Trip Report    

Day Hike - Talapus Lake to Mason Lake and Ira Spring Trail

One way hike to 5 or 6 named lakes.

  • Road rough but passable

We shuttled cars to start at Talapus Lake TH and end at Ira Spring TH.   Distance was 10.3 miles, 2200' gain and 2600' loss.  A key exchange would work well to save over an hour of car shuttle time.  trail all in good shape, with active WTA maintenance.

A way trail leads from north of Olallie Lake to the Pratt Lake trail, staying NW of the seasonal inlet stream to Olallie.  Mosquitos were atrocious at Island and Rainbow Lakes, and moderate in other areas.  All who had headnets donned them.  Based on WTA beta saying a foot path connected Island and Rainbow lakes, I led my trusting hikers on social paths towards the west end of Rainbow Lake.   DO NOT REPEAT THIS MISTAKE IF YOU LOSE THE WAY TRAIL!  There is dense brush (and hordes of mosquitoes).  There is no social trail at the west end of Rainbow Lake, and further brush bashing is required to reconnect with the trail to the small lake apparently known as Sir Richard Lake on some maps.

Other than that miscalculation, it was a very nice route.   7.5 hours including breaks at a relaxed pace.  On a weekday with very light rain at times, we experienced something that few are likely to replicate: walking the Ira Spring Trail from Mason Lake down to the cars without encountering another person.