One of the more scenic and challenging hikes in the South Tahoe area with incredible views of the Desolation Wilderness and Lake Tahoe itself. Shorter but more intense than the Glen Alpine Trail/ Gilmore Lake. Tallac/ Rubicon is probably one of the best day hikes you can do.

The classic 9½ mile out-and-back day hike to Mount Tallac begins at the trailhead on the southwestern side of Lake Tahoe, between Emerald Bay and Camp Richardson. When driving to the trailhead, make a turn inland at Mt. Tallac Road and follow the well-signed route to the reasonably sized parking lot. Be sure to register your day hike in the Desolation Wilderness area. Free permits are available at the trail sign, which must be filled out in full before proceeding on the trail. The route begins through light forest before heading up to a ridgeline which follows alongside the shores of Fallen Leaf Lake and provides some great views.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Sun block
  • Hiking boots/ good socks
  • Snacks
  • Camera
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RT Distance 9.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 3255 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Awesome! But we got chased by wild dogs (wolves?)

Ok, first of all WOW! This hike was amazing, such a payoff for a relatively quick hike. The ascent was challenging, but the view of Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake was incredible. Serious note...I don't think there are wolves in Lake Tahoe, but 5 minutes into the hike 3 deer ran across the trail quickly followed by 2 giant wolf like dogs. We spent the rest of the hike carrying big sticks. Lake Tahoe NEVER disappoints!

Mt. Tallac In January

Great hike as others have said. I did this hike in early January and there was a lot of ice on the trail. It made going up and down the steep sections mentioned by others tough, at least for me. I was able to do it without anything other than my boots but had to do a lot of it on the rocks not covered by ice or snow a little off the actual trail. Still a very fun and beautiful hike, just be aware of the conditions if you do decide to go in winter.

A Must-Do Adventure!

Hiked to the top of Mt. Tallac the other day with two of my friends! SO BEAUTIFUL. Sweeping views of Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay, Fallen Leaf Lake, and Desolation Wilderness. Along the way you'll pass by 2 little lakes - perfect to soak your tired body in on the way back down. It was our first time hiking the mountain and it took us 3 hours to get to the top, with an ample amount of stopping, and about 2.5 hours to get back down. The hike starts along a dirt trail and eventually winds over a rocky area. Keep your eyes open to follow the trail - it can get a little confusing at times. I'd recommend leaving early in the morning since it gets hot, and thunderstorms often roll in during the summer afternoons. We met some people who had attempted to summit but had to turn back because of strong hail and wind. Check the weather beforehand! I highly, highly recommend the hike! Bring plenty of water, snacks, and GOOD SHOES. You won't regret this adventure!!


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