Echo Lake California Fishing, Camping, Boating

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Echo Lake

Echo Lake, 10 miles south of Lake Tahoe, is the perfect place to get away from the crowds, enjoy the views and spectacular sunsets and find that perfect fishing spot.

  • Echo Lake is the ideal place to get away from the crowds
  • Only 10 miles south of Lake Tahoe
  • The best times to come are from spring through fall
  • Get out in the lower lake for great water skiing
  • Catch some Kokanee salmon
  • Hike into the Desolation Wilderness


Echo Lake CA provides many recreational activities for an enhanced Tahoe vacation. It’s just a short drive to a location free from crowds and surrounded with breathtaking scenery. This glacial lake sits at an elevation of 7,414 feet in the Sierra Nevada Mountains’ Desolation Wilderness.

Location & Information

Echo Lake California can be reached from Highway 50, south of Lake Tahoe. Take Johnson’s Pass Road on the north side of the highway, which is a half-mile west of Echo Summit.

The best times to visit Echo Lake are from spring through fall.

Contact information: Eldorado National Forest
Echo Lake number – 530-573-2600
Visitor information – 530-644-6048


  • Camping
    Unique Echo Lake camping is yours at this Sierra location. A traditional-style summer camp is open to everyone, with all the activities you would expect to find in a children’s summer camp. One section is reserved for kids and the rest is for everybody else. The camp is open from June to August every year.
  • Hiking
    Hiking into the Desolation Wilderness is a thrilling affair. With hundreds of miles of trails, you’ll find the forest landscapes stretch before you. From Echo Lake to Lake Aloha, there’s a 15-mile out-and-back hike that will be an overnight trip. Day hikes are superb, too, taking you through meadows, past cascading waterfalls and fabulous lakes.
  • Fishing
    Echo Lake fishing is very rewarding. You can find healthy populations of rainbow, brook and cutthroat trout as well as Kokanee salmon.
  • Boating
    Echo Lake is a wonderful place to enjoy boating. All types of boating are allowed in the lower lake, but no water skiing in the upper lake. You’ll find a full-service marina and launching facilities here.

Fun Facts

Exploring the Desolation Wilderness Area starting from Echo Lake is a great way to discover this unspoiled forest. The wilderness area covers about 60,000 acres, with over 50 lakes and streams. You can leave from a trailhead at the far end of upper Echo Lake to get to other lakes within the wilderness.