Mt Tallac

South Lake Tahoe, California

Mt. Tallac Professional Review and Guide

"Many regard Mt. Tallac as the quintessential Tahoe peak. The dark, metamorphic hulk looms over the south end of the lake in dominant fashion, casting a long shadow over the surrounding terrain. “Tallac” is a Native American word meaning “Great Mountain,” a particularly appropriate moniker for this stately peak.

Not only is the mountain an imposing sight when viewed from various points around the basin, but the vista from the summit is equally stunning. Prospective peak baggers don’t need specialized mountaineering skills in order to reach the incredible view, as a maintained trail can be followed all the way to the top of the peak."

Mt. Tallac Reviews

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I hiked this trail in mid August. The weather was warm, but comfortable. Windy and cool at the summit so carrying a light jacket or sweat shirt is advisable. The first third of the trail is easy with a good view of Fallen Leaf Lake. At Cathedral Lake the trail takes a steep upturn with rocky and sometimes loose footing. Shade is minimal in this second third of the trail. After some long switchbacks the ridge is reached with an abundance of wild flowers in view. The view of Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake is spectacular as well as the many small lakes and peaks of the back country. The final third of the trail is for the most part a gradual ascent to the junction with the trail to Gilmore Lake. The last part of the climb is over very rocky terrain to the summit. The views are awesome so plan to linger awhile and take lots of photos. There are also multiple chipmunks in the area who seem to be use to people and are probably looking for a handout. I encountered several dogs on the hike as well as two at the summit. Ascent time for me was 3 1/2 hours, about 45 minutes at the top and 2 1/2 hours back to the trail head. I also carried 2 liters of water and drank most of it although I probably could have done with about 1 1/2 liters. I hope this review helps. If you are in the Lake Tahoe area this is a must day hike.

Mt. Tallac Photos

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Trail Information

South Lake Tahoe
Nearby City
3,300 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
5 to 7 hours
Best mid-July to mid-October
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit at 530-543-2600,
Local Contacts
ENF and LTBMU A Guide to the Desolation Wilderness
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jun 2018