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Take a Hike to Echo Lakes Trail

Located In: South Lake Tahoe.

Distance: 5.3 miles out-and-back.

Difficulty Level: Moderate, heavily trafficked.

Know Before You Go: Expect lots of people on weekends. Water taxis available for the return. Leashed, well-behaved dogs are allowed.

Fuel Up: Visit family-owned Frescana Mexican Bistro ( in South Lake for “annoyingly fresh” burritos, bowls, tacos, and grass-fed beef burgers—plus an entire plant-based menu that boasts items like the Burrito Morado with smashed purple sweets, house-made cashew cheese sauce, avocado, black beans, spinach, huarache sauce, and pico.

Echo Lakes Trail; photo by Chrissianne Demkee

Why We Love It: At the heart of Desolation Wilderness, this hike is characterized by classic Sierra beauty: alpine lakes, epic mountains, and clean mountain air.

Trail Notes: Possibility for lots of mosquitos and high temperatures. Bring plenty of water and wear layers. For a longer hike, continue along the trail to Lake Aloha (approximately 12.5 miles round trip). Practice “Leave No Trace” ethics; if you pack it in, pack it out.

For more information, visit

Photo by Diane Young


Lower Leg Injuries

A sprained ankle is one of the most common injuries a hiker can sustain. Ouch. Here’s what to do in this unfortunate situation, according to NOLS.

1. Evaluate the mechanism of injury. Sudden or gradual?
2. Evaluate the signs and symptoms.
3. Move the ankle through its full range of motion to determine usability. If a patient can bear weight on the joint and swelling isn’t severe, tape it.

1. Swelling/discoloration.
2. Pain/tenderness.
3. Instability.
4. Deformation and acute pain (indicating potential fracture).

If the usability test determines a patient can walk out, tape the ankle using the method taught in this month’s IGTV video.
1. Create 90° angle with ankle.
2. Set the “landmark” point. Add “stirrups,” “tear drops,” and “figure 8s.”
3. Evacuate.

Top photo by Chrissianne Demkee
Bottom photo by Diane Young

Do you have a favorite trail in the region you’d like to see featured? Tell us all about it at [email protected]