Crossing Dicks Pass traveling South marks the last major climb we will do in the Desolation Wilderness. It's almost all downhill from here all the way to the Echo Lake trail head.
Though we still have 11.88 miles of exceptional Desolation Wilderness terrain to cross until we reach the trailhead at Lower Echo Lake, we are now headed down and out of Desolation Wilderness. It's time to think about our upcoming encounter with "civilization" at Echo Chalet.
Hiking Plan for Resupply and/or lunch at Echo Chalet
Now we've got to think about hitting the Echo Lake Chalet. If we are picking up a food resupply, we want to pick it up with enough time to get ourselves down the trail to our next campsite to the South, as well as timing our arrival to coincide with lunchtime.
The plan is to hike into Echo Lake early enough to make it to our next campsite past Echo Lake before dark. Our next campsite South of Echo Lake will likely be at Showers Lake, which sits about 9 miles South of Echo Lake. Our goal is to have enough time to eat at the Echo Chalet deli and hang out for awhile, while still giving ourselves enough time to get to Showers Lake.
These constraints are why we want to properly stage-up our campsites before and after arriving at our backpacking resupply spots.
The same plan applies if we are not resupplying at Echo Chalet, with the difference being that we will not have to spend time repacking our food supply. We will just be packing our stomachs...
This means we are going to want a campsite that puts us close enough to Echo Lake to get there no later that mid-morning. We've got to get in and out of Echo Chalet with enough daylight to make it to our next campsite 9 miles South of Echo Chalet at Showers Lake.
How you figure this, and how you should figure this, depends on your daily miles and just when you cross Dicks Pass.
Many long distance backpackers North on the Pacific Crest Trail hitch down to South Lake Tahoe to rest, feed up, and Resupply in South Lake Tahoe's ample comforts. Some have loved ones drive in to Echo Lake to express their love by pampering them for a few days. Seriously, I've seen that scenario played out dozens of times over the years.
Check out my basic resources in South Lake Tahoe and Meyers...
Hiking Topo Map: Phipps Pass to Susie Lake Hiking Topo Map: Dicks Pass to Echo Lake Trailhead
Miles and Elevations
Next page: 3 Trail Junctions
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