Olallie Lake via Talapus Lake Trail #1039
Only an hour from Seattle, the Talapus Lake Trailhead to Talapus and Olallie lakes offer ideal conditions for beginner hikers, families, or those just needing a quick jolt of Mother Nature. Roughly a mile and a half apart, these lakes make for a fairly easy but beautiful day-hike, or even a short overnight backpacking trip. From here, options abound to extend hikes into multi-day journeys much further into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, a great way to spend summer days. Bring your swimwear and a picnic lunch, and enjoy this beautiful part of Washington state.
This is a moderate out and back trail to Talapus Lake in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
This trail goes by Olallie Lake.
The drive to the Talapus and Olallie trailhead from Seattle is very straightforward, just up I-90 east of Seattle about an hour, traffic permitting. Due to the popularity of this trail, parking can get incredibly congested. Arrive early, late, or on weekdays to beat the rush.
The trailhead begins at the far end of the parking lot, near the pit toilet on a wide but rooty trail through hemlock and cedar trees. The trail remains in the forest all the way to the Talapus lakeshore, with a few switchbacks in multiple areas, but with no truly steep sections. Heart-shaped Talapus Lake has quite a large log-jam, but it's still possible to take a refreshing plunge. Rest or turn back here, or continue up the same trail (a bit steeper) to Olallie Lake, passing a t-junction (stay to the left. A right turn takes you further afield to the Pratt Lake Trail junction). Olallie offers first-come first-serve camping on its glistening shore, and great swimming opportunities.
Make sure to display your Northwest Forest Pass in the parking lot.
Both Talapus and Olallie Lakes are a good introduction to hiking and backpacking for younger children, with their easier inclines, well-maintained trails and beautiful terrain.