Wouldn't it be great to hike with your pup through a pine forested landscape glimpsing the glistening blue water of lakes through the trees? Well, you can do just that if you head out to Echo Lakes in California. The trails are so picturesque; you'll be constantly snapping photos – with your fur buddy in the foreground of course.
You can get to the Echo Lake trailhead by taking Highway 50 as far as Echo Summit; then you'll need to turn off onto Johnson Pass Road. The road ends at the parking area by Echo Chalet. After you've got your pup on their leash, don't forget to grab a free, day-use permit from the self-issue machine located in the parking area. Take clean up bags, water, and a picnic lunch. You're so going to want to take time out by the water's edge with your pet.
The trailhead is in the parking lot, and you'll find various trails running off from it. The Upper Echo Lake trail is a pawsome short, out and back hike which will lead you through rock formations, past waterfalls and right down to the lake shoreline which is dotted with cabins. There's also a puptastic five-mile loop you can get onto from the same trailhead. Using a trail map is recommended, and then you'll know which trail you're on.
There's less shade on the loop trail, so if it's sunny, use plenty of high factor lotion. You'll find the loop trail rocky and with loose stones in some parts, so wear good hiking shoes and check your pup's paws periodically for any injury. The lake views on the loop are impressive and even as late as mid-summer, you'll find lots of beautiful wildflowers growing in the grass. If you want to freshen up with a swim in the lake, you can, though be prepared for the water to be a little chilly. Your fur buddy will love these trails and will yappily go back there time and time again.