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Lake of the Woods via Pacific Crest Trail

Located In:
South Lake Tahoe.

Distance: 11.3 miles out and back.

Difficulty Level: Moderate.

Photo by @rimyandjack


Know Before You Go: This trail begins on the widely popular Echo Lakes Trail, so expect crowds. Weather permitting, bring a swimsuit and plenty of sunscreen, as you’ll be surrounded by enticingly beautiful lakes all the way up. The terrain is rocky, so wear shoes with traction, bring layers, and (as always) protect our trails by practicing Leave No Trace.

Why We Love It: This is one of the most picturesque areas of Desolation Wilderness. Surrounded by glaciated granite, alpine lakes, and within easy access of Highway 50, it’s tough to get more for your buck than this.

Photo by Amanda Castro


Fuel Up: Grab a made-to-order mocha, “Lost Traveler” (hazelnut latte with chocolate drizzle), or perhaps a pour-over; and fill your belly with a beloved breakfast BLT, burrito, or lox bagel at Foxwood Coffee & Tea (, directly off the freeway in Shingle Springs. With a cool cafe vibe and spacious patio, it’s the perfect place for a pre-hike pick-me-up.

photo by Madisan Guida



Have you heard of Wim Hof, aka, the ice man? If you haven’t, he’s the pioneer of cold-water therapy and has been sharing his knowledge of the cold plunge for years. Here are just some of the health benefits.

Because of the dramatic shift in temperature, your body begins forming more white blood cells, which helps strengthen your overall immunity over time.

Cold water causes your capillaries, veins, and arteries to get flushed out.

Cold water increases estrogen and testosterone production, effectively increasing your libido. Did we hear a bow chicka wow wow?  

Cold water causes a decrease in heart rate and an endorphin kick, which lasts even after you’ve warmed back up. Some studies show this can have long-term reductions on stress levels.

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

by Ryan Martinez
Photos 1, 2 & 4 by @rimyandjack. Photo 3 by Jason Bender. Photo 5 by Amanda Castro. Foxwood Coffee & Tea photos by Madisan Guida.