summit of Tallac for dawn (non-obligatory, loopy, and price it). 
  • Hike previous the beautiful Susie and Heather Lakes to Aloha. 
  • Spend two wonderful nights on Aloha. 
  • Take the Tamarack Path out, which I actually can’t advocate. 

I believe one of the best case situation could be having two automobiles and starting or ending at Echo Lake moderately than turning it right into a loop and having to make it again to the Tallac lot. It meant happening an extremely steep and overgrown Tamarack Path or reversing our route again to Tallac, although the view of Fallen Leaf with Tahoe within the background virtually made it value it. 

Nearly, however not fairly. 

There are quite a few choices round, like connecting to the Tahoe Rim Path and the PCT, amongst many others. Check out this trail map for extra choices within the space.

Tenting on Lake Aloha

These stars!

It wasn’t clear to me previous to heading out to the wilderness the place one can and can’t camp in Desolation Wilderness.

Not less than on the a part of the path that I did, it appears to be like like you may just about camp wherever, once more offered that you just go away no hint and have a allow.

I noticed somebody camped on the summit of Mount Tallac, there have been loads of folks round Gilmore, Susie, and wherever round Lake Aloha. You’ll need to be fully self-sufficient as there are not any services nor established campgrounds.

However as a normal rule, I at all times attempt to camp the place others have already camped to attenuate my human affect. I’m at all times on the lookout for areas that can be protected if there’s a flash flood, so by no means close to a river, and by no means on prime of wildflowers.

Additionally, you will want a bear can for this journey. Although I by no means noticed any on the market, a bear can is at all times obligatory for tenting and backpacking within the Sierras. You should definitely hold it properly away out of your camp and do your cooking away from camp as properly.

If you happen to’re new to backpacking and the outside, I’m right here to assist! I created a Outdoors 101 course that’s completely free, and there’s a lot of data on this video (that includes Lake Aloha!) as properly:

I’ve spent years testing out gear as properly and these are my favorites, together with my favourite just add water backpacking meals.

Having fun with Lake Aloha

The wonderful factor about this lake is how extremely crystal clear the water is. Similar to Lake Tahoe, you may see proper via virtually to the underside.

The southern a part of the lake is much more lush and wooded, and much more buggy! That is the place most individuals find yourself tenting out since it’s nearer to the Echo Lakes Trailhead.

Nonetheless, the north and northwestern elements of the lake are, in my view, much more gorgeous and much more barren. You’ll encounter extra wind there and never a lot greenery, however I prefer it loads higher for the shortage of mosquitoes! It doesn’t make a lot sense to attempt to go all the best way for a day hike, however as a backpack journey or for one who’s doing a loop, I like to recommend exploring till you discover your little slice of paradise.

If you happen to’re a star lover like me, make it a degree to be on the market throughout a brand new moon – the night time sky is wonderful! The sunsets have been persistently wonderful as properly.

A complete guide to Lake Aloha, with tips on the best way to do a day hike or an overnight backpacking, what to know if you plan on camping, and the best things to do in the area. Do not go to Lake Aloha without reading this! #LakeAloha

Do even be ready for any sort of climate, it doesn’t matter what the forecast says. The wind can get robust and every night, I noticed threatening storms come our method after which blow over us, lacking us each time. I don’t know if we bought fortunate or if that is regular, but it surely’s at all times finest to be ready for any sort of climate within the wilderness.

Whether or not having fun with it as a day hike or as a multi-day backpacking journey, I hope you’re keen on Lake Aloha as a lot as I did. You should definitely at all times keep on established trails, hold it clear, and solely share the key with superior folks 😉. 

Comfortable trails.

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