Explore a beautiful alpine lake in Desolation Wilderness with the option for a side-trip to climb Mt. Tallac.

The easiest way to get to Gilmore Lake is to start at the Glen Alpine trailhead. The trail head is southwest of Fallen Leaf Lake. There is a decently sized parking lot at the trailhead, but parking is also available on the road up. Because desolation is a wilderness area, you must fill out a permit before entering the area. The trailhead is right next to Lily Lake which is a great spot to have a picnic. The hike starts as a gravel road and follows the Glen Alpine Creek. On your way up you will see Modjeska falls, Soda Springs, and the historic Glen Alpine Resort. The resort, which was built in 1884, was run by Nathan Gilmore. Continue on the Glen Alpine trail until you reach an intersection with a sign pointing towards Grass Lake. Do not take the path towards Grass Lake, but instead continue right at the fork. You will hit two more intersections where you should also take the right fork. At this point you will be on the Pacific Crest Trail. Continue north until an intersection with a sign pointing towards Gilmore Lake. The lake is then less than a tenth of a mile from this intersection.

Feel free to explore the perimeter of the lake as their are many awesome camping spots and beaches.

If you are feeling more adventurous, there is a trail on the southeast side of the lake that will take you to the Summit of Mt. Tallac, which is one of the tallest peaks in Desolation Wilderness.

Pack List

  • Hiking Boots
  • Water and Lunch 
  • Photography Gear
  • Sunscreen and bug repellant
  • Camping gear
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RT Distance 8 Miles
Elevation Gain 1901 Feet
Activities Camping, Fishing, Photography, Running, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Beach
Easy Parking
Forest
Groups
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike to Half Moon Lake in Desolation Wilderness

This hike starts at the Glen Alpine Trailhead near Fallen Leaf Lake. Because Desolation is a wilderness area, you are required to fill out a day-use permit which can be found at the trailhead.

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Backpack to Susie Lake, Desolation Wilderness

Starting at the Glen Alpine trailhead (best access to Susie Lake): To get to the trailhead, head toward Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe.

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Hike Glen Alpine Falls and Grass Lake

Park your car at the Glen Alpine Trailhead adjacent to Lily Lake and southwest of Fallen Leaf Lake. Head west on Glen Alpine Creek Trail passing Lily Lake on your left.

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