About Echo Lake
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    Echo Lakes are a glacially formed pair of lakes 10 miles south of Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  The area offers a variety of outdoor activities including boating, hiking, fishing, and camping in Desolation Wilderness.

A view of Upper Echo Lake- Ralston Peak at left, Pyramid Peak at right.

    Upper and Lower Echo Lakes are connected by a narrow channel which is passable by boat only during high-water conditions.  The dam on Lower Echo Lake allows for storage of six feet of surface water (about 1,800 acre feet).  This water is owned and managed for commercial purposes.  The lakes are frozen in winter, and the channel becomes navigable when the first 2 to 3 feet of water are stored behind the dam (usually late May or early June).  The channel remains passable until the top 3-4 feet of water are drawn down in the Fall.

    The Echo Lakes community includes the resort and marina, a seasonal post office, over 100 summer residences (located on US Forest Service or private lands), and many welcome visitors.  Echo Lake is an ideal place for your mountain vacation.  The housekeeping cabins, rustic but comfortable, have wide porches with beautiful views of the lake and mountains.  For evening entertainment and a change of pace, there is the excitement of South Lake Tahoe.  

    The Desolation Wilderness Area covers approximately 60,000 acres and includes more than 50 lakes and streams within its borders.  The area has been protected since 1929, insuring an unspoiled wilderness for everyone to enjoy.  Huge masses of granite, forests of red fir, hemlock, pine, and juniper abound.  Lush meadows alive with wild flowers and clear blue lakes give the area spectacular beauty.  The Crystal Range, a score of other lofty peaks, the Rubicon River, and many sparkling streams are contained within the Wilderness Area.  Elevations range from 7,414 feet at Echo Lake's dam, to over 10,000 feet, and, at these altitudes, rattlesnakes and poison oak are not present.  With the use of the taxi boat service from the Chalet/Marina to the trailhead at the far end of Upper Echo Lake, it is possible to explore and fish several of the near wilderness lakes in a single day.  This beautiful country is quite open and free of brush, such that it is not necessary for experienced hikers to stick to main trails.  Plan routes to take in lakes off the beaten path; you'll find beautiful places to picnic, swim, and fish.  All the higher ridges and peaks are well worth climbing for wonderful views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area.

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