9,735 ft / 2,967 m


715 ft / 217 m


73 summits

Top climbing months

July   21%

August   21%

June   12%

Most climbed route

Mount Tallac Trail


  • Lies close to the southwest edge of Lake Tahoe in the Desolation Wilderness.
  • A "cross of snow" is clearly visible on the mountain's face during the winter and spring months.
  • Of the several trails leading to the summit, the Mount Tallac trailhead is the most-frequented. This 5-mile one-way trail has an elevation gain of 3,250 feet. The trail takes hikers past Floating Island Lake and Cathedral Lake on their way to the summit.
  • On the southern side, next to Lilly Lake, is Glen Alpine trailhead. While a slightly longer route to the summit, (5.7 miles), this trail brings hikers to Gilmore Lake at 8,300 ft, only 1,400 feet below Tallac's summit.
  • A popular backcountry skiing peak.
"somewhat difficult, but fun trail to follow to the summit. Passed two lakes to filter our water, bouldered up the south flank of the mountain, and was greeted by a friendly marmot at the summit! The only downside was the impenetrable cloud of haze covering all of Tahoe. :(" - sklarguy, Aug 9, 2018
"I had climbed Mt. Shasta and Lassen Peak, the main objectives on my tour of NorCal. Being done in the southern Cascades for the time being, I drove down to the east side of the Sierra Crest. Friday was to be a crappy weather day, so I set my sights on the relatively safe objective of Mt. Tallac. The trail up the cirque was snow covered, so I climbed talus up the right side of the cirque to the summit plateau. At this point, the cloud ceiling dropped and visibility became fairly low, but navigating to and from the summit was straightforward. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to enjoy the fantastic v" - klotito, May 25, 2018
"Started about 9:30am from Trailhead, arrived Summit ~1:30pm, 4 hours for ~ 5 miles with stop at Floating Island Lake and Cathedral Lake for morning lake reflection. Met some hikers started 5:00am, she may back to TH about 10:15am, 7:00am, 7:30am arrived summit about 15 minutes later than me, 8:00am, 10:00pm on the way from Sacramento (started from Sac ~7:30am) arrived summit a little bit earlier than me. One hiker submitted in 2 hours and 12 minutes, almost half of my timing. Back to Trailhead about 5:15pm after ~1 hours on the summit." - keung, Aug 27, 2017
"With NorCal Women Adventurers. There is still snow in the bowl, most people were going up the edge of the snow in just shoes. I brought microspikes just in case but ended up going up the talus on the side of the snow for the first half, then going up the snow when it got a little wider. There is some more snow coverage past the bowl that obscures good portions of the trail. But if you have a map (and can see the summit, really) you can get there pretty easily. Took us about 3.5 hours to get to the summit, about three hours down. Went through 4L of liquid, warm day! Views were pretty great, you" - kaylam87, Jul 8, 2017
"This was my first Tahoe peak. Tiring but loved it! Got a nasty sunburn, and I still don't think I've learned my lesson two years later. :) We saw a bear near the trailhead as we started. " - kaylam87, Jun 13, 2015



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