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Mount Tallac Trail

HARD 1467 reviews

Mount Tallac Trail is a 10.2 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.

Distance: 10.2 miles Elevation Gain: 3,290 feet Route Type: Out & Back

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

snowshoeing

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

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 the lake's tallest 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.

hiking
rocky
15 hours ago

hiking
rocky
2 days ago

hiking
rocky
3 days ago

hiking
rocky
3 days ago

Good 5-6 hr hike at a medium pace. Long approach and lots of cut backs. I wouldn’t say this is a “hard” hike. No scrambling is necessary. Great views from The summit.

hiking
6 days ago

This the first hike, in my travels through Washington, Oregon and California, so far, that compares with the Mt Baker National Forest in Whatcom County Washington. It was challenging but certainly not insurmountable. The prize at the top is worth the work. The bouldering portion that people complained about was the most fun to me. Definitely not for the faint of heart or tourists that want a simple day hike. Loved it.

hiking
rocky
scramble
8 days ago

I loved this trail. It was EXTREMELY difficult , especially with the loose rock on the trail from time to time, but the views we caught on our breaks made it worth our efforts. Early October weather was perfect. It was well-trafficked and easy to follow, which was also really nice. We plan on going again soon because once wasn’t enough!

hiking
8 days ago

Beautiful hike with stunning views at the summit. Hiked up in approx. 3 hours and back down in 2 and a half. Starts out moderate but becomes a bit challenging towards the summit.

hiking
rocky
scramble
8 days ago

Trail is in excellent condition. A lot of sun exposure! Almost always windy on top, be prepared. This is a hard trail that takes on average 4hrs up, 3 hrs down, 1 hr on top enjoying the views. So disappointed with the”prescribed burn” that filled the sky with smoke and ruined our views:(. Lots of people on the trail this Sunday, and also lots of poor puppies. I don’t know why this is listed as a dog trail., it really shouldn’t be, sure they survive, but this trail is mostly rocks! Big rocks, loose rocks, stair stepping rocks! Please consider other trails for your pooch!

hiking
rocky
9 days ago

hiking
rocky
9 days ago

Hiked this trail yesterday; the label is correct: it is HARD. I found it difficult navigating the rocky cliffs as there are no trail markers. Towards the first peak and after, I went off trail many times and only found my way when I saw other people on the real trail. Wear your hiking boots and comfortable socks, I saw people in jeans and sneakers (yikes!). My toes were badly hurting on the descent. Saw tons of dogs, i hope their paws are protected since it’s quite rocky the whole trail.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
10 days ago

Hiked Saturday, October 6. Perfect weather and zero wind at the summit and surprisingly zero snow on the trail considering the snowfall last weekend. Roundtrip 5hrs - which included stopping to take a few pictures and catch my breath on the last 1/3.

We only hiked up to Cathedral Lake and the view was fantastic. It took about 1 1/2 hour of hiking time. To the summit there will be at least two plus hours depending on your fitness level. The day was beautiful with blue sky, no snow anywhere and wind.

hiking
10 days ago

Was definitely our most challenging hike to date. If you’re not into heavy rock negotiation, we wouldn’t recommend as this trail is rocky from almost start to finish. That said, the views are endless and a great distraction from the terrain. More than anything this hike has tempted us for three years and we waited until the weather cooled down to give it a go and we hit summit after almost 5 hours. Suggest hiking boots over trail shoes. In the end, this hike was worth every stone, just amazing!

hiking
rocky
snow
14 days ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
14 days ago

I started this hike at 10:30am, and it took me approximately 4 hours to reach the summit. It took me about 2 hours and 40 minutes to get back to my car at the trailhead. Much of the trail was in the shade, even at noon. The sandy trail turns into loose rock about 2 miles from the summit. I took my time going up because I’m not in the best of shape and wanted to enjoy the spectacular views, but I talked to hikers that reached the summit under 3 hours. I saw plenty of pet dogs on the trail that were even faster.

hiking
rocky
snow
15 days ago

This was our first long hike in elevation. We had planned for a month prior and the weather was forecast 60-70s all month. Then the night before we woke up to an early winter 24 degrees and snowing with wind gusts in the 50s. We packed triple layers and windproof, waterproof gear. We arrived at the trailhead at 0800 and started hiking at 0830 got back to trailhead at 530pm. Along the way it was difficult to navigate the path because of the snowfall, but the AllTrails app made it dummy-proof. Some areas were ankle deep snow and the trail was easy to lose in the forested areas. There was about 10-12 times we would’ve went off the trail without it. I did have separate handheld GPS n compass for redundancy. On the way back a lot of the snow had melted lower down and the path was super easy to follow without snow. It is a consistent elevation grade all the way to the top. The elevation got us and we just took our time and took tons of pics. If we were pushing harder we could’ve cut off a lot of time but we were really enjoying all the views and taking pics constantly. The views are absolutely gorgeous and breathtaking all the way to the summit. Once we got up to the ridge line we met approx a dozen couples who were soaked, wet, freezing from the conditions and they turned back because the last 1.5 miles were completely in the direct heavy wind and snow path. Our planning (my neurosis) luckily allowed us to stay dry, warm and fed so we pushed on to the summit. It was absolutely worth the effort! The last mile was over unsteady, icy rocks and for us was fun and exciting. Be careful about twisting your ankles. We took it nice and slow and made it unscathed. At the top it was so cold and so windy but our excitement an accomplishment was too overcoming and we set up (the heavy tripod, DSLR, etc...) for our photos. It was a good this I brought GoPro and other smaller camera because the DSLR was too cold and stopped after a few shots. That said, we still got about a 100 shots. On the journey down we flew as expected. Took us 1/2 the time to get down and in good spirits. Not one single argument lol. Proud of my wife for killing it and summiting her first snowy mountain! The trail recorder shut off when my phone went into low battery mode. Should’ve brought a charger-next time. All in all a great challenging day. #keeptahoeblue #mttallac Gear we brought (each): Patagonia 28L packs 2 L water Base layer Second fleece layer Third light layer Fourth Outer shell (wind/water) Zamberlain hiking boots Trekking poles Food I also had Tripod, Canon DSLR, GoPro, headlights, warmpacks, extra socks, gloves, hats, compass, Garmin Montana, canon powershot, extra batteries/memory cards, sunscreen, TP, misc.

hiking
17 days ago

Took me 3.5 hours in total, going almost at a 3mph average pace. I recommend taking the shortcuts on the way up, but going the long way down because it’s easier to run/go fast with a less steep grade (and it’s easier on the knees). Drank less than 1 liter of water.

hiking
18 days ago

This hike was definitely DIFFICULT but the views are unbelievable. Sunscreen, water, snacks. Highly recommend.

hiking
scramble
20 days ago

A hard climb but my favorite hike to date!

running
rocky
scramble
20 days ago

hiking
rocky
22 days ago

Worth every step

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
22 days ago

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