I don’t learn about you, however the first time I noticed images of Lake Aloha I instantly received to planning. Would the water actually be that clear? Was it really that lovely on the market? Might it’s that desolate? I simply needed to know, and the reply is sure, sure it’s!
Whereas Lake Aloha isn’t any secret, there are methods to get all of it to your self, and to get away from the mosquitoes!
Although this may be executed 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 will depend on your willingness to hike with weight on and the way acquainted you’re with backpacking. Let’s speak about doing it as a day hike first.
Day Mountaineering to Lake Aloha
The preferred entry level for Lake Aloha is Echo Lake. Most years there’s a water taxi operating in the summertime to chop off a few miles, pending COVID adjustments (there isn’t one operating on the time of this writing – 2020).
This hike is gorgeous, and pretty flat. There’s an elevation achieve and lack of about 1800 toes over the course of 13 miles when you cease proper if you attain the tip of the lake. Personally I discover this hike fairly simple, however on AllTrails individuals price it as arduous. Nonetheless, I have a tendency to search out AllTrails reviewers to be extremely dramatic and if you’re used to climbing, this received’t be arduous for you! It’s simply lengthy, so plan accordingly if you’d like a great period of time to swim on the lake…
You’ll have to fill out a day allow on the trailhead, which is free. You’re allowed to convey doggos as effectively 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.
Remember the fact that parking at Echo Lakes Trailhead is restricted and tends to refill very early, notably on weekends. This hike is in South Lake Tahoe, which can be one of many busiest components of the lake. I’ve heard studies of individuals displaying up at 9 AM and having to hike an additional mile every method because of the car parking zone filling up.
You’ll cross by 5 beautiful lakes in your route. Lake Aloha is the crown jewel however the others are beautiful as effectively. Put together to see a tremendous blanket of wildflowers in each colour conceivable in the summertime months. That is really a surprising hike!
There’s loads of alternative to refill on water, although you have to to purify it (I take advantage of a SteriPEN). Be sure you convey snacks and a few type of insect safety (I desire a bug go well with to chemical substances 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 actually does remind me at instances 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 aren’t any services and leaving no hint is as much as you.
By no means wash within the lakes. Gather 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 effectively.
The advice for Desolation Wilderness is that you simply both take out human waste with you, or most likely extra realistically for most individuals, at the least pack out the bathroom paper with you, dig a gap, bury human waste, and be sure you are at the least 300 toes from any water supply.
As all the time, pack out completely the whole lot you usher in and by no means go away any meals, together with apple cores (I eat mine!) out on the path.
You’ll need an in a single day allow and this one can’t be obtained on the trailhead. You’ll be able to organize them right here. Be sure you e book early as they e book out far prematurely.
Now that we’ve received that out of the way in which, let’s speak about how wonderful it’s to backpack in Desolation and all the route choices that you’ve got!
I additionally wished to see Mt. Tallac at dawn, so I started my hike there.
In some methods, climbing all the way in which as much as Tallac, which is kind of a steep hike (extra on that right here), and again right down to Gilmore with a full pack is a horrible thought. In different methods, it’s an incredible thought.
Sure, it was robust doing that hike with full weight, nevertheless it meant that Dr. G and I saved enjoyable at Lake Aloha for the tip. 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 (optionally available, loopy, and price it).
- Hike previous the beautiful Susie and Heather Lakes to Aloha.
- Spend two superb nights on Aloha.
- Take the Tamarack Path out, which I actually can’t suggest.
I feel one of the best case state of affairs could be having two automobiles and starting or ending at Echo Lake reasonably 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 price 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. Try this path map for extra choices within the space.
Tenting on Lake Aloha
It wasn’t clear to me previous to heading out to the wilderness the place one can and can’t camp in Desolation Wilderness.
At the least on the a part of the path that I did, it appears to be like like you’ll be able to just about camp wherever, once more supplied that you simply go away no hint and have a allow.
I noticed somebody camped on the summit of Mount Tallac, there have been loads of individuals round Gilmore, Susie, and wherever round Lake Aloha. You’ll need to be solely self-sufficient as there aren’t any services nor established campgrounds.
However as a normal rule, I all the time attempt to camp the place others have already camped to reduce my human influence. I’m all the time on the lookout for areas that will probably be secure if there’s a flash flood, so by no means close to a river, and by no means on high 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 all the time vital for tenting and backpacking within the Sierras. Be sure you preserve it effectively away out of your camp and do your cooking away from camp as effectively.
Should you’re new to backpacking and the outside, I’m right here to assist! I created a Outdoor 101 course that’s completely free, and there’s numerous information on this video (that includes Lake Aloha!) as effectively:
I’ve spent years testing out gear as effectively and these are my favorites, together with my favourite simply add water backpacking meals.
Having fun with Lake Aloha
The wonderful factor about this lake is how extremely crystal clear the water is. Identical to Lake Tahoe, you’ll be able to see proper by means of 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 components 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 rather a lot higher for the shortage of mosquitoes! It doesn’t make a lot sense to attempt to go all the way in which 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.
Should you’re a star lover like me, make it some extent to be on the market throughout a brand new moon – the evening sky is wonderful! The sunsets have been persistently wonderful as effectively.
Do even be ready for any type of climate, it doesn’t matter what the forecast says. The wind can get sturdy 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 received fortunate or if that is regular, nevertheless it’s all the time finest to be ready for any type 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 like Lake Aloha as a lot as I did. Be sure you all the time keep on established trails, preserve it clear, and solely share the key with superior individuals ?.
Completely satisfied trails.