I want to tell you a little more about where Echo Lake is located.
Echo Chalet is a resort on the shores of Echo Lake, California, nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains, just south of majestic Lake Tahoe. From the California side, there are two major routes to Tahoe – Interstate 80 and Highway 50.
Highway 50 is a beautiful winding, mainly 2 lane highway that follows the course of the American River. When you get to Echo Summit, just before you start the descent down to Tahoe, there’s a little left-hand turn into Echo. It’s not well-marked, but somehow, people find it just fine.
Once you make the turn off the highway, you follow a narrow mountain road two miles in. The road is bordered by cabins here and there – some on private land, most on US Forest Service land. Just when you think you’ve gone as far as you can, you come to a crest on a hill.
What lies below you may take your breath away the first time you see it – Echo Lake, Gateway to Desolation Wilderness.
I’ve seen it for almost 50 years and it still takes my breath away.
There are other entrances to Desolation Wilderness area, a vast expanse of lakes and mountains, but Echo is one of the favorites. I wish I knew who did the illustrations for our brochures, or the map of Desolation, but I have no idea.
A big majority of people coming to Echo might be backpackers entering Desolation. Or maybe they’re anticipating a successful day of trout fishing.
Perhaps they might be visiting one of nearly 150 cabins that surround Upper & Lower Echo Lakes.
This is a photo of Dad on a trail in Desolation.
In the background you can see Upper Lake closest, and Lower Lake in the rear.
There are many reasons people come to Echo Lake. But only a small community of “lakers” are fortunate enough to call it Home.
I am part of an even smaller community that’s twice as fortunate. We not only call Echo ‘home’ – we also got to work at Echo Chalet for Haven “Jorgy” Jorgensen.