Tahoe Rim Trail – Echo Pass to Gilmore Lake

Today a new character enters our trail drama: the Mosquito. And a zillion or so of her friends. The head nets come out starting with the first coffee.

Coffee sans mosquitos

Our appetites are big enough now to hang with the PCT hikers in front of the Echo Chalet general store, making multiple trips inside. They have surprisingly good produce!

Trail trash at Echo Chalet

Once we pull ourselves away from the store, we join many hikers on the trail into Desolation wilderness. The raptors are out in force today, including osprey and this young red-tailed hawk.

Red-tailed hawk (juvenile?)

Desolation wilderness

The crowds on the trail are a little dismaying, but a quick side trip to lake Lucille brings peace once more. A couple of forest service scientists show up to check nets in the lake. They’re removing fish that were introduced to the lake by humans in hopes that spotted frogs that were extirpated by the fish will return.

Lake Lucille lillies

We begin the tour of lakes that everyone comes here for. The crowds thin out, and the lakes really are pretty amazing, especially Aloha lake. It’s even mostly mosquito free.

Aloha lake trail

Aloha lake

We hope this big spider is a mosquito-eater (not a hiker-biter).

Large spider

In Heather lake we watch merganser chicks hop a ride on mama’s back.

Heather Lake

Merganser chick piggyback

At Gilmore lake, our camping destination, the mosquitoes are the worst yet. Some hikers in shorts admire Ann’s cutting edge hiker fashion.

Mosquito trail fashion

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