Tree, Poison Flat, Carson Iceberg Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Your Backpacking Guide to the High Sierras Yellow Flower
Banner: Echo Summit to Carson Pass Mileages and Elevations, Lake Tahoe from  South of Echo Summit
Above: Lake Tahoe from South of Echo Summit, approaching Showers Lake

 

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Echo Summit to Carson Pass

Hiking
Miles and Elevations
through the

Meiss Country Roadless Area

Backpacking Miles and Elevations
The Tahoe to Yosemite, Pacific Crest and Tahoe Rim Trails

 

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ALL
MILES
INDEX

Tahoe
to
Whitney
MILES
INDEX

MILES
NORTH

TYT-PCT

Meeks
Bay

to
Echo
Summit

MILES
SOUTH

PCT

Carson
Pass

to
Ebbetts
Pass

MILES
SOUTH

TYT

Carson
Gap

to
Lake
Alpine

MILES
NORTHEAST

TRT
ALT-ROUTE

Meyers
to
Meiss
Cabin

REGIONAL
MAP

TYT-PCT
TRT

Meiss
Country Roadless Area
MAP

TRAIL
GUIDE
INDEX

TYT-PCT

Echo
Summit

to
Carson
Pass

MAPS
INDEX

Echo
Summit

to
Carson
Pass

ALL
MAPS

INDEX

ALL
GUIDE

INDEX

PERMITS
LTBMU

SIERRA
WEATHER

TAHOE
WEATHER


Miles & Elevations
Tahoe Yosemite Trail

&
Pacific Crest Trail

Echo Summit to Carson Pass
12 miles

Backpacking Miles
Meiss Country Roadless Area

The trail South from Echo Summit to Carson Pass is a roller coaster for the first segment of trail to Showers Lake.
After Showers Lake we drop down to climb into Meiss Meadow, which is really the beginning our long gentle climb up to the Carson Gap (except for the last part), where the Tahoe to Yosemite and Pacific Crest Trails make the first of three splits just steps after exiting the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Echo Summit
to the
High Point on Peak 8905

Elevation Rise
1383 feet over 2.81 miles

Meiss Country Roadless Area
Backpacking Map

Location  Elevation Mileage
Echo Summit 7377 0    
+143 .91    
Frog Pond trail junction 7520 .91  
+140 .50    
Footbridge 7640 1.41    
+520 .74    
Overlook 8160 2.15    
+600 .74    
Peak 8905 high point 8760 2.89    
Total elevation Gain
Echo Summit to Peak 8905
+1383 feet
over
2.81 miles

 

Peak 8905
to

Meiss Cabin

Elevation drop
360 feet over 6.28 miles

Echo Summit to Carson Pass
Backpacking Map

Location  Elevation Mileage
Peak 8905 high point  8760 2.89    
-240 .6    
Bryan Meadow Junction 8520  3.49    
+120 .85    
Sayles Canyon, second junction 8640 4.34    
+320 1.27    
Schneider's Camp junction 8960 5.61    
-160 1.19    
1st Showers Lake junction 8800 6.80    
-120 .41    
2nd Showers Lake junction 8680 7.21    
-280 1.88    
Round Lake trail/Meiss Cabin 8400 9.09    
Total elevation Gain
Peak 8905 to Meiss Cabin
+360 feet
over
6.28 miles

 

Meiss Cabin
to the
Carson Gap

Elevation Rise
400 feet over 1.52 miles

Location  Elevation Mileage
Round Lake Jnct/Meiss Cabin  8400 9.09    
+400  1.52    
Carson Gap Pond 8800 10.61  
Total elevation Gain
Meeks Bay to Phipps Pass
+2561 feet
over
8.88 miles

The Tahoe to Yosemite
and
Pacific Crest Trails
Part Company
at the
Carson Gap

The first Southbound junction for the Tahoe Yosemite trail just South of the Carson Gap
PCT/TY trail junction just South of the Carson Gap
looking South towards Round Top

Carson Pass Region Map
Just South of the Carson Gap is the 1st Southbound Junction between the Pacific Crest Trail and Tahoe to Yosemite Trail.

Southbound backpackers the Pacific Crest Trail continue to our left, or Southeast, along the main trail bed to the Carson Pass. The Tahoe to Yosemite Trail turns right to head straight down the mountain to Highway 88.

At the bottom of the steep drop on the South side of Carson Gap is another unmarked trail down to Highway 88.

From Highway 88 the Tahoe to Yosemite backpacker approaches Woods Lake, where we find two routes to choose from to reach Round Top Lake.

The Carson Pass Region Map above lays out all of our backpacking options.

      Location                                   elevation                 miles

Carson Gap  Pond                      8800              10.61

Continuing South from the Carson Gap...

Two Routes South
from
The Carson Gap

Elevation Drop

400 feet over .6 miles
to
Highway 88
on the
TYT

  200 feet over 1.39 miles
to the
Carson Pass
on the
PCT
TYT
Down to Hwy 88

                      elevation              miles
To Hwy 88
     8400                .6

Echo Summit
to
Hwy 88
  

11.2 miles

The Tahoe to Yosemite trail breaks off to the Southwest at the Carson Gap down to Hwy 88 on the way to Round Top Lake.

 

PCT
To Carson Pass 

                         elevation            miles
Carson Pass        8600               1.39

Echo Summit
to
Carson Pass

 12 miles

The Pacific Crest Trail continues down the main trail to Carson Pass from the Carson Gap.

Additional
Miles and Elevations
Information
North and South
PCT-TYT-TRT
Miles and Elevations

North & Northeast

North
TYT-PCT-TRT
Meeks Bay
to
Echo Summit
miles and elevations

Northeast
Alternative Trailhead and Route
TRT
Meyers
to
Meiss Cabin
miles and elevations

PCT & TYT
Miles and Elevations

South
& Southwest
Southeast
Pacific Crest Trail
Carson Pass
to
Ebbetts Pass
miles and elevations
Southwest
Tahoe to Yosemite Trail
Carson Gap
to
Lake Alpine
miles and elevations

Video Playlist
Echo Summit
to
Carson Gap

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Note
The Ups and Downs
of the
Meiss Roadless Area
and
Every other High Sierra Trail

The miles and elevations pages for this trail guide, like the High Sierras, divides itself into ups and downs.

Our miles are generally done either going up to the top of the mountain, or we are coming down from the mountaintop into the valley that separates us from the next mountain. This means that the mileages and elevations between the peaks and the valleys are going to be important in determining how many miles we can reasonably expect to cover each day. This figure will be instrumental in planning where we are going to camp every night, and ultimately this information will determine how many days it will take us to cover a given distance. This in turn establishes our proper food load.

I have organized the miles and elevations data to reflect the overall climbs and descents this section of trail naturally divides itself into.

Between Echo Summit and the Carson Gap in the Meiss Country Roadless Area along the Tahoe to Yosemite and Pacific Crest Trail there are 10.5 miles and 705 feet of of elevation overall elevation change. But this elevation figure does not adequately describe the terrain.
First, the first 6.8 miles between Echo Summit and the high point of the trail on Peak 8905 is quite a climb. The miles down to Meiss Cabin is an undulating descent. The average figure does not account for these divergent characteristics of the individual segments of trail, which has at least two characters along this section of trail.

Furthermore, the climbs we encounter generally contain down sections within the climbs. The descents will have ups within their downs.

Though I hike to give you an "on the trail" look at conditions, many of these slight trail contradictions are below the level of reporting. But they are present in most terrains.

The overall character of the terrain between Echo Summit to Showers Lake can best be categorized as a roller coaster. We are basically climbing and descending constantly until we reach Showers Lake.

From Showers Lake a gentle decline across meadowed terrain mixed with forest brings us down to climb into the Northern  edge of the Meiss Meadow.
A gentle grade brings us through Meiss Meadow to a moderate climb out of the Lake Tahoe Basin through the low gap in the Southwestern Tahoe Rim I the Carson Gap. It sits 200 feet above and a mile to the West of the Carson Pass.

Remember these important rules
#1> As the trails depicted above demonstrate, every descending route holds many mini-ascents, and every ascent has many mini-descents within its route. Our mileage will very rarely just go up, or down. We are going endlessly up and down, even within ascents and descents.

#2> We know we are good to go when we invite the endless procession of ridges up to the top.
"One More Ridge" is said with joy rather than exasperation when we have "crossed over."

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Section:
ECHO SUMMIT TO CARSON PASS
Miles and Elevations

PCT Miles North: Meeks Bay to Echo Summit                              PCT Miles South: Carson Pass to Ebbetts Pass

Trailhead

Contact
Alex Wierbinski

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Backpacking Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney

Your guide to the High Sierra Crest, including the Tahoe to Yosemite, Pacific Crest, and John Muir Trails

© Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney: Crown Jewel of the Pacific Crest Trail