Talapus and Olallie Lakes and beyond...
6.2 miles ++ roundtrip
At a glance: Just do the hike to Talapus and it's a perfect intro hike for beginners, or push on to Olallie and you've got a moderate hike to satisfy the more adventurous soul. Dog-friendly and great for swimming in the summer.
What's included: Pick-up from hotel/home/airbnb and transport to trailhead, trailhead permit and passes, lunch, snacks, equipment, and drop-off back to home base. $199/person.
With a moderate grade on a wide trail, the hike to Talapus Lake is the perfect introduction to the outdoors for hikers and beginning backpackers. Ollalie Lake is just about a mile and a half up trail, where open campsites offer lakeside havens with calm waters and views of a beautiful lake basin. You'll definitely want to bring a towel and a swimsuit!
From the Talapus parking area, we head into dark, cool forest on a wide, if somewhat rooty trail. The grade is moderate, allowing you to enjoy the tall cedars and hemlocks all around you. The trail steepens soon, switchbacking up as Talapus Creek flows downhill to your right.
From this point the trail flattens out, heading straight through increasingly boggy terrain – be ready to get your boots wet!
WTA crews have worked here installing a turnpike, a structure that helps keep hikers’ feet out of the muddiest areas, just before the lake.
Crest a small rise and shortly arrive at Talapus Lake.
If you opt to press onto Ollalie Lake the trail switchbacks up the hillside through forest.
If you are feeling particularly ambitious we can continue on up to the lakes and ridge beyond Ollalie, offering stunning views of Mt. Rainier to the south on a clear day. Island Lakes, Blazer Lakes, Mason Lake, and Lake Kulla Kulla mark the way en route to Mount Defiance.