Floating Island and Cathedral Lakes

South Lake Tahoe, California

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For those who desire something easier than the climb to the summit of Mt. Tallac , the 2.5-mile hike to the Floating Island and Cathedral lakes on the Mt. Tallac Trail is a fine option. The lakes are both scenic but look very different: Floating Island is a forest-rimmed lake named for mats of sod that periodically break away from the shore and float around the lake, while Cathedral exudes much more of a subalpine ambience. While overnight camping is allowed at the lakes, campsites are nearly nonexistent at Floating Island and of marginal quality at Cathedral.

Floating Island and Cathedral Lakes Professional Review and Guide

"For those who desire something easier than the climb to the summit of Mt. Tallac , the 2.5-mile hike to the Floating Island and Cathedral lakes on the Mt. Tallac Trail is a fine option.

The lakes are both scenic but look very different: Floating Island is a forest-rimmed lake named for mats of sod that periodically break away from the shore and float around the lake, while Cathedral exudes much more of a subalpine ambience. While overnight camping is allowed at the lakes, campsites are nearly nonexistent at Floating Island and of marginal quality at Cathedral."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: South Lake Tahoe
Distance: 5
Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours
Season: Best July to mid-October
Local Contacts: Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit at 530-543-2600, www.fs.usda.gov/ltbmu
Local Maps: ENF and LTBMU A Guide to the Desolation Wilderness

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