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Trip Report    

CHS 1 Hike - Talapus Lake Trail

Talapus Lake to island Lake. Some people went further to the unnamed pothole about 1/2 mile west of Rainbow Lake, then met the rest on the way out.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • WTA work crew was out, about 1 mile above Talapus Lake. The trail is being re-routed to avoid the worst of the mud. The crew leader said that this is likely to be a several-year project, which I can believe given how short a stretch of trail can be built by a single day of volunteer labor.

Round trip to Island Lake and back is about 11 miles and maybe 2200 feet gain (including ups and downs). Going on the the unnamed pothole lake west of Rainbow Lake adds maybe another 1.5  to 1.75 miles, and maybe another 100 to 150 feet gain including ups and downs.  Various GPS and trail apps all had somewhat different stats.

First few miles: some queen's cup and Canadian dogwood. Higher up started seeing lupines and lots of beargrass blooming. In the drier and more open parts of the trail, especially along the subalpine ridge walk approaching turn-off to Island Lake, saw a few coralroot, a few Indian paintbrush, and one stunning patch of rosy spirea.