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Resupply Packages Ready for Mailing Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Your Backpacking Guide to the High Sierras Bulk foods ready to be divided.
Echo Lake Chalet, late Fall, 2009.
Echo Lake Chalet

 

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Lake Alpine Lodge

Echo Lake Chalet

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Resupply Services and Resources

Echo Lake Chalet

Echo Lake Chalet emblem

9900 Echo Lakes Road
Echo Lake, CA 95721

Telephone
530-659-7207
(8 am to 6 pm PST Summer only)
Season
"Memorial Day to Labor Day"
2015: May 25 to September 7

Website
Echo Lake Chalet
   Email
Tom and Kathy Fashinell

Boat Taxi
Resupply Information
Scroll linked page down to
"Post Office"

 

2015 UPDATE
NO RESUPPLY FACILITIES AT ECHO CHALET

From the Echo Chalet Website:

Attention thru-hikers:
"The Chalet can no longer receive re-supply packages. If addressed to us, packages will be held at our regional post office (Twin Bridges) located 9 miles west on Highway 50."

"The Twin Bridges Post Office is next to the Strawberry Station Market, and across from Strawberry Lodge. Hours 9:30-4pm M-F. Closed 1pm-1:30 for lunch. Phone: 530-659-7670."

 

Excellent
Alternative Resupply Spot

in
South Lake Tahoe

Lake of the Sky Outfitters

If you are planning on heading into South Lake Tahoe for some rest, recreation, and a through resupply, you can send your resupply package to Peter at Lake of the Sky Outfitters located at the "Tahoe Y" in South Lake Tahoe.

 

OLD-SUPERCEEDED
Resupply Policy from the

Echo Chalet Website
"The Chalet has been a licensed Community Post Office since the 1920's.  We provide basic services between the hours of 11 am to 2 pm, except Sundays and Holidays. Our storage facilities are quite limited, but we do accept (and will hold for a limited time), packages for P.C.T. hikers.  Because we are a licensed United States Post Office,  we cannot disclose the presence (or absence) of mail by telephone inquiry.  Photo I.D. is required to receive mail, unless you are personally known to our staff."

This era is OVER.

 

Resupply North
Lake Tahoe Basin Resources
Resupply South
Lake Alpine Lodge


Echo Lake Chalet
along the
Long Trails

Trail Guide
Information
about the
Echo Lake Chalet
Area

Echo Lake Chalet
on
Trail Map
Click the red dots for specific information.

Echo Lake
Trail Guide
page

Meeks Bay
to
Echo Lake
Miles and Elevations
Echo Lake
to
Carson Pass
Miles and Elevations

Echo Lake
Area Weather
High Sierra
Weather Page

Facilities and Services

Post Office Resupply

Deli

Grocery

No laundry-showers
Full Services available
in
South Lake Tahoe

Echo Lake Chalet

The Echo Lake Chalet, Lower Echo Lake.

Backpacker Resupply Information

Backpacking Resupply Options
Echo Chalet is not a vital resupply point for Southbound Tahoe to Yosemite Trail or Tahoe to Whitney Backpackers. But it's nice to have. The reason Echo Chalet is not a vital resupply is that the Chalet is only 28.71 miles South of the Meeks Bay Trail Head on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail.

That's pretty close to our starting trailhead.

As my standard food load is five days, and I can carry up to 11 days of food, I prefer to carry the food necessary to cover the distance between Meeks Bay and the Lake Alpine Lodge on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail. This 64.95 span of miles requires 5 days if we hike 15 miles per day, and possibly longer if we hike less miles per day. I figure on between 5 or 6 days if we can manage to put up at least 11 to 15 miles a day.
15 mpd will bring us into Lake Alpine very early on day 5 out of Meeks Bay Trailhead.

The 65 miles separating the Meeks Bay Trail Head from the Lake Alpine Lodge on Highway 4 makes the Lake Alpine Lodge my first resupply point South of Meeks Bay. Well, maybe not anymore. I'm getting old. We'll see next time through. Our strength and expectations will exactly determine how Echo Chalet fits into our hike.

We can really lighten our pack for the first couple of days of our hike South out of Meeks Bay Trailhead by resuppling at the Echo Chalet, but resupplying will not affect the weight of what we carry South from Echo Chalet to the Lake Alpine Lodge, but it will considerably lighten our trailhead pack weight from Meeks to the Chalet.

If we do resupply at Echo Lake Chalet and we're hiking the Pacific Crest Trail route South to Sonora Pass, we will generally be resupplying for the 69.32 mile hike to our next resupply point at Kennedy Meadows Pack Station and Resort, skipping Lake Alpine.

Or not. We can resupply at Echo Chalet for the 39.88 mile hike to Ebbetts Pass, where we can hitch down Highway 4 to Lake Alpine and hitch back to Ebbetts Pass resupplied for the next 29.44 mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail between Ebbetts and Sonora Passes. At Sonora Pass we hitch down to Kennedy Meadows to pick up our resupply for the upcoming 75 mile hike from Sonora Pass to Tuolumne Meadows.

In other words, the resupply that we do or do not pick up at Echo Lake will be part of our well thought-out resupply plan, which will affect if and how we plan and pack our Lake Alpine and Kennedy Meadows resupply packages.

Resupply Policy
from the
Echo Chalet Website

"The Chalet has been a licensed Community Post Office since the 1920's.  We provide basic services between the hours of 11 am to 2 pm, except Sundays and Holidays. Our storage facilities are quite limited, but we do accept (and will hold for a limited time), packages for P.C.T. hikers.  Because we are a licensed United States Post Office,  we cannot disclose the presence (or absence) of mail by telephone inquiry.  Photo I.D. is required to receive mail, unless you are personally known to our staff."

Website
Echo Lake Chalet
Email
echochalet-since1939@earthlink.net 

Location on the Trail
Echo Chalet is located on the East Shore of Lower Echo Lake, 2 miles North on the Pacific Crest Trail from Echo Summit on Highway 50.

Alternative
to
Echo lake Resupply

Lake of the Sky Outfitters

Introducing Lake of the Sky
Tahoe to Whitney received a nice introduction from Lake of the Sky Outfitters.

Hello Alex.
I recently joined your website and want to ask you if there would be the possibility of having my business, Lake of the Sky Outfitters, featured on the resupply page.

My store specializes in hiking/backpacking and we are located at 1023 Emerald Bay Rd. next to the Subway store at the “Y’.

We carry a complete line of apparel, gear, food, fuel (alcohol sold by the ounce), accessories, repair parts, books, maps, water purification products, etc.

We also give PCT thru hikers a discount, (and) have a resource room with computer where they can send emails, print maps, research upcoming resupply points.

We are also a drop point for thru hikers if they wish to send their packages to us at no charge. They would have to pay for outgoing shipments though.

Plus we have a friendly, knowledgeable staff willing to help anyone walking through our doors. We are only a block from the Apex Inn and 20 minutes from most trailheads.

If you have any questions fell free to email me or call 530-541-1027. Oh yeah we also have a website

lakeoftheskyoutfitters.com,
and we are on Facebook at facebook.com/lakeofthesky.

Thanks,

Peter Hussmann

Resupply Services Home Page

Tahoe Y next to Mac Donald's

 

Alex Note:
I went and checked out the shop and Peter next time through South Lake Tahoe, and I found both to have good content and character.

He has a relly cool shop-trail dog, too.

Al tested and approved
"A Great Shop with a wide range of products and services all dedicated to the Backcountry Experience, focused on local and long-distance backpackers."

"Focused on meeting long-distance backpacker's Needs."

 

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Echo Lake Chalet Mileages

Hiking South

The Echo Chalet is 28.71 miles South of Meeks Bay along the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail route.

Highway 88

Echo Lake is 14 miles North of Carson Pass along the Pacific Crest and Tahoe to Yosemite Trails.

Highway 4

Echo Lake is 39.71 miles North of Ebbetts Pass along the Pacific Crest Trail.

Echo Lake is 34.02 North of the Lake Alpine Lodge hiking the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail.

Highway 108

Echo Lake is 69.51 miles North of Sonora Pass along the Pacific Crest Trail.

Echo Lake is 68.66 North of the Saint Marys Pass on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail.

Highway 120

Echo Lake is 143.22 miles North of Tuolumne Meadows backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail.

Echo Lake is 140.06 North of Tuolumne Meadows walking the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail.

Trail Guide Information

Echo Lake Chalet on the
Big Topographic Map

Echo Lake
Trail Guide Page

North South
Meeks Bay to Echo Lake
Miles and Elevations
Echo Lake to the Carson Gap
Miles and Elevation

 


Echo Lake Chalet Services

Free Services

Facilities
Public Bathrooms and trash cans.

Public bathrooms at Lower Echo Lake Trailhead Public Garbage Cans, Echo Lake Trailhead

Description of Location and Services from the Echo Chalet Website

Road Location
"Echo Chalet is a High-Sierra, summer-only, resort located approximately 10 miles from South Lake Tahoe and 49 miles east of Placerville off U.S. Highway 50.  The resort was established in 1939, and is operated under permit of the United States Forest Service-Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit." 

Store
"The Chalet's Grocery Store and Soda Fountain are the main components of the lodge building.  The Deli makes sandwiches to order during midday hours, and ice cream, candy, coffee, and hot chocolate are also for sale.  The Store is stocked with basic groceries, sporting goods, and hardware supplies."

Other Services
Cabins for the very weary. Two night minimum! You would be better served hitching down to South Lake Tahoe for an overnight stay, to take advantage of Tahoe's excellent stores, hotels, and restaurants.

Public Transportation: No public transportation serves Lower Echo Lake or the Echo Lake Chalet. But, it is not hard to hitch a ride out of, or into, this location.

Regional Services
South Lake Tahoe Regional Resources

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Echo Lake and Lake Tahoe Region Resources Map


Lake Tahoe Backpacker Resourcesi 
 

The Echo Lake Chalet

More important as a Northbound Pacific Crest Trail resupply point than for Southbound Tahoe to Whitney backpackers

Why, you ask? Because backpacking Southbound out of Meeks Bay trailhead, where you begin the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail route, to the Echo Lake Chalet only covers a grand total of 28.71 miles.

Because of this short distance, I have not needed to use the Echo Lake Chalet for Resupply purposes when coming South out of Meeks Bay. It's just too soon to resupply for my pace and carrying capacity. But you may decide to use Echo Lake as your first resupply point out of Meeks Bay trailhead on your Classic Tahoe to Yosemite backpacking trip.

Echo Lake is listed here as a resupply point more to assist Northbound Pacific Crest Trail hikers with resupply information, rather than Southbound Tahoe to Whitney backpackers.

Read more about your route options and the differences between the Pacific Crest Trail and the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail in the Trail Guide Index, on the Carson Gap Trail Guide page, in the maps section, and in the miles and elevations pages.

But now, how Southbound hikers can best utilize Echo Lake Chalet.

 

Southbound on the Tahoe to Yosemite Route

Meeks Bay to Echo Lake Chalet

Resupplying at Echo Lake will allow you to take an easy pace and carry a lighter load through the majestic beauties of Desolation Wilderness. Sending food to Echo Lake Chalet will lighten your pack for the first couple of days of your trip from Meeks Bay to the Echo Chalet.

Meeks Bay to Echo Lake Chalet: 28.71 miles

If you resupply at Echo Lake Chalet coming South out of Meeks Bay you can pack two, or even three nights of food for a very leisurely pace to start your trip from Meeks Bay across the Desolation Wilderness. Or, your ultralight pack can give you the ability to cover long distances quickly.

Otherwise, without resupplying at Echo Lake Chalet, you will have to pack at least five nights of food to cover the 63 mile distance between Meeks Bay to the Lake Alpine Lodge. Passing by Echo Lake Chalet, and using Lake Alpine as your first resupply demands this section of your backpacking trip South will require at least an average of 12 miles a day.

Meeks Bay to Lake Alpine Lodge: 63 miles

If you decided to resupply at Echo Chalet, you only needed to carry enough food to cover the 29 miles from Meeks to Echo, and can now pick up your light resupply for the remaining 34 miles between Echo Chalet and the Lake Alpine Lodge, where you will pick up your next resupply package. As you can see, you can keep your pack weight very low by resupplying at both Echo Lake Chalet and the Lake Alpine lodge.

Echo Lake Chalet to Lake Alpine Lodge: 34 miles

How much time you plan on taking between Meeks Bay and your first resupply at Echo Lake Chalet will determine the amount of food you need to pack to cross Desolation Wilderness. This in turn depends on your capabilities, your expectations, and most importantly, if you plan on resupplying at the Echo Lake Chalet at all.

Or, you can pack all of the food you need for the whole 68 mile distance between Meeks Bay and the Lake Alpine Lodge on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail route. It's up to you.

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The Tahoe to Yosemite Trail route South to the Lake Alpine Lodge

Echo Lake to the Lake Alpine Lodge

Instead of stopping to resupply at Echo Lake Chalet, I pick up my first resupply at The Lake Alpine Lodge on Highway 4.

The Tahoe to Yosemite Trail passes .5 of a mile East of the Lake Alpine Lodge where the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail crosses Highway 4. (map) It is an easy walk to the Lake Alpine Lodge on a paved path alongside scenic Lake Alpine.

The Lake Alpine Lodge is 62.73 miles South of Meeks Bay on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail Route.

Thus Lake Alpine Lodge is 34.02 miles South of Echo Lake Chalet on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail, for those who resupplied at Echo Lake Chalet.

 

Resupply options along the Pacific Crest Trail route South to the Lake Alpine Lodge

Ebbetts Pass is where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses Highway 4. Ebbetts Pass's location requires that the resupplying backpacker make about a 15 mile hitchhike down the Western Flank of the Sierras on Highway 4 to the Lake Alpine Lodge. It is worth it. The Lake Alpine Lodge has fine food, cheaper bar food, a bar, showers, and laundry facilities. And they take and hold your resupply bucket for free!

Ebbetts Pass is 40.1 miles South of the Echo Lake Chalet along the Pacific Crest Trail.

Sonora Pass is 68.42 miles South of the Echo Lake Chalet on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Sonora Pass is 28.32 miles South of Ebbetts Pass on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Kennedy Meadows Pack Station is your best resupply spot on the whole Tahoe to Whitney Trail, and sits a mere 8 miles West of the Sonora Pass.

 

The Difference Between the Southbound Tahoe to Yosemite and Pacific Crest Trail Routes

(Also see the discussion on route differences between the Tahoe to Yosemite and Pacific Crest Trails between the Carson Gap and Lake Alpine on the Carson Gap trail guide page.)

If you head to the Southwest from the Carson Gap, and cross the Southwest flank of Round Top and the Sisters, you will be following the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail route along the Western Flank of the Sierras through Summit City Creek and across the West Mokelumne River to Lake Alpine.

Your other option from the Carson Gap is to turn Southeast and follow the Pacific Crest Trail through the Carson Pass. The Pacific Crest Trail traces its route to Ebbetts Pass along the Easter Flank of the Sierras. Check this USGS Topo Map for details.

Both Ebbetts Pass and the Lake Alpine Lodge are located on Highway 4. Lake Alpine is located about 25 miles down the Western Flank of the Sierras from Ebbetts Pass. Check this google road map for details.

Thus it is advantageous to ultimately explore both routes, if you want to gain a fuller knowledge of both flanks of this amazing section of the Sierra Crest.

Northbound Hikers

Resupply strategy for Northbound backpackers on the Pacific Crest Trail

When heading North from Tuolumne Meadows, I suggest that the Pacific Crest Trail backpacker resupply at the Kennedy Meadows Pack Station, Lake Alpine Lodge, and Echo Lake Chalet. These are all of the easily available resupply points between Tuolumne Meadows and Lake Tahoe, and I suggest that the Pacific Crest Trail hiker visit them all.

Many Pacific Crest Trailers are ready to use Kennedy Meadows Pack Station as their first resupply point, as it sits 75 miles North of Tuolumne Meadows. This causes many Pacific Crest Trail hikers to bypass the Lake Alpine Lodge, because it is only 30 miles North of Kennedy Meadows on the PCT. This means that the majority of Pacific Crest Trail hikers will choose to pick up their next resupply at the Echo Lake Chalet, which sits 69 miles North of Kennedy Meadows.

This strategy roughly splits the 144 mile distance between Tuolumne Meadows and Echo Lake Chalet in half, putting each resupply point about 75 miles apart. Most Pacific Crest Trail hikers find this the most efficient plan.

I have found that a large percentage of Northbound Pacific Crest Trail hikers are ready to take a couple of days off to rest and resupply in South Lake Tahoe, where all backpacker resources are available in ample quantities.

Distances on the Pacific Crest Trail North from Tuolumne Meadows

Sonora Pass: 75 miles (Kennedy Meadows Pack Station) Resupply. Map.

Ebbetts Pass: 105 miles (Lake Alpine Lodge or Bear Valley) Resupply. Map.

Echo Lake Chalet: 144 miles (South Lake Tahoe is also in close proximity) Resupply. Map.

 

Your Southbound Resupply Options from other Lake Tahoe Trailheads

Other Southbound Trailhead Options

Another option is to begin your Southbound trip from Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney from other Lake Tahoe trailheads, such as the South Upper Truckee or Echo Summit trailheads. Both of these trailheads lay South of the Echo Lake Chalet, making the Echo Lake Chalet irrelevant for backpackers starting Southbound trips out of these trailheads.

In any case, and independent of where you finally decide to resupply, I always strongly suggest stopping and feeding up at every resupply point between Lake Tahoe and Mount Whitney that you cross, whether you are picking up a resupply there or not. Echo Lake Chalet is known for its Milkshakes.

 

Character Analysis: The Echo Lake trailhead, and Desolation Wilderness in general

There is one big problem with backpacking out of either the Meeks Bay or Echo Lake trailheads through Desolation Wilderness along the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail route during Summertime.

Desolation Wilderness is one of the most congested Wilderness Areas in the whole country. It runs at capacity from the Meeks Bay trailhead to the Echo Lake trailhead during the length of the Summer backpacking season.

Echo Lake is the main Southern trailhead into the Desolation Wilderness. Echo Lake is packed with people during the Summertime, with the heavy backpacker traffic supplementing the lakeside homeowners and their guests, the patrons of the Chalet's Cabins, as well as visiting tourists and people from the nearby Berkeley Camp.

It's a frk'n zoo during the Summertime.

Meeks Bay is on Desolation's Northern boundary, and though it is a bit quieter up there, that trailhead will also be running at capacity during the Summer. Desolation Wilderness is crazy busy during the peak Summer months. So don't expect any desolation in the Desolation Wilderness during Summer, or you will be very disappointed. This is an excellent circumstance for new backpackers uncertain in the wilderness: You are not alone in the Desolation Wilderness. This makes this a great place to work out your issues.

In practical terms this means that you should not expect to obtain a permit at the trailhead for the classic Tahoe to Yosemite Trail rout that begins in Meeks Bay during the peak Summer period.

I strongly suggest that you preorder your permit. Check the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit page on this site for more information on ordering permits and contact information for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

Any questions or thoughts on all this? Contact me through my email link below, or post up on the TahoetoWhitney.Org backpacker's resupply forum for Echo Lake.

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Index of Resupply Points

The Resupply Points

Lake Tahoe Region Resources and Transportation

Echo Lake Chalet

Lake Alpine Lodge and Bear Valley

Kennedy Meadows Pack Station

Tuolumne Meadows

Yosemite Valley

Red's Meadow and Mammoth Lakes

Vermilion Valley Resort

Muir Ranch

Whitney Portal-Lone Pine

 

Backpacker Forums

Have a great Sierra Nevada trip or story to relate? A fine piece of gear? Or gear that failed?

Post it on
TahoetoWhitney.Org

Above we come to the Front Page of the High Backpacking Trails and Topics Forums. Below we break the forums down into categories:

High Sierra Trails High Sierra Topics

Anyone can post text comments in the existing forums, but only members can post up new topics, along with images, maps, and formatting.

Become a Member

If you have experiences, comments, questions, or pictures and videos about resupplying on the Tahoe to Yosemite or Pacific Crest Trails at Echo Lake Chalet, post up here as an unknown hiker or as a member:

 

Backpacking Preparation / Resupply
Echo Lake Chalet Forum
Trailhead
Contact
Alex Wierbinski

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