Living in the city can get claustrophobic at times and the need to find space is easily satisfied with a dirt trail, gigantic trees, and soothing lakes. With so many trails and parks to discover in Washington the options are endless so narrowing down my choice of hike usually depends on a few key elements. The way I get to a trail, destination points along the trail, and forks are all contributing factors in the decision. On my birthday last year I took a day off of work for to explore the great outdoors and try out my new hammock lakeside. I also wanted to take my jeep on a dirt road, but I needed a hike that was close enough to the city that I could avoid traffic due to the day of the week. Without too much effort I landed on the Talapus Lake Trail.
Only 35 minutes from the city I took the I-90 to FR 9030. Not long after exiting the freeway I found myself cruising a well maintained dirt road. This was the first highlight as dirt roads provide the first sense of detaching from civilization for me. A few miles of ascending the mountain road I found the trail head parking lot. A little weary of the Bear Beware sign I grabbed my pack and headed into the tree lined trail.
The trail starts with a wider path with walls of trees and forest plants. Winding around a mountain side the climb was very mild and eventually embarks on a running stream piled with crossing logs and large boulders great for exploring and cooling off in the water. Back on the trail are many switch backs to help gradually gain elevation. The Washington Trails Association has done an amazing job at maintaining this path and building turnpikes and bridges to keep you dry near the swampy areas which make for great pictures. Eventually, I ended up at the Talapus Lake and found a rough beaten path down the the mouth of the lake where logs piled up to make a great resting point. The water clear, and calm opening up to the mountain edges outlining the sky above. The occasional hiker stopping to enjoy the view and relax.
I decided to find my own lakeside shore to set up my portable hammock and enjoy my lunch. After forging through some thick forest foliage I found a small 6ft wide opening along the lake between two trees. I set my pack on a nearby stump and began to set up my mini camp. Within a few minutes I sat back in the hammock and enjoyed the surroundings. By far, the ultimate way to disconnect from the bustle of the city and connect back to nature. The random bugs buzzing by, the birds flying over head, and the simple beauty of the mountains rough edges.
Months later I brought along some visitors to embark on this hike and discovered the trail had many breakpoints after this lake which lead to more lakes. We continued further to Olallie Lake and found an even more serene environment with many shores lines with rocks, sand, and grass to enjoy.
If you are looking for a quick escape to the outdoors and want a taste of it all check our Talapus and Olallie Lakes Trails to start your next adventure. The hike is easy to moderate in difficulty and within an hour of the city. The access road is easy for any car just please drive carefully. A parks pass is required so review the website to ensure you have what you need. If you have enjoyed this hike share your thoughts! Thanks for reading.