Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mt. Tallac Trailhead Hike

Tuesday morning I woke up bright and early and started to get my things together for my hike today. I had decided that I would tackle Mt. Tallac. You may recognize Mount Tallac  by the "cross of snow, " which is clearly visible on the mountain's face during the winter and spring months. There is a saying that if the cross of snow is visible it wont be a drought year, but if the cross of snow melts a drought is near.
At the trail head.

The trail took me past Floating Island Lake and Cathedral Lake on my way to the summit. It is rated difficult by the Forrest Service. And difficult it was on the climb.

Trail Info: Mileage:1.6 miles to Floating Island Lake
                            2.3 miles to Cathedral
                            4.8 miles to Mt. Tallac summit (I made it 6 miles to the summit, don't ask)

Elevation:Trailhead: 6,480'
               Summit: 9,735'
That is a lot of elevation gain.

Hiking time: about six hours round trip to summit, I did it in 4 hours and 30 min. With getting lost twice. I must be fit, good news for me.

Only .5 miles in and what a view. I knew this was going to be a great hike/run

Permit #2 for the week.

At this point it was .60miles in and I already had to start shedding layers. I started the run in a beanie, gloves, short sleeve, long sleeve, and outer shell. Thank goodness I had all of this as I used every piece of clothing off and on all day.

Floating Island

I made it to floating island and I think I said "ah sweet!" It was breath taking and a bit unexpected.

Floating Island

Can you see the top of Mt. Tallac

Cathedral Lake

This next stop was breath taking, I did lose the trail before I arrived here. I wondered around desolation for about 20 minutes before picking the trail back up. I did some bouldering while I was ummm lost exploring. The boulders were huge and my worry was twisting my ankle. I found the trail head eventually.

Can you see the trail I was climbing?

After cathedral lake the trail goes up. It was steep, very steep and the wind was blowing. It was exposed and did I mention how steep it was? But the view was worth it. I was almost there.

The nearest lake is Fallen Leaf Lake and you can see Lake Tahoe. You can also make out the prestigious Tahoe Keys on the right side.

What I thought was the top of Mt. Tallac proved to be wrong. It was a false summit. I still had a mile of climbing to do.

Some more rock climbing, only I didn't have to climb this. But I did. I lost the trail again. I was lost in thought or something. But enjoyed the view from this top.

It was cold, the wind was blowing but the view was to die for. I thought the wind was going to knock me off if I stood up.

Ahh!! The trailhead to Mt. Tallac!!!

The real summit. I ended up climbing for a total of 3 hours and that ended up being 6 miles. But the extra miles aren't going to bother me. I enjoyed this climb. I was alone the entire time. Just me and my thoughts.

Worth it! While on top of Mt. Tallac I enjoyed a payday which helped to recharge me.

The climb down was fast. I wasted no time. It took me 1 hour and 30 minutes to hike/run down. It was a great hike and I picked a great day to experience it. It ended up being a total of 11 miles for me over 4.5 hours. Not bad!


  1. Such nice pictures and what beautiful scenery! Well worth the hike just for those views!

  2. Wow, such beautiful pictures. You went WAY high. I never knew that about the snow cross.
    Thanks for sharing. Keep having fun up there. ;)