Talapus Lake, Talapus Lake Trailhead, Seattle: Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Snoqualmie Pass - Central Cascades, Washington
Talapus Lake - 4.2 miles
Talapus Lake Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||4.2 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||2,650' – 3,370’ (3,370’ max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+720’ net elevation gain (+803’ total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Talapus Lake - 4.2 Miles Round-Trip
Talapus Lake is located 2.1 miles from Talapus Creek Trailhead, 6.4 miles north of I-90 in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. This short, family-friendly trail is highlighted by tumbling creeks, diverse vegetation and a variety of edible berries that peak in late summer and early fall.
The Talapus Creek Trail continues one mile to Olallie Lake with access to Pratt Saddle, Pratt Lake and beyond via a junction with the Pratt Lake Trail (#1007):
The trail begins on gentle switchbacks lined by red huckleberry and numerous large stumps. An assortment of devil’s club, skunk cabbage, red alder, sword and bracken fern, vine maple and bunchberry fill out the diverse understory.
It climbs 400' on the first mile to Talapus Creek (1.2 miles), where grades steepen on eroded switchbacks above the water. Enjoy a splash pool on Talapus Creek before crossing the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Boundary into tall stands of silver fir (1.8 miles : 3,274').
Follow signs (right) for Talapus and Olallie Lakes where a faint spur splits left (1.86 miles : 3,285’), and cross several bridges over Talapus’ braided outlet to the SE corner of Talapus Lake (2.1 miles : 3,370’). There are several campsites and a privy tucked in the forest along the shore.
- N47 24.074 W121 31.091 — 0.0 miles: Talapus Lake Trailhead - 2,650'
- N47 24.288 W121 31.035 — 0.6 miles: Trail ascends gently wide trail - 2,870'
- N47 24.451 W121 30.883 — 1.0 miles: Trail leading towards Talapus Creek - 3,071'
- N47 24.640 W121 30.841 — 1.5 miles: Steep switchbacks near creek - 3,215'
- N47 24.714 W121 30.893 — 1.9 miles: Cross series of bridges over outlet - 3,286'
- N47 24.813 W121 30.979 — 2.1 miles: Talalpus Lake - 3,370'
- Pacific Silver Firs are present in great numbers on this trail. True firs are distinguishable from hemlocks and Douglas firs by their smooth, whitish-gray bark with resin blisters, and upward growing cones.
- Many edible berries, including red and black huckleberries, blueberries, bunch berries and mountain ash berries can also be commonly found along this trail. August is the best time for ripening huckleberries and blueberries.
- Hunting is allowed in this area - wear bright colors during hunting season and ensure your dog is leashed.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Camping is permitted only at designated campsites within 1/2 mile of the following locations: Gem Lake, Gravel Lake, Island Lake, Lower Tuscohatchie Lake, Mason Lake, Melakwa Lake, Olallie Lake, Pratt Lake, Rainbow Lake, Snow Lake, Talapus Lake, and Williams Lake.
- An overnight Wilderness permit must be filled out at the TH and carried to camp at Talapus and Olallie lakes. Group size max is 12.
- Campfires are not permitted above 4,000’ east of the Cascade Crest; campfires are also prohibited within 1/2 mile of Lower Tuscohatchie, Mason, Olallie, Pratt and Talapus lakes.
- Fishing is allowed with a valid WA state fishing license.
- Contact the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for more information.
Sport | Commercial Licenses: 360.902.2434
Disability Licenses: 360.902.2460
Rules and Regulations
- A Northwest Forest Pass or $5 fee is required at this trailhead.
- A free day use or overnight Wilderness Permit must be filled out at the TH and carried for the duration of your trip in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times.
- This trail is closed to stock.
Directions to Trailhead
The Talapus Lake Trailhead is located 6.4 miles from Exit 45 on I-90 west of Snoqualmie Pass.
From I-90, exit 45 and turn left onto FR 9030, cross under the freeway. Soon the pavement ends and after .4 miles, the road splits. Go right on 9031 and proceed another 2.3 miles to the Talapus Lake Trailhead.
The parking lot holds 20 cars, with overflow parking on the left side of the approach road; there are bathrooms.
Mt Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest | Snoqualmie Ranger District
902 SE North Bend Way, Bldg 1
North Bend, WA 98045
Reference Trail #1039