Echo Summit Lodge, South Lake Tahoe, CA

Echo Summit Lodge (ESL), at an elevation of 7,365 feet in the Sierra Nevada, is a large, comfortable, year-round mountain lodge. The living room provides a commanding view of the Lake Tahoe Basin and surrounding mountains. It is a perfect gathering place to meet new and old friends. The dining room features family-style seating where delicious meals are prepared, served, enjoyed—with dishes washed afterwards—all via joint effort. Both the living and dining rooms are equipped with EPA approved efficient wood burning stoves. Overnight lodging includes accommodations in dormitories and private rooms. Bathrooms are shared.

Forty thousand acres of rugged granite peaks and the alpine lakes of Desolation Wilderness area are within walking distance. Echo Lake (a mile from our lodge) and nearby Lake Tahoe are delightful places in the summer for hiking, swimming, fishing, and boating. In winter, the area excels for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Local, well-known downhill ski areas include Heavenly, Sierra at Tahoe, and Kirkwood.

The lodge is a cooperative hostel operated by volunteer members who ‘host’ for pre-scheduled time periods. Each person needs to bring a sleeping bag or sheets, pillowcase, towel, and toiletries. Each person is required to lend a hand with cooking and housekeeping.

Our Goals IncludeESL snowed-in 2013

•  To provide members and their guests with a comfortable, safe, and affordable facility;
•  To promote new memberships and volunteerism founded on the proper use and protection of the lodge and its environment;
•  To manage the lodge to be self-financed and in compliance with Forest Service rules.


The list of hosting dates is posted in TRAILS along with the host names and contact information.

•  Contact scheduled host for details. The host coordinates reservations and will confirm upon receipt of deposit.
•  The amount of deposit (minimum $15 per person, per day) depends on the length of stay, but the minimum deposit is $30 per person.
•  Host determines the final sign-up dates and total number of people that can be accommodated so reserve early. Host estab­lishes a waiting list to help adjust for cancellations.
•  Non-members, invited by a member, are welcome to attend up to three events. They may either enroll as Associate Members or be the guest of a member who pays for their stay.

Cancellation Policy

Notify the host if you need to cancel. Refund policy is as follows:

•  Four weeks or more prior to host-period: host will refund deposit minus a charge of $5 per person.
•  Four weeks to one week prior to host-period: host will refund deposit minus a charge of $5 per person, per day.
•  Within one week prior to host-period: deposit will not be re­funded because the host will have lost the opportunity to fill your space and food supplies will have already been purchased.

HostingCindy training Echo Summit hosts, 2014

Members, please contact Trustee Cindy to schedule a hosted event or private member accommodation. She maintains the roster of trained hosts and their scheduled times. She takes requests and solicits schedule fill-ins to optimize occupancy and service; the goal being to have the lodge open to members as much as possible throughout the year to provide income for maintenance, repairs, and improvements.

ESL Host Training Weekends

Host training is provided semi-annually for members with the desire and initiative to join the pool of trained lodge hosts, and thereafter organize and manage their own hosted event. Trained hosts are required to attend a Host Training Weekend every three years to keep current on lodge operations. Host training covers lodge facilities, meal planning and budgeting, Associate Member registration, and bookkeeping details. Newly trained hosts are encouraged to ‘shadow’ an experienced host before they ‘solo.’  Contact Trustee Cindy to signup for ESL Host Training

Echo Summit Lodge Rates – Hosted Events


Adults and children over 11 years ………………………………………………………… $10 per person, per night plus tax
Children ages 4 through 11 – one half the adult rate
Under 4 years – no charge

Multiple Occupancy Rooms

Adults and children over 11 years ………………………………………………………….$15 per person, per night, plus tax
Children ages 4 through 11 – one half the adult rate
Under 4 years – no charge
Single occupancy may be accommodated on a space available basis …..$22 per person, per night

Meals (rates per person)

Breakfast – $8; Lunch – $7; Dinner – $15 ($30 per day)
Children ages 4 through 11 – one half the adult rate
Under 4 years – no charge

No refund for missed or skipped meals.

Associate Members are charged the member rate plus Associate Member dues of $10 a day per adult.

Please note: ESL lodging charges are subject to El Dorado County’s 14% lodging tax in addition to the listed rates.

Echo Summit Lodge Rates – Private Events

Mon-Thurs nights: 20$ per person, per night, 240$ minimum
Fri-Sun nights: 25$ per person, per night, 300$ minimum
Children under 4 years – no charge

These rates are for lodging only and include tax. Food is separate and organized by the host.

Echo Summit Lodge Rates – Spontaneous Events

Same per person rates as Private Events but with 50$ minimum per night.
Spontaneous Events are not exclusive.

Member Accomodations

Snowy view from Echo Summit Lodge
Snowy view from Echo Summit Lodge

Prime time at Echo Summit Lodge is defined as:

•  Summer – June 15 to September 15
•  Holidays
•  Winter Weekends – January, February, March

To optimize occupancy during non-prime time, the lodge is available for private events to CAC members who are on the Trained Host Roster.

Trained host members wishing to use the lodge for private use must contact Trustee Cindy. A prospective host will secure a time slot, initiate an Accommodation Agreement (must be signed and returned within two weeks but no earlier than six months in advance), and mail a deposit to Trustee Mary Larkin-Berlinski to lock in the accommodation dates. The deposit is 50% of the estimated amount plus $100.VO+AH echo lake hikers

The accommodation charge per day (noon to noon) for Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday nights is $18 per person, including children age 4 and over, with a minimum of $216 per night. The rate is $13 per person, per day for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and/or Thursday nights with a minimum of $182 per night. These rates include El Dorado County lodging tax. Early bookings are recommended. The accommodation fee is non-refundable except for special circumstances such as severe weather conditions or death in the family. The deposit, minus any incurred charges, will be refunded after full compliance with the Accommodation Agreement, and when the end-of-use report is submitted and reviewed by an Echo Summit Lodge trustee.

Spontaneous Overnight Stays

Trained ESL hosts may stay at Echo Lodge by contacting Cindy. Your stay may be booked no sooner than 10 days in advance of the time you are requesting. If your time is available, you may make a reservation, arrange for a key, and obtain an Accommodation Agreement. Needless to say, the “Leave-No-Trace” expectation applies. Within one week after the end of your stay, all forms and payment must be submitted to Diane Ryan, Treasurer, as follows:

•  $18 per person, per night Friday thru Sunday
•  $13 per person, per night Monday thru Thursday
•  Minimum charge is $40, regardless of the number of people
•  Non-member adults must each pay the additional $10 a day Associate Member dues.

FALL and SPRING ESL Work Parties

Maintenance and improvements at Echo Summit Lodge depend on two significant campaigns — the ESL Fall and Spring Work Parties — to prepare for and recover from the winter and summer occupancies.  Participation in these multi-day work parties qualifies as a volunteer activity as expected annually from all members and are a twice-yearly volunteer opportunity for fellowship, exercise and accomplishment.  While participation qualifies as a “work” activity for prospective new members, attending a work party should not be a first event at ESL (i.e., prospective new members should have attended one or more hosted events prior to participating in a work party).  Sign up for one or both of these events to renew your connection to the beauty of work in the mountains.  Check the CAC calendar or TRAILS for dates of these events.