TRT Day 7. South Lake Tahoe to Gilmore Lake

Our unplanned stop in South Lake Tahoe allowed us to refresh, repack and on TRT day 7, we restarted at Echo Chalet following a hot breakfast and an Uber up the hill.

Heading West now, we took the 2mile water taxi to the far side of Upper Echo and then climbed steadily towards Lake Aloha and into Desolation wilderness (where permits are required). After the vivid blues and greens of the Echo, Lake Aloha presents the barren wilderness in an unearthly way. We planned a dip in the icy lake but rain chilled us and with the sun gone, we thought better of it – even the frogs were leaving the water. The storm (a regular but tame event in the summer Sierra afternoons) subsided after 30mins and we were back on our way.

Following the Echo lakes, the lakes come thick and fast. No water to carry here. Around the corner from Aloha comes Heather Lake, followed by Susie Lake. At Susie lake, its worth following the river outlet, where the crossing is at the South East corner of the lake, to the top of the waterfall with views of Grass Lake in the distance.

Gradually climbing down from Susie, there is then a step climb up to Gilmore Lake – a popular overnight hike destination.

  • South Lake Tahoe (hotel)
  • Echo Lake       (Elevation: 6,765.65 ft. Lat: 38.834866 Lon: -120.034540)
  • Gilmore Lake (Elevation: 8,383.56 ft. Lat: 38.892406 Lon: -120.113996)
  • Start Time – 10:30am End Time – 6:30pm
  • Trail miles according to AllTrails – 10.6
  • Elevation Gain according to AllTrails – 1850

Map data from AllTrails

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Elevation data from Delorme GPS (10min intervals)


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TRT Association maps can be found here and here.

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