Hike Mount Tallac
Lake Tahoe › Mount Tallac Trail
Added by Christian Arballo
- One of the more scenic and challenging hikes in the South Tahoe area with incredible views of the Desolation Wilderness and Lake Tahoe itself
- Shorter but more intense than the Glen Alpine Trail/ Gilmore Lake
- Tallac/ Rubicon is probably one of the best day hikes you can do
The classic 9½ mile out-and-back day hike to Mount Tallac begins at the trailhead on the southwestern side of Lake Tahoe, between Emerald Bay and Camp Richardson. When driving to the trailhead, make a turn inland at Mt. Tallac Road and follow the well-signed route to the reasonably sized parking lot. Be sure to register your day hike in the Desolation Wilderness area. Free permits are available at the trail sign, which must be filled out in full before proceeding on the trail. The route begins through light forest before heading up to a ridgeline which follows alongside the shores of Fallen Leaf Lake and provides some great views.
- Sun block
- Hiking boots/ good socks
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Spring, Summer, Autumn
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This is the classic hike in Desolation Wilderness
Definitely one of the best hikes in the Tahoe Basin. You get sweeping views of both Tahoe and Desolation Wilderness. This is a very popular hike, but that has never stopped me from doing. In my opinion, one of the best ways to do this hike is to get there for sunrise. You have to leave at about 3AM, but it is totally worth it.
Fantastic, but pay attention!
Pronounced: 'Tuh-Lak' Summary: ~5 miles out and same back; ~3,100 elevation gain Duration: <2.5 hours to peak (if fit, but much longer if not) When: hiked late summer to avoid snow Which: hiked main Tallac Trail, but other options include Glen Alpine (longer) and Middle Tallac (steeper and shorter) How: park at Mount Tallac Trailhead; fill out pass; start hike, which encounters loose rocks and climbs in earnest; go past two lakes and climb up rock headwall; at trail post, go right to Tallac (if you go left you are going down Glen Alpine Trail;) keeping right, scramble up rocks along bit of ledge and you will quickly reach summit, which is close to 10,000 feet and offers abundant views Pitfalls: bears may be encountered, which happened in my case; descent can be confusing, because you have scrambled to peak and retracing your path down can be difficult --- take precaution! Directions: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Montbleu+Resort,+Casino+and+Spa,+Stateline,+NV/Mt+Tallac,+Californiafirstname.lastname@example.org,-120.0889436,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x80999a82c3f76a5d:0x81982e3b96d3fe64!2m2!1d-119.9390089!2d38.9613058!1m5!1m1!1s0x8099889a8f72b719:0xc8beacc7f994119c!2m2!1d-120.0987966!2d38.9060188 Parking: ample early, but limited later Pass: required to carry Pets: sure, but puppies should not hike until grown Provisions: food and water (duh!) Equipment: hiking boots (c'mon;) poles offer more challenge than assistance (in my opinion;) backpack with mobile phone and perhaps safety supplies
Mt. Tallac Hike
Awesome hike that took me 5 hours. From the the Mt. Tallac trailhead pick up a free permit then head along the trail with Fallen Leaf Lake on your left. You'll then hit two beautiful lakes: Floating Island Lake and Cathedral Lake. After Cathedral Lake you'll have some rocky and steep terrain that's very exposed, but the view is amazing! Once you get to the top you'll have a 360 view of beautiful Lake Tahoe!
Scenic and diverse trail with a breath-taking summit
One of the things I loved about this trail is that it takes you through all sorts of landscapes. It absolutely beats those summit treks that are pure switchbacks. You will pass not one but TWO small lakes both very different from one another. The area with large boulders is fun to 'off-road' for a bit and scamper around. The summit is just breathtaking with so much blue below and above you.
The map on this review takes you to a different trail head, the Glen Alpine trail head. You can still get to Mnt. Tallac from there but it is about 12 miles round trip vs the 9 miles at the other trail head. It was a nice trek, took about 6.5 hours for us but we got off the trail once for about an hour.
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