Seattle doesn’t typically get much snow in the winter, but the white stuff isn’t usually hard to find. Snoqualmie Pass is a short jaunt from the city, and it offers some snowy adventures, including this fun winter hike to Talapus Lake.
The Talapus Lake trailhead (map) is about an hour drive from Seattle. After taking exit 45 off I-90, turn left, and then meander on forest roads to the trail. Road conditions can be questionable in the winter, so my best advice is checking the latest trip reports (bottom of the linked page) on the Washington Trails Association website.
NOTE: There is a parking lot at the Talapus Lake trailhead, but it requires a Northwest Forest Pass.
The winter hike to Talapus Lake (which can also be paired with Ollalie Lake in the summer) can be done as a hike (waterproof boots recommended) or with snowshoes. Either way, you climb about 900-feet in elevation and stomp a little more than 2-miles through the snow to reach the lake.
TIP: Follow the trail/tracks to the left after you enter the Talapus Lake trail from the parking lot. DO NOT follow the footsteps straight.
Talapus Lake is listed as a moderate hike, but I personally don’t find the trek very difficult (even in the winter). Plus, it’s totally worth whatever energy you use. Talapus Lake is a snowy wonderland in the winter, and it offers a quiet escape from the city. Not to mention, I’m told the lake and trail are a low avalanche risk (but I’m not an expert).
So…if you’re looking for a fun winter hike near Seattle, Talapus Lake is a great option. It’s a very do-able trek to a beautiful, snowy, peaceful spot.
Have you ever done the winter hike to Talapus Lake? How was your experience? We’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more great places to visit around the Emerald City!