Fallen Leaf Lake, Lake Aloha, Mount Tallac Loop

HARD 20 reviews
#14 of 55 trails in

Fallen Leaf Lake, Lake Aloha, Mount Tallac Loop is a 14.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near South Lake Tahoe, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 14.8 miles Elevation Gain: 4,176 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash




nature trips

bird watching




wild flowers


over grown


off trail

This is a multi day backpacking trip that requires navigational and back country skills.

25 days ago

Regarding earlier comments on the alternate 17E06.1 trail mentioned in another post: this is a well marked, well maintained difficult trail but not an insane trail. Steep descent over scree and one five foot class 3/class 4 climb over a semi-exposed area right around 7600 ft elevation. Good to steer clear of the trail if you're not comfortable on rocks or with heights, but if you're a confident scrambler, it's a fun alternative to the standard route via 17E05 with fantastic views of Angora Peak on the way.

washed out
2 months ago

Started out of Aspen Glen towards Dicks peak, once we finished we back tracked a bit towards Tallac. Great idea and managed to Summit. The views and trail along the way were amazing. However, coming back we followed trail mark 17E061 STAY AWAY FROM THIS TRAIL. Right around 7200 ft we got stuck going down down. Already committed and knowing we were just a mile away we decided to scale down. One of my budies hiking along said it best, saying " our decisions from this point went from bad to worse"! DO NOT USE THIS TRAIL UNLESS YOUR AN ADVENTURER OR ARE SIMPLY JUST NUCKING FUTZ!!!

This loop trail is very difficult. As previous reviews stated, the Tamarack Trail is not well maintained. We found the trail but there is some bushwhacking and boulder scrambling for sure. In addition we climbed 1600 feet in the first 2 miles. Once you make it to the top the middle part of this hike is moderate and very beautiful. After hiking to the top of Mt. Tallac, the descent is also very difficult-steep and rocky. Definitely not a hike for a less experienced person. Definitely would not recommend bringing a dog-too dangerous. We chose to do this hike in a day and it took us about 10 hours. The distance was closer to 17 miles but can’t be for sure because my phone died at 15.8.

3 months ago

Tamarack trail is not maintained (August 2019).

Fri Sep 07 2018

Like Adam Ruff says below, it was the perfect overnight trip :). We started with the Tamarack Trail and camped at Susie Lake and did Mt. Tallac before heading home. It was surprisingly warm at night. This is a gorgeous place to visit and a great trail to explore it with. Note: The trailhead was tricky to find. It starts out winding uphill into thick vegetation. Be in good shape if you plan to complete this trail in two days.

Wed Aug 29 2018

Fallen Leaf Lake, Lake Aloha, Mount Tallac Loop Day Hike. This phrase on the description of this hike is what inspired me to do this hike: "This is a multi day backpacking trip that requires navigational and back country skills." I agree with the fact it requires more than beginner skills, but it can be done as a day hike. Trail is completely open and now one of my favorites in the southern Desolation Wilderness area. Stunning views of Crystal Range around every corner and a new lake it seems every mile or so, however, Aloha, Twin Lakes and Smith Lake now have company with Heather Lake top my list of backcountry lakes . Aloha is getting low now for the season, all other lakes still full-ish. I choose Tamarak Trail up towards Aloha and then finished with Tallac Summit. Not for a beginner as some terrain is very unstable, but if you've done Desolation hikes before, and felt you needed more, this is your one. Would have been a perfect overnight hike/camp.

Wed Aug 02 2017

This was a fairly difficult trail, our group started at Fallen leaf lake and went up Tallac. This was a long trek up Tallac that left our group feeling exhausted at the top. After that section the rest of the hike was very enjoyable with great lakes and sights along the way. The difficult elevation gain going up Tallac to start the hike made this hike a very difficult overnight-er, I would not recommend doing the loop this way if trying to complete in 2 days 1 night.

Sat Oct 13 2018

Sat Oct 13 2018

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