Hike Date: May 26, 2013
Distance: 4.4 miles
Trail(s): Within Lassen Volcanic National Park
Where’s it at? East of Lassen Peak off Hwy 89


While staying in a cabin at Silver Lake in Lassen National Forest, a few friends and I decided to head into the Lassen Volcanic National Park for a quick day hike. It was Memorial Day weekend and there was still quite a bit of snow in the park, although this was a really dry year. The options were fairly limited in terms of the clothing and gear we had. After looking at the recommended hikes for the weekend at the information center, we decided on a couple choices. The first choice was Kings Creek Falls but the trailhead beginning had several feet of snow and none of us had snowshoes or anything like that with us. We opted to check out the Summit Lake area which has a number of trailheads in the area and was a little lower in elevation.

We parked in a lot at the Summit Lake North area marked on the map handout at the gate. At this time the entry to the park costed $10 per vehicle although one of us had an annual pass. The trailhead here has a number of lakes to hike to, each with a distance shown. We ended up choosing to head to Echo Lake which was a 4.4 mile round trip out and back hike. The hike started with a crossing of a soggy but beautiful meadow area, and soon we were at the north shore of Summit lake. Summit Lake was picturesque with Reading peak as a backdrop. Heading east from there the trail begins to climb a bit and at the time had a lot of patches of snow that we had to cross over. After heading upward for a while you reach a beautiful plateau with excellent views of Lassen and Reading peaks and wide views of the subalpine forest area dotted with areas of snow. The trail was really quite easy to follow up to this point. After crossing the plateau the trail began to descend rather steeply and at the bottom there was really a lot of snow as it was a shaded north side of the mountains.

The trail flattens out for a while as the trail becomes a little hard to follow with all the snow, athough we were able to generally follow previous hiker’s footsteps. As you near Echo Lake it begins another short descent before a great secluded lake view presents itself. Echo Lake is pretty small but was very scenic, and there were some areas in the clearings with large logs to sit under the sun at. We had a little snack and began our trek back along the same trail.

This was a great hike. It didn’t really have any volcanic sites to see other than the distant views of Lassen peak, etc. We probably wouldn’t have ever chosen this hike if we had all the options of the park available to us. We did get to see some bubbling mud pools, fumeroles and cinder cones on the way in and out of this trailhead. Definitely had a good and scenic hike here and I can’t wait to go back a little later in the year and try Lassen Peak and some other featured hikes in this park!

Photos from Echo Lake Trail (click to enlarge)

Hike to Echo Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park Hike to Echo Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park Hike to Echo Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park
Hike to Echo Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park Hike to Echo Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park Hike to Echo Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park
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Hike to Echo Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park Hike to Echo Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park Hike to Echo Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park
Hike to Echo Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park Hike to Echo Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park Hike to Echo Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park
Hike to Echo Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park Hike to Echo Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park Hike to Echo Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park

Directions to Trailhead for Echo Lake


View Hike to Echo Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park in a larger map

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