Mt Tallac Trail

Mt Tallac Trail

We were supposed to do stand up paddling today, but due to high winds we postponed it to tomorrow, and I made the last-minute executive decision to move up our Mt. Tallac hike to today. As a result of the last minute change, we ended up starting our hike very late – 11AM, instead of the usual 7-8AM.

Mr. Tallac is a 10.1 mile out and back trail, with a 3,300 feet elevation gain to reach the summit at 9,738 feet. It took us 6.5 hours to hike the entire length (Joe stopped 40 minutes short of reaching the top, which was unfortunate because the reward of the hike was at the top).

The trail started off with a gradual incline
And quickly led us onto the ridge between Fallen Leaf Lake and the eastern aspect of Mt Tallac
View of Fallen Leaf Lake
And Mt Tallac. We actually did not realize that this was Mt Tallac at the time, and I had joked with Joe that maybe we were supposed to hike up there. He said it was impossible as it looked to be too far away. Little did we know…
Entering into Desolation Wilderness requires a permit.
Second lake along the trail, Floating Island Lake.
Third lake along the trail – Cathedral Lake. You leave the forested canopy once past this lake.
Trail now becomes more exposed
But you also start getting a view of Lake Tahoe.
At an even higher vantage point, you see Lake Tahoe on the left and Fallen Leaf Lake on the right.
This is about when we also started encountering bigger and bigger snow packs.
Check out the size of this tree (Joe’s to the left of it)
This was probably the hardest section of the hike, but also the most fun with all the rock scrambling.
Looking back towards Fallen Leaf Lake
See the figures hiking up the snow pack?
Yep, that’s what we had to do too. Without microspikes, we dug in our hiking poles at an angle to prevent us from sliding down the side of the mountain.

At this point, we thought we were near the top, but someone informed us otherwise. It would take another hour of hiking to get up there from this point.

This is where Joe stopped, but I decided to venture forth, as I hate the idea of stopping when I’m so close.
Forty minutes later – the top.
Perseverance paid off with this stunning view of Lake Tahoe (left), Emerald Bay, Cascade Lake, and Fallen Leaf Lake (right). I was even able to trace the Rubicon trail, which we had hiked yesterday.
With Joe waiting, I unfortunately couldn’t linger for too long. On the way back, I practically skied down the bigger snow packs.
Two hours after leaving the top, we found ourselves once again hiking along the beautiful ridge between Fallen Leaf Lake and Mt Tallac.

Of the 2 hikes we’ve done at Lake Tahoe, I’d have to say that Rubicon is stunning throughout, but the reward at the end of a tough Mt Tallac hike is unrivaled.

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