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Floating Island / Mount Tallac Trail (17E33)



6.5 mile 10.4 kilometer point to point
71% Runnable


Ascent: 3,033' 924 m
Descent: -1,175' -358 m
High: 9,479' 2,889 m
Low: 6,446' 1,965 m


Avg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 44% (24°)


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Trail shared by Tilman Giese

Lakes, beautiful meadows, and stunning views make this an outstanding trail.

Tilman Giese

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers


This trail leads you through Desolation Wilderness across Mount Tallac. You pass a number of gorgeous lakes on the way there and get stunning views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area.

The trail starts ascending right from the trailhead. After half a mile, the forest opens up and you can get a good view of Fallen Leaf Lake on the left and Mount Tallac on the right. Most of the time, you'll be running over small loose rocks. At 1.8 miles, you'll arrive at Floating Island Lake. Depending on the time of day, you'll be able to see a magnificent reflection of the Mount Tallac ridge in the water.

Continue to ascend until you reach a junction that leads back down to Fallen Leaf Lake on the left. Keep right and shortly you'll reach Cathedral Lake. This is a good stop before you start the final ascent. At this point, the trail turns west and becomes more exposed, so look back every now and then to enjoy the view. Run carefully as some sections of the trail will be more like boulder-hopping.

At 4.7 miles, you'll reach another junction. Continue to the right to reach the summit of Mount Tallac. Continue left to stay on this trail.

On the way down Mount Tallac to the west, you'll get stunning views of Pyramid Peak, Mount Price, and Echo Peak, as well as beautiful green meadows on either side of the trail with a great variety of wildflowers. When you ultimately reach Gilmore Lake, turn left and cross the small creek to follow the creek on the right until you reach the Pacific Crest Trail.

Flora & Fauna

The second half of the trail especially has beautiful green meadows on both sides of the trail with a great variety of wildflowers.

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Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Runner Notes


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Jul 13, 2019
Jenny L

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote


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10 Views Last Month
1,766 Since Aug 13, 2017



Amazing reflection of Mount Tallac in Floating Island Lake
Aug 26, 2017 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
Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe.
Aug 26, 2017 near South L…, CA
Panoramic view of Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake
Aug 26, 2017 near South L…, CA
Green meadows and Gilmore Lake in front of Mount Price.
Aug 26, 2017 near South L…, CA


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