2 - 3
FATMAP difficulty grade
The Talapus Lake Trail is an out-and-back trail that leads to a serene lake in the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest.
This trail is ideal for beginners, families, and dogs, as it has a moderate elevation gain and a well-maintained path.
The trail is also a good option for snowshoeing in the winter, although you may have to walk an extra 2 miles on the road to reach the trailhead. The trail starts from a parking lot off I-90, where you will need a Northwest Forest Pass to park.
You will follow a wide and gentle trail through a young forest that was replanted in the 1960s after logging.
At 0.6 miles, you will enter an older forest that burned in the early 20th century, where you will see some large cedars and hemlocks. At 1.3 miles, you will reach a junction with the Pratt Lake Trail.
Stay on the main trail and cross Talapus Creek on a sturdy bridge.
The trail then climbs up some switchbacks and reaches Talapus Lake at 1.6 miles.
The lake is surrounded by trees and offers views of the nearby peaks.
You can find several campsites along the shore, or just enjoy a picnic by the water. If you want to extend your hike, you can continue past Talapus Lake and follow the trail to Olallie Lake, another beautiful lake that is 1.2 miles away.
The lake is larger and more open than Talapus Lake, and has a loop trail that circles it and offers different perspectives of the lake and the mountains.
The additional mileage to Olallie Lake is very rewarding, and will also help you leave some of the crowds behind. Sources: Talapus and Olallie Lakes — Washington Trails Association.
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/talapus-and-olallie-lakes. Talapus Lake Snowshoe — Washington Trails Association.
Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest - Talapus Lake Trail 1039.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mbs/recreation/recarea/?recid=18026&actid=50. Conversation with Bing Chat