You will be hiking the section of the Pacific Crest Trail between Echo Summit and Carson Pass. It works best with two groups of hikers... more » each starting at the distant parking lots. Your groups will meet somewhere along the trail, have lunch and exchange car keys before continuing on.
There are three options and they're listed in order of difficulty:
1. Easiest option: start at the parking lot labeled "END" just off Highway 88. Hike to Showers Lake for a picnic and head straight back. Amazing flower displays are visible within the first mile. This will limit the hike to under 10 miles and the elevation change will be minimal.
2. Moderate to Difficult: Hike from Carson Pass (Hwy 88) to Echo Summit (Hwy 50). There's roughly 1500 ft. elevation change in this westbound route.
3. Strenuous: Hike from Echo Summit to Carson pass. There's roughly 2500 ft. elevation change.
This trip has all the makings for a great day out: it's a beautiful drive and it can be as easy or as strenuous as you'd like it to be. Either way this is your chance to visit natural blooming gardens, alpine lakes and volcanic rock remnants. The flowers are at their peak right in the spring, but the hike is still nice all they way into fall. less «