Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mount Tallac: Lake Tahoe's Best View

DAY TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY

Mount Tallac is a large, noticeable peak near the south shore of Lake Tahoe. By Sierra standards, at 9735 feet, it is barely more than a bump. However, rising above the 6,225 foot surface of Lake Tahoe it is a commanding presence and is probably the Lake Tahoe area's most noticeable peak. There are several ways to reach its summit but I take the standard route up the Mount Tallac Trail. It is a 10 mile round trip with just under 3300 feet elevation gain.

You start at the Mount Tallac trailhead and pick up your self issue wilderness permit. Even though it is before sunrise there are a couple of cars in the lot.

The sun is shining on Mount Tallac above me. The temperature is cool but as the trail is a constant uphill I never feel a chill and quite quickly shed my jacket and put it in my pack.

As I make my way up the trail, the sun makes his first appearance. Below me now is Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe beyond it. If not in the immediate presence of the legendary Lake Tahoe, Fallen Leaf would be quite a substantial lake. As it is, hardly anyone knows it exists.

Very soon after leaving the trailhead you enter the Desolation Wilderness area.

There are a couple of little lakes along the trail, Floating Island Lake and this one, Cathedral Lake.

After leaving the lakes behind you come upon the good stuff, switchbacks. The trail is a constant uphill but here is where it really starts gaining some elevation.

At the top of the switchbacks you get a tremendous view of Fallen Leaf and Lake Tahoe.

From the ridge you also get a nice view of Echo Peak.

I think it would be pretty tough to miss this trail junction that leads up to the summit of Mount Tallac.

After hiking a bit further on trail you have to scramble across a few rocks to stand on the actual summit. Oddly, there is not a summit register of any kind on this peak.

That's OK, though. Who needs a summit register when you've got a view like this?

A little different angle of the best view in Lake Tahoe.

As I head down I stop to enjoy the view toward South Lake Tahoe with Fallen Leaf Lake in the foreground. Unfortunately, I don't have much time to sit down and enjoy the view because the rest of the family went on a little fishing excursion and I have to get back to pick them up.

There's a little wind shelter than someone built in case of the need to bivi up here.

I have to make my way down quickly so the fishermen are not left standing too long on the dock with my lunch. There is one problem, though. How can I keep my eyes on the trail when I continue to have views like this all the way down?

1 comment:

gambe said...

Loved your vacation posts and pix, Hal!