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Echo Peak

Location: South Shore – Lake Tahoe, CA
Duration: 1.5-2 hours
Elevation Change: 2,289′ – from 6,606′ to 8,895′
Recomended Map: Echo Lake, California

Elevation Profile:

Echo Peak Elevation Profile

Map of General Route:

Echo Peak Topo Map

Echo Peak feels like the little brother to Mt. Tallac to me.  It has the same great qualities in a smaller package. Ok parking if we don’t abuse it, East Tree covered ridge to climb, Amazing views, skiing on 3 sides, and some hairball adventure if you want it.  Echo is less busy and offers something for every skill level.  The Echo Peak Bowls grow great spring corn snow on both sides of the ascent ridge, if it gets cold enough, but I usually go here for powder earlier in the year.  There are huge cornices up there and only a few sketchy entrances. Most people will ski back along the same route you climb.  I always wish I could stay longer on this big flat summit. You can see the Crystal Range well and also the south slopes of Dick’s and Jack’s Peak in Desolation Wilderness from the summit. You can see Tahoe really well. And you aren’t that tired yet, because it was only 2400′ to climb up there. The otherwise hidden northeast bowls of Ralston Peak and Talking Mountain will probably make it to your wish list when you see them from the top as well.  You will probably have it all to yourself as well.

Echo peak is really a high point on a long ridge that includes Flagpole Peak and Angora Peak. Echo Peak gets you pretty close to the center of Desolation Wilderness, but there is no snow on the west slope to help you get there. The easiest and safest way to climb Echo Peak is from a dead end street named Wintoon, off of Lake Tahoe Blvd in South Shore. The homeowners on this street have been friendly towards backcountry access here to my knowledge, but always, always car pool and be quick and quiet in these situations. There may be other dead end streets that work just the same off of N. Upper Truckee Road.  

The ascent route is easy to see due to a recent fire.  Look at the peak from your car, and spot the prominent, tree covered East Ridge. To find your car, you will want to remember some landmarks or use your phone. 

Extreme backcountry skiers will wander off towards the north facing Indian Cliff Chutes, but you’ll have to skin all the way back up to Echo Peak. Read about that rad area under the  Angora Peak route description. 

If the Fallen Leaf Lake Road is plowed, you could leave a car at the end by the fire station and climb the East side of Echo Peak from Wintoon, for a tour over the mountain. If you’ve read through this guide, you know what I generally think of car shuttles however. Too much time wasted driving around, when you could be skiing. I do however recommend ski tours where you experience and learn the most amount of terrain possible. I knew some guys who would do an annual car shuttle so they would ski the north side of Ralston Peak or Talking Mountain from hwy 50, and keep going over Echo Peak. I’ll have to try that sometime in a long day. 

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