Talapus Lake Trail
Talapus Lake Trail

Talapus Lake Trail

Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
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Talapus Lake Trail

Talapus Lake Trail

Distance: 3.4mi
Elevation: 656ft
Time: 1.5-2h

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Talapus Lake Trail is a heavily trafficked, easy-moderate hike in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. This hike is suitable for families and beginner hikers and offers lovely views in exchange for conservative effort. The trail is wide and easy to follow, but it does get busy, making an early start or midweek visit wise.

There is spotty reception at the trailhead and to the lake, so make sure you have your permit and GPS sorted before arriving.

Talapus Lake Trail Map

Getting there

The trailhead for Talapus Lake Trail is off FR 9030. Follow the road around to the right at a junction and continue to the road’s end.

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Backcountry Campground

Talapus Lake Backcountry

When to do


Pets allowed

Yes - On Leash

Family friendly


Route Signage


Crowd Levels


Route Type

Out and back

Talapus Lake Trail
Elevation Graph

Talapus Lake Trail Description

Talapus Lake is a pretty, tree-clad mountain lake in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Reaching the lake is fairly easy, with a nice, gradual incline continuing for the duration of the ascent. Beginners and families flock to this hike on weekends. It’s also a good choice for new backpackers, who can set up camp at the lake before heading to Olallie Lake the next day.

If you want a little more serenity, try coming early, late in the afternoon, or during the week. On top of this, please avoid feeding the wildlife. They’ve gotten too used to humans on this trail, and you’ll want to resist the temptation to reinforce their tendency to rob backpacks.

The hike begins from the parking area, heading into the forest on a wide, well-maintained trail. The trail has been carefully maintained through the years, making it a pleasant walk.

The trail steepens a bit, curving around switchbacks next to Talapus Creek. Please don’t cut the switchbacks—trail crews have worked hard to reroute this trail and to keep it in good condition despite the amount of traffic it receives.

Just before Talapus Creek, you’ll reach a fork. You can either go left to reach the campsites near the lake or go right to access the lake itself. Go right (unless you’re camping) and cross the creek on a bridge.

Reaching the lake, find a good spot for lunch, photos, or a bit of a rest. The lake is calm and picturesque, and you might even see some hikers opting for a swim.

If you’re hiking further to Olallie Lake, we have a route guide specifically for this extension.

Otherwise, retrace your steps to return to the parking lot.

Hiking Route Highlights

Talapus Lake

Talapus Lake is a freshwater lake in a grand valley near Bandera Mountain. The lake is 7 hectares large and offers the opportunity to hike, swim, and birdwatch from its shores.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you swim in Talapus Lake?

Yes, you can swim in Talapus Lake.

What pass do I need for Talapus Lake Trail?

Please have your Northwest Forest Pass ready for this hike.

Insider Hints

  • The road to the trailhead is severely potholed, so a high-clearance vehicle is recommended.

  • The bugs don’t tend to be bad on this trail, but it sometimes has horseflies. Bring spray.



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