Mount Tallac

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Mount Tallac
Mt. Tallac in Sierra.jpg
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; -120.098972Coordinates: 38°54′21.5″N 120°05′56.3″W / 38.905972°N 120.098972°W / 38.905972; -120.098972[1]
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.

Fallen Leaf Lake and Mt. Tallac


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.


  1. ^ a b "Tallac Peak 1893". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey. 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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