Backpacking Aloha Lake, Tahoe

Josh managed to wrangle down a permit to one of the “most popular wilderness areas in the National Wilderness Preservation System”, Desolation Wilderness. With that kind of title, you’d be surprised to hear that we really didn’t encounter that many people during our 3-day backpacking trip.

Backpacking to Aloha Lake

Despite my naive decision to wear brand new hiking shoes on our ~ 22-mile trip, it was a beautiful destination that I would highly recommend for anyone looking to get away from it all. We started off at Echo Lake and hiked up to Aloha Lake area to camp.

Aloha Lake, it turns out, is a damned reservoir, that just so happened to be emptied right before we got there. So instead, we ended up camping at American Lake. From the pictures, you can probably already tell that we had no regrets sleeping there instead. We hiked around the lake to find this perfect rock nook that gave me views over the lake, easy access to water, and plenty of wind shelter, aka the backpacker’s dream. 

Trip Overview

Day 1:

~Breakfast at The Getaway Cafe – where we shamelessly stole some mini-moos

~Starting at Echo Lake, we hiked up to Aloha Lake and eventually found a campsite at American Lake (7 miles)

~Sunset hike up the nearby ridge to catch a view of Aloha Lake

Day 2:

~Hike up to Clyde Lake for a nice dip! (for Josh and Dave, at least…meanwhile I was soaking my feet!) (8 miles)

Day 3:

~Hike back down to Echo Lake (7 miles)

~Scarf down some sushi at The Naked Fish


Backpacking Lake Aloha
Tycho was a trooper, carrying his own weight throughout the trip.

Backpacking Aloha Lake

Backpacking Aloha Lake

Backpacking Aloha Lake
Aloha Lake
Backpacking Aloha Lake
Night views from our campsite at American Lake


Backpacking Aloha Lake

Lessons Learned

  1. Don’t wear brand new hiking shoes on a big backpacking trip. YOU WILL get blisters despite YEARS of ballet training that have toughened up your feet.
  2. Chocolate is always a good idea- Thank you, Dave!
  3. Tycho is a beast.

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