Talapus And Olallie Lakes

Talapus And Olallie Lakes

Elev. Gain: 
1,200 ft.
High: 
3,750 ft.
Where:
North Bend, WA
Distance: 
4.25 miles (round trip)
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Rating: 
3
Be rewarded with two alpine lakes along this short trail near Seattle
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Features

Overview

A favorite for both families and newbies, the popular hike to Talapus and Olallie Lakes is short, easy, close to Seattle, and features two beautiful alpine lakes. What's not to like? We consider it a great destination for all ages, especially in late summer as the water warms enough to allow for a refreshing dip in the water.

From the well-signed trailhead, follow the wide trail northward as it climbs gently through several switchbacks, often on raised walkways and across small rivulets, into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area. At just over 1.0 mile, cross Talapus Creek on a small bridge and after a short climb, turn left on a spur trail down to Talapus Lake at 1.2 miles and 3,300'. Exploring the shoreline can be a challenge, but for those persistent enough, there's room to spread out and enjoy lunch or a swim.

Back on the main trail, continue onward to Olallie Lake. At 1.90 miles, reach a signed junction for Olallie and Pratt Lake. Head left here and continue upward. Arrive at the south shore of Olallie Lake at 2.15 miles and 3,700' elevation. The shoreline is a bit more accessible here – soak up some sunshine, take a dip, or cast a line and see if anything bites. 

Permits & Tips

Northwest Forest Pass required. Vault toilet available at trailhead. No water. Be prepared for crowds – the parking lot is often overflowing on sunny summer days. Stay on the trail as much as possible to avoid further damaging nearby vegetation. Overnight camping is possible at both lakes, although there are no maintained campsites – tread lightly. No fires allowed.

>>Google Directions

How to get there

Head east on I-90 to Exit 45.
Take a left at the end of the off-ramp onto Forest Road 9030.
Go under the freeway and stay left. Road turns to gravel and at about a mile you'll reach a fork in the road.
Turn right and drive for another 2.3 miles to the parking lot at the end of the road.