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Home - Hiking - Mount Tallac

Mt. Tallac

The Vitals elev.-9,735 Rock- Granite and metamorphised sedimentary
click here for winter photos click here for summer photos
Click here for Topo Map


Tallac in the Winter

Tallac is the tallest mountain rising from the shore of Lake Tahoe and is one of the most popular day hikes in the basin. The Spring Creek Trailhead primarily serves as a winter entrance, allowing access via a thoroughfare up the NE Ridge (in the summer, there is no maintained trail here).
The views from the top are amazing. Below you are Gilmore Lake, Fallen Leaf Lake, Cascade Lake, Emerald Bay, Lake Aloha, Lake of the Woods, and of course the Big Blue herself.
In the winter Tallac is one of the finest backcountry ski tours in the Tahoe area. There are a number of ways both up and down and it is located right off Highway 89. The skin up the NE Ridge (Topo Closeup) is a steady incline which gives you a break by getting easier towards the top. The ski takes you back to the car with no uphill or skating necessary. The entire tour comprises of about 3,100 feet of vertical but can be done in less than four hours. Access is best through the Spring Creek Road which is marked well off of Hwy 89.

When entering the backcountry, proper precautions should be taken, including avalanche beacon and the know-how to use it, shovel, compass or GPS, friend, weather information, and common sense. Click here for the latest avalanche advisory info. You can also find more info on our gear pages.

Ride Aware, It's Big out there.

Tallac in the Summer
There are many different ways to access Mount Tallac during the summer. The Glen Alpine Trailhead takes you up the western flank past Gilmore Lake. While the peak lies within Desolation Wilderness, it is anything but desolate. You're likely to see many people no matter what time of year you make the trip. Personally, I prefer the trip past Gilmore Lake as it presents more opportunities for swimming, fishing, etc. The Mt. Tallac trailhead takes one past Floating Island Lake and Cathedral Lake. These two trails meet for the final ascent to the summit. Trails start from both sides of Fallen Leaf Lake (actually they are both on the west side) as well as several points along Highway 89, north of Fallen Leaf Lake. There are also two trails up starting from the Glen Alpine Trailhead. One is a hugely long right hand traverse on a trail that has no shade the entire way and the other is a bit longer but takes you past Gilmore Lake and provides shade. As in the winter, the views from the top are spectacular.


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Last Updated December 2, 2008