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Worth the 10.2 mile hike. The view is breathtaking! Definitely would go again.

This is our go to trail when hot or raining... The trail is under the canapy and easy to moderate... The trail is always changing and if you are lucky you will see a nice waterfall

hiking
1 day ago

Challenging and scenic hike but well worth it!
It took us (31yr old/29yr old) about 5hours (we took a few breaks for food and pictures) to reach the summit, and about 3 hours to get down. The hike goes along side Fallen leaf lake and has many spectacular views (a few smaller lakes/ponds) as you make your way to the tippytop for the ultimate view. Very rewarding, but not for the casual hiker.
For comparison, I would say the hike to get to the base of Half Dome was about as strenuous for me. A little less elevation gain, and distance on this hike. It surely felt as challenging because it had such a rocky path a majority of the trail.

Tips:
-Go early, the parking lot is small, and fills up quickly. We went on a weekday and the parking lot was filling up before 8am.
-Pack enough water, it will be a 8+ hour hike for most people. We packed two 32oz hydroflasks, and our 50 oz camelback backpack.

Tough hike up Tallac for me yesterday but worth it. Beautiful views of Echo Lake, Emerald Bay, Fallen Leaf and of course Tahoe. Very rocky. Took us about 3 1/2 hours to summit. We started at 10am. Totally recommend an early start like 6:30 or 7:00. My husband was my Sherpa on the way down because I had jello legs. “Going up is optional, getting down is mandatory.” Bring lots of water and a good attitude.

on Mount Tallac Trail

1 day ago

So worth it! My husband and I did this hike early this morning. It was tough to say the least. Took us about 5 hrs of moving time and a total of 6.5 hrs with breaks and such. You need lots of water and snacks. We saw people hiking in flip flops and converse tennis. Crazy! 90% of this trail is rock. It’s a killer on the feet. Absolutely gorgeous scenery, lakes, forest and some wild flowers still blooming. We also saw some snow when we reached the summit. There’s plenty of shaded areas to rest, but also lots of open areas. Sunblock is a must. I suggest hiking early to get a parking spot.

hiking
4 days ago

Did this hike with a group from church. Very strenuous and tough on the knees. Took us about 5.5 hours to summit as we stopped for breaks quite a bit. Definitely get an early start, good shoes and tons of water!!

hiking
6 days ago

Amazing hike, did this about 5 years ago. Made it to the top in shorts. It was freezing at the top with some snowpack (June). Beautiful terrain...lakes, forest, granite expanses, wildflowers, switchbacks to the top. Stunning view of the lake on clear days. We met an adorable and extremely friendly chipmunk on the ascent. Fabulous hike, one of the best in Tahoe!

hiking
7 days ago

Smoke shortened the hike and ruined the views, but was great otherwise. Be careful - very easy to get messed up with many unmarked trails crossing.

Absolutely must do this hike! Tough but fun, views are amazing!

on Mount Tallac Trail

hiking
7 days ago

I don’t think we were fully prepared for it this time. In the past we’ve started at Lily Lake, but this time we went the more popular route. There is a LOT of rock - most of the trail. We only got to 8665’ and it took us 6 hours. Just shy of the ridge. As soon as we turned back down we realized we were out of water. We did have an apple and some celery in our pack and rationed it out on our 4 1/2 hour trek back down. We were parched and sour when we got back. Fortunately we left some water in the car. The was rather hot for us and there was a smokey haze in the air from several fires, which didn’t help. Couldn’t see the lakes anyway. You gotta know your limits. We know ours. Next time we’ll use Lily Lake trailhead again — and hope for fresh air! Arnie: 73. Shirley: 58.

hiking
8 days ago

This was my favorite hike in Tahoe area, edging out the lake aloha and rubicon trails in my opinion. A very hard 10 miler though my Fitbit said 14. The talus fields are tough going up but tougher on the down trip. Wear full on boots since the rocks are brutal. The false summits tempt you to shortcut but that would be a mistake. Well marked and easy to follow. Would definitely do this hike again!

I walked the West Ridge trail yesterday. It gets so much traffic from hikers and bicyclers that the plants on either side are covered with a fine, brown dust. Kinda depressing. There are many better trails in the area.

hiking
9 days ago

Great day hike. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow. Cathedral Lake acts as a good staging point before experiencing an increase in elevation gain traveling towards the mountain summit. The view at the top is worth the effort.

hiking
11 days ago

Decided to tackle this hike today for my birthday. My friend and I met at the trail head at 8:30am, and the parking lot was already full. We got to the top around 11:30, had a bite to eat, took a bunch of photos, and made our way back down. The top was pretty crowded, not really the solitary experience I expected. My friend brought her dog, and he did really well, but he is a Tahoe dog and has tough feet and has done this hike before. We stopped at the lakes on the way back so the pup could get lots of water, and made it back to the parking lot just before 4pm. I am pretty fit, and the climb was still a doozy. Be prepared, wear sturdy shoes, bring lots of water and trail snacks, and listen to your body. Definitely made my birthday a memorable one!

hiking
12 days ago

A great day hike! I went alone starting at 8 am and made a day of it. With frequent stops for photos, it took me just under 3 hours to summit it, and about 2.5 to get down. If you are planning on going around now (August 2018), make sure to check the air quality. It got pretty hazy as I went up (which also really impacted the view, hence 4 stars not 5)! Definitely need a good boot or trail runner with a thick sole for grip and not getting poked by rocks, but I saw people climbing in old sneakers. Nevertheless, if you are a hiker and are in the SLT area, it's definitely worth the climb!

Hard but worth it.

hiking
14 days ago

It took me (20) and my dad (60) 3 hours to get up and 2 hours 20 minutes to get down, with about a 40 minute break at summit. We started at 6:35 and met hardly anyone on our way up, whereas when we made the decent we came across almost 100 hikers headed up. I recommend a start no later than 7:30. We both love hiking and are both in decent shape. Once you make it over the rocky part and into the meadow area, you have about 35 more minutes until the summit (if you keep a good pace). This hike was a tremendous amount of fun! The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that it's awkward to rate the difficulty level. The first half is pretty standard, probably no more than a moderate hike! The second half (when you make it to the rocky area) becomes more of a level hard hike. Gorgeous views though! I drank about 2 liters of water, and my dad went through 3.

16 days ago

The path is wide and well signed. It starts with a gentle incline through mostly exposed ravine. This takes you over the hill and back towards the road. From the new trail head, you walk steadily uphill through partially shaded trees to the ridge line. Once at the top you are rewarded with views of East Bay hills and reservoirs on one side and Bridges and bayviews to the other side. There are some nice benches to sit and enjoy the vistas. Then, it is a shady decline through bay and eucalyptus trees. Some parts are a bit rocky and steep, but doable.

This place is getting trashed unfortunately. Would be helpful to try clean up the area. We filled the only bag we had but still had to leave with a ton behind. This place/waterfall was more beautiful when there wasn’t graffiti everywhere.

hiking
18 days ago

Nice mix of terrain but not much shade and can get hot, lakes and creek are nice place to cool off. On my trip to Island Lake we didn't see a lot of places to easily relax by the lake but we didn't explore all around the lake either. As others have stated, picking up the trail on the granite sections may be more difficult for newer hikers.

stream trail is the best, all in redwoods and always chillly

Whether you start from either French Trail or Stream Trail, there's good elevation coming in and out of it. You’ll find several picnic tables along the way and enough bathroom facilities. There's also lots of side trails to explore.

My AllTrails app suddenly stopped recording at one point so I wasn't able to full record my hike but that's ok (pardon the gap on my recording).

If you decide to hike on a weekend and choose Skyline Gate Staging Area as your starting point, try to get there before 8am to have a better chance at finding parking (vs street parking).

Fantastic hike. I recommend for experienced hikers only.

What is great about this trail is that you can make it as long or short as you like. There ate lots of trails that off shoot this trail so if you want an extension or if you want to cut it short you can. The French trail is one of my favorites because first of all it’s beautiful, it’s up-and-down to get a nice workout and no bikes!
it really is a good idea to get there early as it does get crowded and it tends to get warm as you’re making your way uphill back to the parking lot. Definitely put this one on you list!

hiking
20 days ago

We actually went on this trail two days in a row, and parked at the Valley View drive parking lot both times. The first day we intended to reach Cougar Rock and Top of the World. However, we took a left on the ART instead of a right, so instead we got some beautiful forest. The next day, we took a right on the ART and got to those destinations.

Top of the world is not clearly marked but it should be evident once you get to the top of a hill after climbing switchbacks with little blocking foliage.

There were a fair number of insects—most harmless flies, but some mosquitoes as well. I highly recommend insect repellent

Very nice elevation loop. You will feel the burn. Start as early as possible.

This trail has become one of our favorite trails in the El Dorado/ Tahoe area. The views from the Hemlock and Smith Lake are amazing (there was even some snow on the northeast side of the lake, where the granite wall prevents the sun from reaching).
The full trail (back and forth) is 9.8 miles instead of 5.5 miles as originally reported (we had a tracking device that recorded the distance and altitude gain; and if you check the full map here and add the distances, you'll see that it's close to 5 miles one-way).
As mentioned before, the trail is well-visible until a certain point (up to where it splits with the Twin Lakes 16E12); from that point on, it's essential to have some guidance (the AllTrails map works great), keep an eyes on the stacked rocks too.
On our way back, we saw some commotion due to someone getting lost (there are too many splits) and the Rangers and El Dorado Police had to be called (when we got back to the parking lot, we heard that they had found the guy).

If you are going on a weekend, chances are that the parking lot by the trailhead will be full. Don't park by the cabins or by the road or you will get a ticket. Park at one of the two Wrights Lake parking lots.

Pretty chill hike, pack water if it’s summer bc it can get hella hot

The hike/walk to the waterfall was very nice, we got there later than we wanted to, we got there at 10:30AM. It’s definitely up to you and your enjoyment but due to the heat and very little shade, I recommend getting there earlier. But the sun did feel very nice on my skin ☀️ and don’t forget your sunblock. We took the upper trail that lead to the waterfall. It took us a little over an hour to get to the waterfall then we climbed our way down to swimming hole. The waterfall was very nice but the scenery to the river was gorgeous! I could have spent forever there. One more thing, if you decide to take your pet(s) please check the weather, go as early as possible, and take a lot of water. We ran into a few very hot and dehydrated pets. Fortunately my friend was a genius and brought quite a few water bottles with her that we were able to give water away to them. Please be safe.

Great views of the city and plenty of elevation change to raise the bpm.

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