Back to index Glen Alpine to Lake Aloha via Middle Tallac Hike
Trip Date:  11/09/2013

: 13.0 Miles

Vertical Gain: 2800'

Group Size: 1

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Heather Lake Route
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Heather Lake Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 52.610  W 120 04.811     End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates  
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Drive all the way to the west end of Fallen Leaf Lake Rd, and turn onto Glen Alpine Rd up to the parking area near Lily Lake.  If full, you may have to park along the road.
Hazards of Note:   The first mile of the hike from Glen Alpine toward Grass Lake is very rocky and will eat ankles if not careful.
The Middle Tallac Trail as shown on this hike is  extremely hazardous and should only be attempted by those with good balance, patience, and no fear of heights and narrow trails.
Crowd Factor:   Busy, especially on weekends.  
General Notes:
The first part of this hike follows a very well-maintained Desolation Wilderness trail, which climbs relentlessly up to about a mile before Lake Gilmore.  Turn west at the signed trail junction toward Lake Aloha, following this around the eastern and southern edge of Susie Lake with fantastic views up toward Dick's Peak to your north.  A rocky section passes along the north side of the very pretty Heather Lake, and finally you will climb to a point where you are at the north end of Lake Aloha.  Mosquito Pass is about 3/4 mile further along this trail into Rockbound Valley.  Turning back and retracing your steps past Susie Lake, veer left at the signed junction  and head toward Lake Gilmore.  From here you can find a use trail headed SSE toward the Middle Tallac Trail, but I would think long and hard about making this decision over turning back down the trail toward Glen Alpine and the way that you originally headed up.

Since this is a hike into Desolation Wilderness, you will need a day permit (free at the trailhead) and the group size limit is 12.

Upper Glen Alpine Falls early in the fall morning. Glen Alpine Falls
Looking up toward Dick's Peak. Jacks and Dicks Peaks
Making my way around Susie Lake with Cracked Crag to the south. Susie Lake
Walking along Heather Lake with Mt. Price in the background. Heather Lake
Heather Lake with a Crystal Range backdrop. Heather Lake
Looking south along Lake Aloha. Lake Aloha
The mountains in the distance past Lake Aloha.
Lake Aloha and the mountains behind
Heading back down from Lake Aloha to Heather Lake. Coming back down on Heather Lake
Having lunch from this spot at Lake Gilmore. Lake Gilmore
Views east toward Freel Peak from the top of Middle Tallac Trail.
View east from the top of Middle Tallac Trail
Angora Peak and Lily Lake far below the Middle Tallac Trail. Angora Peak from Middle Tallac
Looking back up at the very steep Middle Tallac Trail. Looking back up Middle Tallac Trail
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike
GPS Track of the Middle Tallac Trail portion. GPS Track of Middle Tallac