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Mount Tallac Trail is a 10.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back 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 best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 10.9 mi Elevation gain 3,330 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Hiking Nature trips Rock climbing Snowshoeing Forest Lake Views Wild flowers Wildlife Rocky Scramble Snow
Description
Waypoints (8)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

There is parking alongside the street. A wilderness permit is required. You must purchase the permit before arriving to the Mt. Tallac Trailhead. Day hikers may pick up the permit at the self-service area. The jewel in the crown of mountains which ring Lake Tahoe, Mount Tallac promises unparalleled views from its summit 9,735ft above sea level. Unparalleled vistas await the Tahoe hiker on a memorable journey to this beautiful peak. This route takes you to the top via the most direct summer route through lush forest, along scenic ridgelines, past small alpine lakes and across blazingly colorful wildflower strewn high-altitude meadows. Sure the 3,500ft elevation gain is greater than you might experience on most day hikes, but both the journey and the destination are worth every single thigh-burning step. The summit is very rocky and can be confusing. Make sure you have a good understanding of your whereabouts so you can easily find your way back down. Sunscreen is a MUST. Totally exposed for long sections.

California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543

- Remember to register for a free Desolation Wilderness permit at the trailhead. - June to October is the best time to hike Tallac. Some snow may prevail at higher elevations until late July, but that is unlikely to cause problems for hikers. - Summer thunderstorms are common from mid afternoon. We recommend an early start to avoid being exposed at high elevations at these times. - Glen Alpine Trail is an alternative route to the summit of Tallac, popular with backbackers camping in the Desolation Wilderness. However, an 11 mile day trip via Gilmore Lake is feasible but not covered by this guide. - Mount Tallac is one of the most popular backcountry skiing and snowboarding destinations in the US. Search the internet for information about the winter Spring Creek Trail ascent for more details.

Directions from South Lake Tahoe: The trailhead is located approximately 3-1/2 miles north on Highway 89. Look for the Mt. Tallac Trailhead sign directly across from the entrance to Baldwin Beach and turn left down the dirt road. Continue to the trailhead parking.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (2255)
Photos (2813)
Recordings (1639)
Completed (4500)
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Courtney G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 26, 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

This is a great hike, took us about 4 hours to the top moving steady, with a handful of breaks as we got closer to 8,000-ish feet. Parts are very bouldery and we had to slow a bit to ensure the dog could get her footing. Lots of exposed areas so wear sunscreen. Really windy and chilly near the peak, glad I had fleece and a windbreaker. Views from the top are unparalleled!

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Kate McElfresh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 25, 2020
Hiking

Awesome. Tough climb but nice on the way down (I jogged most of it). Took about 4 hours total. Trailhead to summit took 2hrs 20 minutes. 15 minutes break at the summit. Descent took 1hr 25 mins. Average temp was 40F. Wore t-shirt most of the way but added a Fleece towards the top. Threw on windbreaker at the summit.. Got to Trailhead at 9am on a Sunday and lot was full. Luckily I got dropped off and picked up but otherwise would aim to park up at 8am ish. When back at the car park at 1pm there were a couple of spots. Will definitely do this again. (Steven - if you read this, thanks for the whiskey at the summit!)

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Sally Taylor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 25, 2020
RunningGreat!

I ran this trail and it was a humbling experience. Very technical and difficult. I ran it in 3.5 hours total

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Kathy Tang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 24, 2020
Hiking
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Mark Triplett
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HikingRocky
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Francesco Disperati
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 24, 2020
Hiking
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Louis Pottino
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 24, 2020
HikingGreat!

trail was uphill, rocky and very beautiful.

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Mark Schroeder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 22, 2020
Hiking
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Allison Quinnell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 22, 2020
Hiking

The decent is honestly very challenging. The views on the summit are incredible!

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E W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 20, 2020
Hiking

Wow. What a beautiful hike, but certainly not an easy one. Like many others have said bring plenty of water and food if you plan to make the entire trip. Got a little side tracked on the way back down might not want to follow my recording.

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Aaditya Ramesh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 19, 2020
Hiking
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Kristin P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 18, 2020
HikingGreat!

Sweet hike with great views. You’ll see the lakes after about 20 mins in at a moderate uphill climb. After that is a leveled walk with views of the lake on left side. Also nice to see common sense with more people NOT WEARING the face diaper. Even corrupt WHO says on their website to not wear a mask when exercising. Either way, it’s a lovely hike.

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Benjamin Carver
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 18, 2020
Hiking

Fuckin amazing

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Jon Cornelison
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 18, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

Arrived at 6:30am on a sunny October Sunday morning and got a spot at trailhead. Only say a few people going up but saw dozens when I was going down --most without masks (cringe!). When I got back to car around noon trailhead was packed with cars all the way down the road. Ditto what everyone else says... can't be the view of Lake Tahoe from up there, trail is easy to follow, bring water and sunscreen, and plan on 5-6 hours to complete the hike.

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Jacob Osborn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 18, 2020
Hiking

Awesome trail, very challenging but so worth it.

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Austin Padua
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 18, 2020
Hiking
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Tom A
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 18, 2020
Hiking

6h 25m round trip, including 35 minute lunch break at top. Serious hike. Amazing views. Several moments where you think “almost there” and are sadly premature... Just keep pushing! Hike up can be broken into 5 main segments. 1) Hike to Ridge (gradual, slow incline, 20 min) 2) Ridge Walk (mostly flat, 45 min) 3) Rocky Switchbacks (steep, technical, 1 hour) 4) Alpine Meadows (steepish, uneven, 1 hour) 5) Rocky Summit Push (25 min)

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s b
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020
Hiking
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Sean Bagby
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020
Hiking

Heavily trafficked. 70% not wearing masks when passing. Tough hike, spectacular view at the top.

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Maggie Zhang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020
Hiking
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Sylvio Tagalog
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020
Hiking
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Cesia Cervantes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 17, 2020
HikingRocky

this trail is definitely strenuous and will need loads of water, good pair of hiking boots, walking sticks and snacks!!.. If you like a bit of a challenge this is a good trail to hike. We started our hike at 2:30 am to watch the sunrise and to avoid the heat as much as we could. Loved the view

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Dog Trails
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 16, 2020
Hiking
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Sean Noonan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 15, 2020
Hiking

Straight up and straight down with unbeatable views

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Ahmad Shaghasi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 15, 2020
HikingGreat!

This trail has all the things I don’t like when hiking: uneven/rocky terrain, large elevation gain, switchbacks, unmarked trail (in some areas) Nonetheless, the view on Mount Tallac makes it worth it so I say give this a shot. Tips: Hiking pokes highly recommended. I had to make ones from tree branches because of the uneven terrain. Also bring a lot of water-the incline combined with the lack of shade will make you go through more water than usual

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Kimi Lazcano
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 13, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

Rocky, good shoes and trekking poles recommended. Definitely a difficult hike but as everyone has said, amazing views.

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Ian Dickinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 11, 2020
Hiking

Great!

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