If you're looking for an inspiring, grandiose hike in Tahoe area, this is the perfect hike for you. Starting off with a pristine waterfall and ending with the breathtaking view from the top of Mt. Tallac is astounding with beauty beyond words; this hike ranks my favorite in the Sierra Nevada region.
Distance: 6 mi
Elevation: 3,200 ft
Difficultly level: moderate to strenuous
Approximate time: 6-8 hours depending on your leisure
Pet Friendly: yes, but the distance and elevation is too strenuous for most dogs
Best season to go: late spring/early summer
What to bring in your pack-
1. Lot's of water: as always, water is an absolute imperative on this hike as the trek up the mountain is long and challenging.
2. Hiking snacks: bring along a small picnic on this hike to stop and eat by Gilmore Lake, which is, the 3/4 point up the mountain. Bring only easily digestible and healthy foods, however, in order to sustain your body up the hardest, final stretch.
3. Camera or phone: the view from the top of Mt. Tallac is absolutely breathtaking and you will want to save that moment in time forever.
4. Sunscreen and a hat: protect your skin from the UV rays beating down on you the majority of the way.
5. Stable hiking shoes: the trail is very rocky the whole way up, so supportive hiking shoes are a must.
6. Bathing suit (optional): as stated above, Gilmore Lake is about 3/4 of the way up the mountain and provides a refreshing way to cool off before heading up the final stretch.
What you will see-
There are many small waterfalls along the trail at the beginning of the hike. The Glen Alpine trailhead starts just above the popular Glen Alpine Falls and continues up alongside the river bend. There are also many lakes you can detour to if you decide the hike is too challenging and would prefer a more relaxing day. Once you get to the top, there are small patches of snow, beautiful flowers, and of course, the incredible view of Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake.
How to get there-
I suggest buying a Desolation Wilderness map from the ranger station before your hike to ensure you don't get lost along the way. The trails are generally well marked, but it's always better to be sure you know the way. Park at the trailhead to enter Desolation Wilderness just beyond Glen Alpine Falls, there is a small parking area there, and entrance is on the far left side. Follow your way up to "Gilmore Lake," and then you will cross a small creek to "Tallac Trail," follow that to the end, and soak in the views.