Talapus Lake Trail


Day Hike - Olallie Lake

Feelings of remoteness, surprisingly close to civilization on the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Walk through an easy and well maintained trail towards two alpine lakes.

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  • Moderate
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 5.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,300 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 3,800 ft
  • Pace: 1.5 - 2.0 mph

Meet at 9:00 AM at the Talapus Lake trailhead. Reached by taking Exit 45 from I-90 eastbound, turning left at the end of the exit and right at the first road fork, continuing four miles on a gravel Forest Service Road to its end at the parking lot.  A Northwest Forest Pass or National Park Pass must be posted by each car parked there.  There is a restroom at the trailhead.

Olallie is an easy to reach lake, but not as crowded as Snow Lake. It can afford a feeling of remoteness without a big effort to reach it. We'll do an easy pace up, stop at Talapus to enjoy the views, and then head to Olallie through a still easy, but less wide trail. There is a picturesque bridge that becomes more special when you consider that it was built with no power tools.

We will have opportunities to see old growth, and rocky slopes typical of alpine environments. I haven't seen any yet, but mountain goats are said to be visitors of these slopes. Also we will be able to identify some avalanche chutes that get quite active with heavy snow loads.

Chipmunks and Grey Jays/Camp Robbers abound.

We will stop at Olallie's shore to have a snack/early lunch, soak in the beauty, take some pictures, possibly treat water and head back.

I am a heavy water drinker, and last time I drank 2.5 quarts of water round trip. Olallie has an output stream that is perfect to gather water, close to (in my opinion) the best camp spot for that lake.

There are two privy toilets at Olallie. (They were open as of September 2020)


Talapus Lake Trail

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Everbody must bring a face mask.

The Ten Essentials

  1. Navigation
  2. Sun protection
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination
  5. First aid supplies
  6. Fire
  7. Repair kit and tools, including knife
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter
Trip Reports