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Elevation: 7,423 ft 2,263 m
GPS: 38.8346, -120.04427
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 126,774 total · 498/month
Shared By: Aron Quiter on Sep 2, 2003 · Updates
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurk Er, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

Description Suggest change

This largely granite area sits just off highway 50 at Echo Pass, the pass you must travel over in order to get into South Lake Tahoe from Sacramento. There are several hundred routes, with lengths from 30 to 300 feet.

Climbing is for the most part traditional, though there are a few mixed and sport climbs, and just like everywhere else in Tahoe if you're really wanting to boulder, there are plenty of good boulders to be found. If you travel a little further away from the lake down to Berkeley Camp, you can also find about 10 sport routes.

Most climbs sit above the Echo Lake entrance to the Desolation Wilderness and Pacific Crest Trail, which makes the parking lot seem quite full often, though most of the people parked are there visiting some of the cabins on the lake, for boating, and also for hiking. As a result, you will find yourself climbing uncrowded domes and peaks above the crowded trails.

Most approaches are under an hour, and most of the approach is on the Pacific Crest Trail, which is even smoothed out with concrete in some sections.

All routes are on National Forest land, so there are no access issues.

There's even a general store at the beginning of the trailhead, so getting beer is easy in case you forgot to bring your own. A view from the parking lot at Lower Echo Lakes. The path you need to take out to the majority of climbing starts on the concrete walkway on the right side of the picture. Most Climbing is behind the large formation in the picture known as Echo Edge.

Getting There Suggest change

From east or west, head uphill on 50 to 2 miles west of Echo Summit. From the west (Placerville), hang a left on Echo Summit road, and from the east (South Lake Tahoe) hang a right. Follow this narrow paved road about 2 miles to the parking lot before Lower Echo Lake.

Ben Stone adds: "There is a self serve day pass for the Desolation Wilderness trailhead next to the dam. Overnight passes are not available, those must be acquired at the ranger stations (closes one I know of is down near fallen leaf lake). There are boat taxis to the other side of Upper Echo for $15 a person, $5 for gear, and the boat will only go when there is $45 worth going up the lake. The taxi saves you about 3 miles of hiking and going through the channel has been said to be like "going through Disneyland". I worked at Echo Lake Chalet for a couple summers and am a cabin owner on upper echo."

95 Total Climbs

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Location: Echo Lakes Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Echo Lakes

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 17
Mellow Arete
Sport, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 13
2 of America's Most Wanted
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 14
The Ramp
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 15
California Love
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 36
First Stage
Sport, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 5
Jam Session
Trad 2 pitches
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 12
Unknown
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 5
Kangaroo
Trad 3 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 23
Salt Water Flush
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 40
New Jersey Turnpike
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 10
Berkeley Berserker
Sport
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a
 15
Flu
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 7
Leflie
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 9
Flu Variation
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 12
Witch Doctor
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Mellow Arete Berkeley Camp Rocks
 17
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport, TR
2 of America's Most Wanted Billy Land > Gangsta Wall
 13
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
The Ramp Flagpole Peak Area > Flagpole Peak
 14
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 3 pitches
California Love Billy Land > Gangsta Wall
 15
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
First Stage Berkeley Camp Rocks
 36
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport, TR
Jam Session Flagpole Peak Area > Flagpole Peak
 5
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 2 pitches
Unknown Berkeley Camp Rocks
 12
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Sport
Kangaroo Flagpole Peak Area > Flagpole Peak
 5
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 3 pitches
Salt Water Flush Berkeley Camp Rocks
 23
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
New Jersey Turnpike Berkeley Camp Rocks
 40
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Berkeley Berserker Berkeley Camp Rocks
 10
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Flu Berkeley Camp Rocks
 15
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a Sport
Leflie Berkeley Camp Rocks
 7
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Flu Variation Berkeley Camp Rocks
 9
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Witch Doctor Berkeley Camp Rocks
 12
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Echo Lakes »

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