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Mount Tallac



9.9 mile 16.0 kilometer out and back
70% Runnable


Ascent: 3,266' 996 m
Descent: -3,266' -996 m
High: 9,712' 2,960 m
Low: 6,446' 1,965 m


Avg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 45% (24°)


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Trail shared by Mark Bradley

An excellent run with lots of variety and stunning views.

Mark Bradley

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Swimming · Views · Wildlife


The route follows a ridge along the west side of Fallen Leaf Lake, before wrapping around to reach the summit of Mt. Tallac from the south. The trail offers incredible views of Lake Tahoe and the nearby peaks, a variety of terrain, and two swimming opportunities in small ponds along the way.

Need to Know

The second half of the trail offers very little shade. A day-use permit is required and can be picked up for free from the box at the trailhead.

Runner Notes

Extra care should be taken at the summit and on the scree field section, as there are a lot of jagged rocks.


The trail is well-marked and fairly obvious except for at the very top.

Pick up your permit at the trailhead, and follow the trail along the ridge by Fallen Leaf Lake, enjoying the views of Lake Tahoe and Mt Tallac. The trail will pass Floating Island Lake and Cathedral Lake, which offer good opportunities for taking breaks and soaking your feet (or whole body!)

After Cathedral Lake, the trail turns west and becomes more exposed. Watch your footing on the switchbacks winding up the scree field, and enjoy the views of Jack's Peak and the surrounding area when you top-out.

The remainder of the trail winds through alpine meadows and eventually ends at the summit. If you stop at the top for lunch, you're sure to make some furry friends, so watch your food! The views from the summit are definitely worth stopping to take in.

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Aug 27, 2019
Morgan Daily
Great trail and beautiful view! 10.2mi — 3h 12m
Jul 14, 2019
Chad V
Jul 11, 2019
Wayne Routten
9.8mi — 3h 15m
Nov 12, 2018
Bryce Kerscher
Solid run. Should be called Mount Tallus, watch your ankles basically the entire route. 9.9mi
Sep 23, 2018
Chris Leonetti
Oct 1, 2016
Candy Almquist
Beautiful! Next time will do entire hike! 4mi
Aug 13, 2016
Heidi Badger
Absolutely gorgeous run! Lots of elevation. 3.2mi

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 51 votes


  4.8 from 51 votes
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in California


94 Views Last Month
16,317 Since Oct 26, 2015



Lake Tahoe from Mt. Tallac
Oct 28, 2015 near South L…, CA
Amazing reflection of Mount Tallac in Floating Island Lake
Aug 26, 2017 near South L…, CA
Gilmore Lake and Susie Lake from Mount Tallac
Aug 26, 2017 near South L…, CA
Stunning views from Mt. Tallac.
Oct 28, 2015 near South L…, CA
Mt Tallac Trail
Oct 28, 2015 near South L…, CA
View from Mt Tallac Trail.
Oct 28, 2015 near South L…, CA

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