This largely granite area sits just off highway 50 at Echo Pass, the pass you must travel over in order to get into South Lake Tahoe from Sacramento. There are several hundred routes, with lengths from 30 to 300 feet.
Climbing is for the most part traditional, though there are a few mixed and sport climbs, and just like everywhere else in Tahoe if you're really wanting to boulder, there are plenty of good boulders to be found. If you travel a little further away from the lake down to Berkeley Camp, you can also find about 10 sport routes.
Most climbs sit above the Echo Lake entrance to the desolation wilderness and Pacific Crest Trail, which makes the parking lot seem quite full often, though most of the people parked are there visiting some of the cabins on the Lake, for boating, and also for hiking. As a result, you will find yourself climbing uncrowded domes and peaks above the crowded trails.
Most approaches are under an hour, and most of the approach is on the Pacific Crest Trail, which is even smoothed out with concrete in some sections.
All routes are on National Forest land, so there are no access issues.
There's even a general store at the beginning of the trailhead, so getting beer is easy in case you forgot to bring your own.A view from the parking lot at Lower Echo Lakes. The path you need to take out to the majority of climbing starts on the concrete walkway on the right side of the picture. Most Climbing is behind the large formation in the picture known as Echo Edge.
From east or west, head uphill on 50 to 2 miles west of Echo Summit. From the west (Placerville), hang a left on Echo Summit road, and from the east (South Lake Tahoe) hang a right. Follow this narrow paved road about 2 miles to the parking lot before Lower Echo Lake.
73 Total Routes
['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',15],['2 Stars',35],['1 Star',15],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in Echo Lakes
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Echo Lakes:
Featured Route For Echo Lakes
Sun and Steel 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- E4 6a CA
: Tahoe Vicinity
: ... : Old Peculiar
Sun and Steel is a good granite face climb. Most of the climbing is less than vertical, but a couple small roofs and a short vertical section near the top make it memorable. Begin just left of Off-Width Their Heads (the odvious off-width crack) and work through the foot-less start to a tricky face that finally leads to the crux roof. After pulling the roof, there's about 15 feet of 5.8 or 9 crack climbing. After the crack you're left with a steep face before the climbing lets off as you gain...[more] Browse More Classics in CA
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Tahoe Basin from Echo Summit.
Photo by Blitzo.
BETA PHOTO: A view from the dock at Lower Echo Lakes, with mos...
Lower Echo Lake.
Photo by Blitzo.
Wind blown juniper near Flagpole Peak.
Photo by Bl...