Hike to Talapus & Olallie Lakes

Rate this Adventure 6.2 miles 1220 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Lindsy Dugan

This a great potential trail for beginning backpackers. Also a great spot for a day hike with options to hit multiple lakes that's less than an hour from Seattle, WA.

With a moderate grade on a wide trail, the hike to Talapus Lake is the perfect introduction to the outdoors for hikers and beginning backpackers. Upon arrival at Talapus, break out lunch or pitch camp. Either way, you can cool off in the large lake. If you feel like pressing on, Ollalie Lake is just about a mile and a half up trail, where open campsites offer lakeside havens with calm waters and views of a beautiful lake basin.

From the Talapus parking area, head into dark, cool forest on a wide, if somewhat rooty trail. The grade is moderate, then the trail steepens, switchbacking up as Talapus Creek flows downhill to the right. Roots can be very slippery, especially when wet so watch your step.

From this point the trail flattens out, heading straight through increasingly boggy terrain – be ready to get your boots wet! Just before crossing Talapus Creek, a fork greets hikers. Though the left path is still somewhat evident, branches and foliage lying across the trail indicate that this is not the way to go. Please respect the Forest Service’s restoration efforts and don’t take this path. Your route to the lake is across the creek, over the footlog and through a bit more mud.

WTA crews have worked here installing a turnpike, a structure that helps keep hikers’ feet out of the muddiest areas, just before the lake. Crest a small rise and shortly arrive at Talapus Lake.

If you plan to continue onto Ollalie Lake, stay on the trail at Talapus and switchback up the hillside through forest. 0.7 miles after leaving Talapus you’ll arrive at a junction. Crossing Talapus Creek via the right-hand path will put you on the Pratt Lake Trail after 0.2 miles, but Ollalie Lake is attained via the left-hand path. Hike a slightly steeper grade for about 0.3 miles. Shortly after climbing, the trail levels out and Ollalie Lake appears to your right.

The trail stays high on the valley wall, but looking downhill you will see the campsites that dot the lake’s western shore. Head down to an unclaimed one and pitch camp.

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