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Mount Tallac

Difficult
 4.8 (54) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

An excellent hike with lots of variety and stunning views.


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Map Key

9.9

Miles

16.0

KM

Out and Back

9,712' 2,960 m

High

6,446' 1,965 m

Low

3,266' 996 m

Up

3,266' 996 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

45%

Max Grade (24°)

Dogs Leashed

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.

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Mark Bradley

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 54 votes

#122

Overall
  4.8 from 54 votes
5 Star
85%
4 Star
13%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
2%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#13

in California

#122

Overall
253 Views Last Month
19,495 Since Oct 26, 2015
Difficult

0%
0%
6%
2%
86%
6%

Photos

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
Amazing reflection of Mount Tallac in Floating Island Lake
Aug 26, 2017 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
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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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Minor Issues 59 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Oct 20, 2020
Doug Jones
Tough trail. Great views but difficult surface. 90 percent scree and rocks. 9.9mi
Oct 12, 2020
Jason Hinkle
Oct 1, 2020
Jen N
Total time was longer for pictures (05:30?). Pretty rocky at the top, so sturdy shoes with ankle support is helpful. Hiking poles would come in handy. — 4h 53m
Jun 25, 2020
Steven Yankay
Jun 12, 2020
Troop 33126
Bea 10.3mi
Jan 4, 2020
Jenny Le
9mi
Oct 9, 2019
Brian Dodd
10mi — 6h 07m
Aug 27, 2019
Lucie Daniel
Avec Papa, Christophe et Gabe