Climbing Mt. Tallac at Lake Tahoe
Planning a visit to Lake Tahoe in the near future? Nothing like a refreshing nine-mile hike from the lake (at 6000 feet above sea level) to the summit of Mt. Tallac, altitude 9700 ft. This hike is one of the most popular in the area and will reward the patient walker with spectacular views.
My son Alex suggested we embark on the trip a couple of years ago when I visited him in Tahoe. I had never been to the area before, and marveled at the casino strip on the Nevada side of the lake. But we weren’t tempted by the adrenaline rush of losing money so we avoided that district altogether during my stay.
Anyway, the hike begins as a pleasant walk through gently -climbing dry pine forest. Once you get above the treeline the way becomes steeper as the path crosses fields of rock and gravel. Be sure to bring plenty of water with you; the air is dry and the sun brightly relentless.
The summit looms above
Eventually you’ll reach the summit ridge – on the left side of the photo above – and follow it to the top. At its end the trail disappears and you have to boulder-hop to the highest point, from where vistas of the Sierra behind Lake Tahoe are unmatched, and best of all, you can see the totality of the lake itself.
After a bone-jarring descent you’ll be back in no time at the trailhead. Anyone with sore muscles might like to find a place to receive a relaxing massage to work out the kinks.