Thursday, June 28, 2018

Hike of the Week : Talapus and Olallie Lakes

I honestly don't know where I read about this hike. Seattle Magazine, the Weekly, and Seattle Met magazine all did articles about local hikes lately... but the distance looked good, the trail looked good, so we headed out on Saturday morning. 

As we got close to the trailhead there were already cars parked on the road .... a bit surprising, because the trail was meant to have a lot of parking. And it did... but that just meant that there was a lot of cars already there. 

I liked that the ranger was there ... and was ticketing people without a pass. 

We set off around 8:30 -- a bit late for us -- and were instantly in the woods. The trail was pretty uneven -- rocky and rooty -- but not too steep or challenging. It was just a nice walk in the woods. 

The forest started to get really misty, and it felt lovely and quiet and magical. As if we were going to encounter a centaur or a unicorn.

We walked alongside the creek for a while, seeing no one ... which surprised us given how full the trailhead was.

Lovely, lovely solitude!

We came to a stretch where the trail was being renovated -- some "turnpikes" (raised paths to keep hikers out of muddy stretches) and some log bridges ...

I also liked seeing the signs along the path -- always reassuring!

Doesn't this look magical? Wil may as well be Gandalf with a hood and a staff.

We arrived first at Talapus Lake, which had a couple of nice-looking campsites... some of which were just being abandoned, given the weather. Still, what a view to wake up to!

Then we continued along the trail to Olallie Lake.

Many campers seemed not to have seen this sign...

This sign made us laugh, too ... as there was no obvious path or destination...

We arrived at Olallie Lake, surrounded by campsites full of people. One site seemed to have 20 people crammed in it, all talking loudly.

The lake was pretty, but given the weather and the fact that we couldn't easily spot a way down to the shore that wasn't in someone's campsite, we basically just turned back.

The weather got a bit worse, and a lot mistier ...

... and the trail FILLED UP with people heading out to the lake. Which seemed so odd ... but perhaps everyone else read the same article I did?

By the time we got back to the car, the trailhead was still full and cars were parked nearly a mile down the road. It's a nice hike with a decent payoff at the end. It would be even nicer if the weather held, and if you could get to the lakeshore without walking across a campsite. But I'm really puzzled by how crowded it was. 

Talapus and Olallie Lakes via Olallie Lake Trail
6.3 miles
1368 ft elevation gain

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