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1.25.19 ... Echo Lake Snowshoeing

Hike Details:
Elevation range - 7400-7600'
Location - Echo Lake - from Hwy. 50 Eastbound, take the Echo Lake/Sno-Park turn-off (just before reaching Echo Summit). A Sno-Park permit is required ($5) and must be purchased ahead of time, I got mine at REI. The snow trail begins right across from the entrance to the Sno-Park, on what would be Echo Lakes Road.
Mileage - 1.25 mi. from the parking lot to the edge of Echo Lake. From there we hiked up just a little ways on the north ridge to see the view overlooking Lake Tahoe.
Hiking time - about 3 hours, with lots of time for stopping to take pictures and lunch at the lake.

An awesome group of nine of us set out on the trail on this beautiful, sunny winter day! A few of the women were first-time snowshoers, so it was fun to share a new adventure with them! I've hiked here in the summer a few times, so I was looking forward to seeing what it was like all covered in snow.
The trail to the lake essentially follows what would be Echo Lakes Road during the summer. The snow was pretty packed down from lots of previous cross-country skiers and snowshoers. But that made it nice and easy to find our way. It's a relatively easy trail, just a few ups and downs to give you a little extra exercise.

This road crosses paths with both the Tahoe Rim Trail and the PCT, though we probably were only on either one for just a short bit.
Along the way, we got glimpses in the distance of beautiful Lake Tahoe.
We've had a few weeks of blizzard snowstorms up in the Sierras so the snow pack was nice and deep!
We made it to the lake, which was covered in deep ice and snow! At least that's what we assumed and hoped based on seeing lots of tracks across the lake, and a few cross-country skiers making their way to the other side.
We weren't quite ready to venture out onto the ice ourselves, but decided to sit along the edge and eat our lunches. You couldn't ask for a better view!

Then we hiked up a little bit on the north side of the lake to a viewpoint overlooking Lake Tahoe. There are definitely some sketchy slopes in this area, so we made sure to stay away from those.

The view from here was worth it!
Okay, not only do I have really nice and wonderful friends, they're all just so darn cute too!
Back at the lake, we decided to venture a little ways out onto the snowy ice. Eek, just a little scary, but we had seen plenty of people out there, we didn't see any cracks or melting areas and it was very solid with a thick layer of snow on top.
We didn't go very far out at all, just barely enough to snap a picture. Not worth going any farther and risking a water rescue!

Such a beautiful day with beautiful friends enjoying this beautiful snowy scenery!

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” 
--Lewis Carroll