Talapus Lake Hike near Snoqualmie Pass

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Talapus lake hike near Snoqualmie pass. It's a large alpine lake surrounded by forest and rocky mountains, which are reflected in the lake. There are evergreen trees in the foreground and it's a sunny day

The very popular Talapus lake hike is a 4 mile round trip with a bit under 1000 feet of elevation gain mellow hike to a lake within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, which is awesome for summer! You have the option of adding another mile and a bit more uphill to go to Ollalie Lake instead or in addition to, Talapus. Looking for a longer lake hike in the same area? Try Annette Lake!

Is the Talapus Lake Hike right for me?

If you don’t mind other people and want to take a mellow hike to an alpine lake that won’t take the whole day, then this would be the perfect hike for you! The trailhead is also only about an hour from Seattle.

When is a good time for the Talapus Lake hike?

The talapus lake hike is generally snow free from July through October, and sometimes a bit longer. In the fall it’s much less busy but more muddy! It’s a very popular hike and trailhead on weekends so this is a good one to consider a late afternoon or early evening hike for in the summer.

Where is the Talapus Lake hike?

The Talapus lake hike is located just west of Snoqualmie Pass in the Alpine Lakes wilderness. Take exit 45 from I-90 east, and turn left onto a forest service road at the end of the off ramp. In about three miles (keeping right at the fork to stay on the forest service road) you’ll arrive at the trailhead, where you need a NW Forest Pass to park.

Trail Description

Looking up at a boulder field on the Talapus lake hike, there are fall color shrubs against evergreen trees and a blue sky
By late August, fall color can be seen along the trail to Talapus Lake!

Starting from the very busy parking lot (try for a late in the day hike for this popular trail), head uphill through the forest, which soon steepens a bit for some switchbacks. Soon after, the trail levels out a bit and becomes wet and boggy (even when it’s dry weather), so use caution! At a creek crossing near the lake, keep right at the fork to continue on the path that’s been reinforced by trail volunteers (thank you!). The muddy bit continues a bit and in a total of about two miles from your car you’ll come to Talapus Lake. You can turn around here (good picnic spot!) or continue up another mile to Olallie lake, or if you want an even longer day, up to Pratt Lake or Island and Rainbow Lakes. When you’re ready to head back, go back the way you came!

Talapus lake hike near Snoqualmie pass. It's a large alpine lake surrounded by forest and rocky mountains, which are reflected in the lake. There are evergreen trees in the foreground and it's a sunny day. Text reads: Talapus lake hike near snoqualmie pass
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Jennie Flaming
Jennie Thwing Flaming, Chief Adventure Officer: Jennie's life has been a continual quest for adventure (of the non-adrenalin inducing kind) from birth till now. Professionally, she pursues adventures in teaching, counseling and working to obliterate institutional racism for students in our region's public schools and also works as a tour and hiking guide. Previous professional adventures include working in schools in Seattle and Alaska, leading tours and managing tour guides and presenting traveling science shows and lessons with Pacific Science Center. She believes in sharing her beloved Pacific Northwest home with visitors. She likes to be outdoors and spend time with the people she loves. Jennie is born and raised in Seattle and has also lived in Alaska and the Netherlands.