Pacific Crest Trail: CA Section 25

US 50 to I-80: Visit two scenic wilderness areas, swim in countless lakes, and traverse above Lake Tahoe’s rim on this 56-mile section.
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US 50 to I-80: Visit two scenic wilderness areas, swim in countless lakes, and traverse above Lake Tahoe’s rim on this 56-mile section.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 90.0

Waypoints

Rounding Lake Aloha

Location: 38.8772239685059, -120.146858215332

Hikers navigating the trail around Lake Aloha. ©Jack Haskel

Lake Aloha and the Crystal Divide

Location: 38.8695602416992, -120.139839172363

The rippled waters of Lake Aloha stand in front of the stunning Crystal Divide. ©Jack Haskel

Dick's Pass

Location: 38.9055633544922, -120.135314941406

Heading down the north side of the pass. ©Jack Haskel

PCT620

Location: 38.8227653503418, -120.039764404297

Head N from CA 50

PCT621

Location: 38.825065612793, -120.038848876953

Cross road to Echo Lake and hike among housing complex

PCT622

Location: 38.8353843688965, -120.04467010498

Echo Lake Resort located @ S end of Echo Lakes; resort marina has well-stocked store and ice cream parlor; doesn't have lodging. It does, however, run ferry boats across the lake. During the winter, this large lake freezes and becomes a very popular cross-country ski and snowshoe destination.

PCT623

Location: 38.8473663330078, -120.07878112793

Spur trail (L) leading down to lake where you'll find a dock for the ferry and a telephone to call the resort to be picked up. This spot is public access, so it's a good place to visit if you want to swim in Echo Lake.

PCT624

Location: 38.8473815917969, -120.087280273438

L @ junction with Triangle Lake trail

PCT625

Location: 38.8488349914551, -120.095199584961

R @ junction with Tamarack Creek trail

PCT626

Location: 38.8529319763184, -120.102867126465

Straight @ Lily Lake trail

PCT627

Location: 38.8549652099609, -120.108467102051

Straight @ Lake of the Woods trail

PCT628

Location: 38.8565673828125, -120.112785339355

Straight @ Lucille Lake trail

PCT629

Location: 38.8576316833496, -120.118347167969

Straight @ intersection with trail down to Lake Aloha

PCT630

Location: 38.8596496582031, -120.120918273926

Straight @ Lake Lucille trail junction

PCT631

Location: 38.8644676208496, -120.128448486328

Lake Aloha: backed by the impressive Crystal Divide, this lake is deservedly popular. Its shallow, granite bottom equals warm waters, making a swim out to one of the islands a pleasure. Don't miss exploring the old snags still standing in the southern part of the lake. Late in the season, the lake level drops precipitously, allowing you to walk right out into the middle of the lake.

PCT632

Location: 38.8763008117676, -120.14616394043

R turn @ junction with Mosquito Pass trail

PCT633

Location: 38.8782501220703, -120.139915466309

N shore of Heather Llake

PCT634

Location: 38.8790817260742, -120.123931884766

Susie Lake outlet; excellent camping around this red volcanic-rimmed lake

PCT635

Location: 38.8844337463379, -120.120964050293

Stay on L @ Glen Alpine trail junction

PCT636

Location: 38.8859825134277, -120.11710357666

Straight @ Glen Alpine trail and Half Moon Lake trail

PCT637

Location: 38.8906669616699, -120.11351776123

Go L @ Gilmore Lake trail

PCT638

Location: 38.9056510925293, -120.134963989258

Dick's Pass: in 2006, N side of pass harbored slickest ice-and-snow field of the whole thru-hike; very dangerous.

PCT639

Location: 38.9184150695801, -120.144119262695

Straight @ Dick's Lake trail

PCT640

Location: 38.9263648986816, -120.137153625488

L @ Bayview trail

PCT641

Location: 38.932918548584, -120.146598815918

Cross outlet of Upper Velma Lake

PCT642

Location: 38.9331169128418, -120.147552490234

Straight @ spur to Upper Velma Lake

PCT643

Location: 38.9334487915039, -120.149269104004

R @ Fontanillis Trail

PCT644

Location: 38.9340171813965, -120.154029846191

Straight @ Camper Flat Trail

PCT645

Location: 38.9447326660156, -120.159034729004

Straight @ Meeks Bay Trail

PCT646

Location: 38.9917182922363, -120.191284179688

Straight @ General Creek junction

PCT647

Location: 39.019115447998, -120.215896606445

Cross jeep road

PCT648

Location: 39.0243339538574, -120.211952209473

Richardson Lake, good campsite in trees

PCT649

Location: 39.0323829650879, -120.230247497559

Cross dirt road

PCT650

Location: 39.0332336425781, -120.232917785645

Cross a very popular off-roading road

PCT651

Location: 39.0536346435547, -120.246063232422

Cross dirt road

PCT652

Location: 39.0625839233398, -120.249069213867

Barker Meadow Creek

PCT653

Location: 39.0644149780273, -120.245834350586

Cross dirt road

PCT654

Location: 39.0765342712402, -120.235015869141

Reach trailhead parking @ Barker Pass (Forest Route 3); while this road will take you down toward Lake Tahoe and Tahoe City, hitchhiking on it would be difficult as it isn't a well-traveled route. Great views of nearby Lake Tahoe.

PCT655

Location: 39.0817489624023, -120.245384216309

Dirt road; great views through trees of Blackwood Canyon and Lake Tahoe

PCT656

Location: 39.1091003417969, -120.236846923828

Stay L @ Tahoe Rim Trail and PCT split for some fantastic ridge walking

PCT657

Location: 39.1533317565918, -120.249183654785

Saddle @ Alpine Meadows Ski Resort

PCT658

Location: 39.1722679138184, -120.258682250977

Cross Five Lakes Creek and go L @ Five Lakes trail junction

PCT659

Location: 39.1670684814453, -120.26798248291

R @ Whisky Creek trail junction

PCT660

Location: 39.1848831176758, -120.288696289062

R @ Tevis trail junction

PCT661

Location: 39.1896820068359, -120.285598754883

Cross headwaters of Middle Fork of the American River

PCT662

Location: 39.1939010620117, -120.283317565918

L @ trail to Squaw Valley

PCT663

Location: 39.19580078125, -120.282218933105

L @ trail to Squaw Valley on the shoulder of Granite Chief

PCT664

Location: 39.1973838806152, -120.281585693359

Walk under a chair lift @ Squaw Valley Ski Area.

PCT665

Location: 39.1994323730469, -120.28092956543

Pleasant Squaw Creek where it waterfalls below a pocket meadow

PCT666

Location: 39.2106170654297, -120.276481628418

Flat camping opportunities on decomposed granite

PCT667

Location: 39.2251815795898, -120.27661895752

Stay to R @ Painted Rock trail junction and crossing of outlet creek of Mountain Meadow Lake

PCT668

Location: 39.2304992675781, -120.276664733887

Creek

PCT669

Location: 39.244701385498, -120.280487060547

Stay L @ Coldstream trail traversing just below summit of Tinker Knob, a worthy peak-bagging goal because you're so close

PCT670

Location: 39.2612838745117, -120.297897338867

After looping around Anderson Peak, reach spur to Benson Hut located uphill and to R in trees off trail; this backcountry ski hut is well worth the visit

PCT671

Location: 39.2886505126953, -120.323532104492

Creeklet just below summit of Mount Lincoln, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort's most important mountain

PCT672

Location: 39.2937507629394, -120.32039642334

Roller Pass

PCT673

Location: 39.2944183349609, -120.321029663086

Mt. Judah loop trail

PCT674

Location: 39.30419921875, -120.322334289551

Cross dirt ski resort service road, traversing the ski slopes at this point

PCT675

Location: 39.3060989379883, -120.322868347168

Mt. Judah Loop trail

PCT676

Location: 39.3148002624512, -120.326881408691

Paved road

PCT677

Location: 39.3168487548828, -120.325965881348

Old Highway 40

PCT678

Location: 39.339485168457, -120.334182739258

Straight @ trail junction

PCT679

Location: 39.3421325683594, -120.335830688477

Tunnel under I-80;

More PCT: Next Section | Previous Section

Wildlflowers

Location: 39.0502052307129, -120.234939575195

©Jack Haskel

Ski Lifts near Tahoe

Location: 39.288444519043, -120.312019348145

©Jack Haskel