Hike Mount Tallac



9.5 miles

Elevation Gain

3255 ft

Route Type


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 9Ā½ 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.

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over 5 years ago

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.

You can bring your dog on most trails in Desolation Wilderness!

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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