Lake Tahoe, CA: Susie Lake via Pacific Crest Trail

On this 16.2-mile weekend, you'll cross through a giant, glacier-carved basin with shimmering lakes and camp at first-class High Sierra campsites.
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On this 16.2-mile weekend, you'll cross through a giant, glacier-carved basin with shimmering lakes and camp at first-class High Sierra campsites.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 13.0

Waypoints

SLT001

Location: 38.8353843688965, -120.04467010498

Head W from Echo Lake Resort past Lower and Upper Echo Lakes through pines. Flagpole Peak to N

SLT002

Location: 38.8473663330078, -120.07878112793

R @ Y; spur to L leads down to public lake access

SLT003

Location: 38.8473815917969, -120.087280273438

L @ T; enter Desolation Wilderness

SLT004

Location: 38.8488349914551, -120.095199584961

Turn R @ Y and climb 400 ft. above headwall of Tamarack Lake

SLT005

Location: 38.8529319763184, -120.102867126465

L @ T; skirt E fringe of wildflower-packed Haypress Meadows

SLT006

Location: 38.8549652099609, -120.108467102051

R @ Y. Spur trails lead to side lakes in Desolation Valley; stay with PCT

SLT007

Location: 38.8565673828125, -120.112785339355

Keep R @ Lucille Lake Trail junction, bearing WNW

SLT008

Location: 38.8576316833496, -120.118347167969

R @ Y

SLT009

Location: 38.8596496582031, -120.120918273926

Go L; bear NW into lake-fi lled Desolation Valley (once-empty basin was fl ooded for Sacramento's water supply)

SLT010

Location: 38.8644676208496, -120.128448486328

Lake Aloha: Warm, shallow water, islands, and fi ne photo ops over the rugged, snow-clad Crystal Range. To continue, go R and ascend E shoreline past Lake Le Conte

SLT011

Location: 38.8763008117676, -120.14616394043

R @ T, heading E past ponds and a misty 20-ft. waterfall

SLT012

Location: 38.8782501220703, -120.139915466309

N shore of Heather Lake set in a deep bowl

SLT013

Location: 38.8790817260742, -120.123931884766

Susie Lake sits beneath crimson, metamorphic Jack's Peak (9,856 ft.). Camp on NW shore; retrace route to trailhead

Crystal Divide

Location: 38.8683166503906, -120.136764526367

Lake Aloha's shallow waters shimmer in front of the rugged, snowy Crystal Divide. ©Jack Haskel

Above the lake

Location: 38.8729400634766, -120.142929077148

Two 2006 PCT thru-hikers climb the rocky hillside of Lake Aloha's northern shore. ©Jack Haskel