It’s not always easy to capture beauty in a photograph. Sometimes a picture just doesn’t do your surroundings justice. That’s exactly the case with Talapus Lake and Olallie Lake near Snoqualmie Pass. They’re beautiful alpine lakes, and they’re both easily reachable on the same hike.
Located about an hour outside of Seattle, Talapus Lake and Olallie Lake are perfect for a day hike near the Emerald City. Drive east on I-90 to exit 45. Take a left after the exit, and then take another left onto Forest Road 9030. Continue on this for about 2.5 miles (fair warning — it’s a gravel road), and then turn right at the sign to the Talapus Lake Trail.
Like I mentioned before, you can enjoy Talapus Lake and Olallie Lake in the same hike. You stroll through the forest for less than two miles before you reach Talapus Lake. You can make this your turnaround point (after enjoying the view, doing a little fishing, etc.), or you can continue on to Olallie Lake. After .7 miles you’ll reach the junction to Olallie Lake (turn left) and Pratt Lake (turn right). Just .3 miles after the junction, you run into Olallie Lake. In the summer, some folks will take a dip in the lake before heading back down the trail or moving on to another spot in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
The hike to Talapus Lake and Olallie Lake is 6.4 miles roundtrip (although it feels shorter than that). There is a 1,300-foot elevation gain along the way. While you do moderately climb most of the way to the lakes, it is a simple hike. Not once would I say it was steep or strenuous. As for the trail itself, there are a lot of roots and quite a bit of mud (when we went at the end of May), but it’s very well maintained.
Talapus Lake and Olallie Lake are popular destinations, so the trail can get busy. My dad and I were lucky enough to do the hike on a weekday. There were only a few people on the trail, and we were actually able to enjoy the lakes all by ourselves. Aside from two women who left after we showed up to Olallie Lake, we were the only ones out there soaking up the peace and quite.
If you’re looking for a fun adventure outside of Seattle, the hike to Talapus Lake and Olallie Lake might be perfect for you! It’s a fairly simple stroll with two cool payoffs along the way. Although the pictures don’t fully capture the beautiful scenery, I think Talapus Lake and Olallie Lake are well worth the effort.
Have you ever hiked to Talapus Lake and Olallie Lake? How was your experience? We’d love to hear all about it! Please leave a comment below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more great places to visit around the Emerald City!