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Floating Island / Mount Tallac Trail (17E33)

Difficult
 5.0 (1)

Lakes, beautiful meadows, and stunning views make this an outstanding trail.


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Map Key

6.5

Miles

10.4

KM

Point to Point

9,479' 2,889 m

High

6,446' 1,965 m

Low

3,033' 924 m

Up

1,175' 358 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

44%

Max Grade (24°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Description

This trail leads you through Desolation Wilderness across Mount Tallac. You pass a number of gorgeous lakes on the way there and get stunning views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area.

The trail starts ascending right from the trailhead. After half a mile, the forest opens up and you can get a good view of Fallen Leaf Lake on the left and Mount Tallac on the right. Most of the time, you'll be hiking over small loose rocks. At 1.8 miles, you'll arrive at Floating Island Lake. Depending on the time of day, you'll be able to see a magnificent reflection of the Mount Tallac ridge in the water.

Continue to ascend until you reach a junction that leads back down to Fallen Leaf Lake on the left. Keep right and shortly you'll reach Cathedral Lake. This is a good stop before you start the final ascent. At this point, the trail turns west and becomes more exposed, so look back every now and then to enjoy the view. Hike carefully as some sections of the trail will be more like boulder-hopping.

At 4.7 miles, you'll reach another junction. Continue to the right to reach the summit of Mount Tallac. Continue left to stay on this trail.

On the way down Mount Tallac to the west, you'll get stunning views of Pyramid Peak, Mount Price, and Echo Peak, as well as beautiful green meadows on either side of the trail with a great variety of wildflowers. When you ultimately reach Gilmore Lake, turn left and cross the small creek to follow the creek on the right until you reach the Pacific Crest Trail.

Flora & Fauna

The second half of the trail especially has beautiful green meadows on both sides of the trail with a great variety of wildflowers.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tilman Giese

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1223

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#158

in California

#1,223

Overall
223 Views Last Month
2,268 Since Aug 13, 2017
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Photos

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
Hikers on Mt Tallac Trail
Oct 28, 2015 near South L…, CA
Mt Tallac Trail
Oct 28, 2015 near South L…, CA
Panoramic view of Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake
Aug 26, 2017 near South L…, CA
View from Mt Tallac Trail.
Oct 28, 2015 near South L…, CA

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Check-Ins

Jul 5, 2019
Janine W
Aug 12, 2017
Tilman Giese