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Mount Tallac

  4.8 ( 48 ) Favorite


9.9 mile 16.0 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 3,266' 996 m
Descent: -3,266' -996 m
High: 9,712' 2,960 m
Low: 6,446' 1,965 m


Avg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 45% (24°)


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Trail shared by Mark Bradley

An excellent hike with lots of variety and stunning views.

Mark Bradley

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Swimming · Views · Wildlife

Family Friendly The first half of the trail is relatively tame with great views, and it passes by two ponds that are great for swimming.


The route follows a ridge along the west side of Fallen Leaf Lake, before wrapping around to reach the summit of Mt. Tallac from the south. The trail offers incredible views of Lake Tahoe and the nearby peaks, a variety of terrain, and two swimming opportunities in small ponds along the way.

Need to Know

The second half of the trail offers very little shade. A day-use permit is required and can be picked up for free from the box at the trailhead.


The trail is well-marked and fairly obvious except for at the very top.

Pick up your permit at the trailhead, and follow the trail along the ridge by Fallen Leaf Lake, enjoying the views of Lake Tahoe and Mt Tallac. The trail will pass Floating Island Lake and Cathedral Lake, which offer good opportunities for taking breaks and soaking your feet (or whole body!)

After Cathedral Lake, the trail turns west and becomes more exposed. Watch your footing on the switchbacks winding up the scree field, and enjoy the views of Jack's Peak and the surrounding area when you top-out.

The remainder of the trail winds through alpine meadows and eventually ends at the summit. If you stop at the top for lunch, you're sure to make some furry friends, so watch your food! The views from the summit are definitely worth stopping to take in.

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Aug 27, 2019
Lucie Daniel
Avec Papa, Christophe et Gabe
Aug 22, 2019
Daniel Katz
Aug 17, 2019
Roxy Berg
didn't make to the top 7.2mi — 5h 20m
Aug 17, 2019
Abihiker C
Aug 11, 2019
Lian Zhu
5h 00m
Aug 5, 2019
Jean-Francois Mathieu
Aug 3, 2019
Matt W

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 48 votes


  4.8 from 48 votes
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in California


517 Views Last Month
15,581 Since Oct 26, 2015



Lake Tahoe from Mt. Tallac
Oct 28, 2015 near South L…, CA
Top of Mount Tallac. One of my all-time favorites. Spectacular view I think it's the best in the Tahoe basin
Aug 8, 2019 near South L…, CA
For the love of Sierra Nevada
Oct 7, 2018 near South L…, CA
Gilmore Lake and Susie Lake from Mount Tallac
Aug 26, 2017 near South L…, CA
Amazing reflection of Mount Tallac in Floating Island Lake
Aug 26, 2017 near South L…, CA
Descending Mt. Tallac toward Gilmore Lake; Jacks Peak, Dicks Peak, and the Desolation Wilderness in the distance.
Jun 14, 2016 near South L…, CA


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