Echo to Luther

  Round Lake
Round Lake

  Cathy & Mike
Cathy and Mike tour above Showers Lake
This tour follows the section of the Sierra Crest just south of highway 50, and then drops east, crossing a few lakes before ending along highway 89, northwest of Luther Pass. This tour's average elevation is 8200'; it should be nice from mid-winter to early spring.

Start at the Echo Summit SnoPark area (a Sno-Park permit is required; 916-653-8569), which is just south of US 50 at Echo Summit, and ascend west of south up a series of steep sections separated by small meadows, until about 8700', a quick gain of 1300'. Continue along the rolling crest southward for about 3 more miles, until you are about a mile north of peak 9595'. Up to this point, this tour follows the same route as the Echo-to-Kirkwood race, in late March; thus you can probably do this tour faster and more easily if you do it on Sunday, the day after the race.

From this spot, you could continue southwest towards Kirkwood. However, this tour leaves the crest here, dropping southeast along the northeastern base of peak 9595' (be alert to possible cornice hazard) to Showers Lake. From Showers, continue east to Four Lakes, or south of east to Meiss Meadow and Meiss Lake, and then tour west of north to Round Lake. (A popular alternate route for getting to Round Lake is to start at the Carson Pass SnoPark, traverse over the 8800' saddle west of Red Lake Peak, and drop 2 miles north to Meiss Lake, continuing north to Round Lake.)

From Round Lake, descend northwards for nearly a mile, and then cut northeast over a 200' rise, over into the next drainage, and descend north to Big Meadow. From there, follow north and northwest, along the right side of the creek, to the ending trailhead along highway 89, at about 7200' (signs on the road indicate the "Tahoe Rim Trail"). There is usually some free parking available along the opposite side of the road.

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