9.5 miles, Full day
The jewel in the crown of mountains which ring Lake Tahoe, Mt. Tallac promises unparalleled views from its summit 9,735ft above sea level.
We guide 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.
• 3,500ft (from 6,400 - 9735ft)
• 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.