Mount Tallac

Coordinates: 38°54′21.5″N 120°05′56.3″W / 38.905972°N 120.098972°W / 38.905972; -120.098972
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mount Tallac
Northeast aspect
Highest point
Elevation9,739 ft (2,968 m) NAVD 88[1]
Prominence695 ft (212 m)[2]
Parent peakDicks Peak (9,974 ft)[3]
Isolation2.82 mi (4.54 km)[3]
Coordinates38°54′21.5″N 120°05′56.3″W / 38.905972°N 120.098972°W / 38.905972; -120.098972[1]
Mount Tallac is located in California
Mount Tallac
Mount Tallac
Location in California
LocationEl Dorado County, California, U.S.
Parent rangeSierra Nevada
Topo mapUSGS Emerald Bay
Easiest routeTrail hike, class 1-2[6]

Mount Tallac is a mountain peak southwest of Lake Tahoe, in El Dorado County, California. The peak lies within the Desolation Wilderness in the Eldorado National Forest. It is quite visible from State Routes 89 and 28, and U.S. Route 50. A "cross of snow" is clearly visible on the mountain's face during the winter, spring, and early summer months.

The mountain is shown on maps of the Whitney Survey as Chrystal Peak. In 1877, the Wheeler Survey named the peak "Tallac", after the Washo word "daláʔak", meaning 'big mountain'.[7]

An estimated 10,000 climb the peak each year via routes approaching the summit from Desolation Wilderness to the west, Fallen Leaf Lake to the East, and access roads from the north.[8] Wilderness permits are required to hike Mount Tallac. For day hikes, permits are free and self-issued at the trailhead.[9] There is a quota for overnight hikes on Mount Tallac (and throughout Desolation Wilderness), but there is no quota for day hiking.

The opening sequence of the TV series Bonanza was filmed at the McFaul Creek Meadow, with Mount Tallac in the background.


Mount Tallac is located in an alpine climate zone.[10] Most weather fronts originate in the Pacific Ocean, and travel east toward the Sierra Nevada mountains. As fronts approach, they are forced upward by the peaks (orographic lift), causing them to drop their moisture in the form of rain or snowfall onto the range.

Fallen Leaf Lake and Mt. Tallac


  1. ^ a b "Tallac Peak 1893". NGS Data Sheet. National Geodetic Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Department of Commerce. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
  2. ^ "Mount Tallac, California". Retrieved 2009-01-24.
  3. ^ a b "Tallac, Mount - 9,735' CA". Retrieved 2022-06-03.
  4. ^ "Tahoe OGUL Peaks List". Retrieved 2021-11-07.
  5. ^ "Sierra Peaks Section List" (PDF). Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  6. ^ "East Side Trailheads and Trails". Eldorado National Forest. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  7. ^ Gudde, Erwin G. (1949). California Place Names. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press. pp. 352–353.
  8. ^ "Mount Tallac". Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  9. ^ "Mt. Tallac Trailhead". Lake Tahoe Basin Mgt Unit, U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved 2015-12-14.
  10. ^ "Climate of the Sierra Nevada". Encyclopædia Britannica.

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