Echo Lake to Aloha Lake New Years Backcountry Adventure
12-31/11 -> 1-1-2012
Trip Report / Field Notes
Saturday - made it to the (icy) echo lake parking area by about noon. A bit earlier than i had wanted. A fair amount of cars / people here... I am guessing a lot of folks were up from the bay area for the holiday. Weather was IDEAL... no wind, sunny, probably in the upper 50's in the sunshine. Most of lower Echo lake was frozen... some brave souls were even trying to see if the ice would hold them (and it seemed to). Passed about 7 or 8 parties during the first 2-3 miles of the hike (the portion flanking Echo Lakes). Then saw no-one after that.. (Did see a couple w/ a dog at my destination.. not sure if they stayed the night or not...??) The first 3.5 miles were pretty easy and ice free, the final 2.5 were largely ice and snow covered. Several sets of footprints were generally following the trail, hence there was little question where to go.. I bushwhacked a bit during the last half mile to try to reach a spot on the southwest side of Lake Aloha. Once there, i decided a tree covered area on the East shore would be better for a campspot and made camp there. The lake itself was frozen, as was most of the surrounding area... like the recent warm weather had produced slight thaws then everything re-iced overnight. Also a lot of evidence of the high winds that occured on Friday (freshly downed trees, etc..) Though it felt warm in the dwindling sun, liquid water was hard to come by... After setting up the old SD tent, we dined on a nice big rock overlooking Aloha for the sunset. and after that.. pretty much 12 hours of darkness....
HAPPY NEW YEAR! after PLENTY of sleep, arose pre-dawn. Fed the dogs and hit the trail at dawn. about 3 hours to hike in, and took about 2.5 to hike out... total hike was just over 12 miles... didn't see any New Years day orning hikers until i reached the trailhead. another perfect still sunny day... great trip.