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Friday, September 30, 2011

Talapus and Olallie Lakes

On Wednesday this week I headed out to Talapus and Olallie lakes near North Bend.  With my trusty sidekicks (my 2 boys) at school, I had to find another hiking partner, so I went with one of my friends.

This hike is pretty easy, however there are some spots that are quite rocky and have tree roots sticking up.  So, be sure to watch your step.  I would be comfortable bringing kids 5 and older if they have hiked before.  7 and up if not.  On the way down we passed a couple, and the father was carrying a baby in a front pack and his 5 year-old daughter as well.  So, it depends on your kids for sure.
The trail is well maintained with a few muddy spots along the way.  The hike to Talapus Lake is 4 miles round trip.  If you want to add on Olallie Lake to your trip, it will be an additional 1 1/2 miles, but totally worth it.  It took us about 2 1/2 hours to complete the hike.
The trail starts out pretty flat and wide.  There are many wooden paths along the way covering boggy areas.
A bit before you reach Talapus, you will cross a bridge over a stream and you can hear the rumblings of a waterfall.
There are a few points you can go off trail to view the waterfall
We reached Talapus Lake and it was beautiful.  There weren't many easy access points to the lake, but I found a spot to take some good pictures.

 If you choose to continue to Olallie Lake (I would recommend it if you have time), you will continue on the trail and see a sign that points to Pratt Lake (1 1/2 miles further) or Olallie Lake.  Follow the arrow that points to Olallie.  Unfortunately we saw the sign but didn't pay attention to the arrows, so wandered a bit before coming back and following the arrows.  I guess we were talking to much.
Continue hiking along a few switchbacks and reach Olallie in about .7 miles.  I enjoyed this Lake even more.  There were more access points to the lake and spots to sit and take a break for a snack. 
As soon as we sat to have a snack a bunch of Gray Jays swooped down to snatch up any crumbs we might spill.  They came amazingly close and were fun to watch.
Off to pick the kids up from school. With driving time to and from these hikes, it doesn't leave much time to enjoy the beauty and serenity, but it was well worth it.

To get here drive I-90 east to exit 45 (Forest Road 9030). Turn left under the freeway on FR 9030. In about 1 mile bear right at the junction. Continue straight for a couple of miles to the trailhead.  A forest pass is required and there is one outhouse available at the trailhead.

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