This is not an official campground. There is a lot of space for campers, though, and it is not heavily trafficked. The trek to Echo Lake is about 8 miles (one-way) from the start of the Hurricane Creek Trail. When you arrive at Echo Lake, beauty awaits you! This location is a remote and peaceful retreat. The lake is so clear and serene. The views of the mountainside are breathtaking. This is a great site for groups and there is enough space to spread out. The stars are vivid and you can see the movement of the stars and moon along the mountains. The trek to the lake is SO WORTH IT! This is probably one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been to. It gave me the wilderness escape that I needed. It is a hidden gem! Whenever you visit, leave your stressors behind you and enjoy the preserved beauty. The lake is very cold, but I definitely enjoyed the shock after the hike in!
The hike into Echo Lake is an intense incline! We tracked about 3,500 feet of elevation gain in about 5 hours during our hike in. The way back only took us about 3.5 hours and is mostly downhill. I would not recommend this hike for a beginner hiker/backpacker. I carried 60 lbs on my back up and down this trek and it was A LOT for me as a relatively new backpacker (with endurance conditioning). It is a hike that one should work towards, for sure! This trek is would be great crosstraining for an endurance athlete (like me!). At times, the incline felt like a 10-15% grade, but I do not know this for sure. It is pretty steep and challenging if you are carrying a lot of weight. I recommend going as minimalist as possible to avoid extra weight, if possible. I brought my bull mastiff dog along with me and she had a blast! I would recommend conditioning your dog for a trek like this. It can be pretty gnarly and steep at times! My dog wouldn't have made it if she had not done treks like this before. There are creeks along the route to the lake and I would bring extra water to hydrate your dog in between water sources. As always, leave no trace and keep this spot pristine and clean :)