Every 4th of July weekend we take a family/friends vacation up to beautiful Lake Tahoe and I’ve been eyeing hiking Mt Tallac for a while now. At 9,735 ft, it’s not the tallest mountain in the range but it is the tallest on Lake Tahoe. For this journey I had two awesome hiking companions to join me. We woke up around 5:30am and were staying near Incline Village so we had around an hour drive to South Lake Tahoe. The trail head is well marked and there is a few parking area’s for your car. You do have to fill out a self-issued permit which is at the start of the trailhead.
The hike starts out with some decent incline and your hiking in the tree’s smelling the clean, crisp air. After around ½ mile you come to a ridgeline and you have views of Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay on your left.
Our first small break was around 1.6 miles in at Floating Island Lake. It was perfectly calm and the water did not even have a ripple in it.
It does level off a little bit until the next lake you come to which is Cathedral Lake that is approximately 2.3 miles into the hike.
Let me warn everyone that after Cathedral Lake, this hike gets extremely hard and steep. The rest of the way to the summit is an over 2 mile push with close to 2000+ ft of elevation gain. There is around ¼ mile of rocky steps and then you see the task at hand. No switch backs, just straight up the mountain.
After you get up this steep face you actually are hiking on the back side of the mountain. There is a lot of greenery but the trail is rocky. Also, the summit directly in front of you is actually a false summit so don’t be fooled. You still need to go around this and then Mt Tallac will come into view. The last 200 ft or so is a rock scramble to the summit.
The summit offers sweeping 360 degree views and is worth all the quad busting work it took to get there.
I didn’t see a summit marker or plaque but it didn’t even matter. After a quick lunch, we headed back down. Total mileage for the trip was 10 miles with about 3200 ft in elevation gain. I want to thank Alwyn and Desha for joining me. Can’t wait for our next adventure together.