Monday, January 2, 2012

Talapus and Olallie Lakes snowshoe

We decided to start our New Year the best way we know hitting the trail.  Wanting something close but to something fun to look at...we decided on Talapus lake.  We were happy to find that we could drive to the trail head cutting off 2 miles one way.  Happy thought was we could venture all the way to Olalllie Lake now!  First, the trail head was easy to find. Exit 45.  Left at the end of the ramp and just keep driving.  The road is very well marked.  Only a mile up you run into a light dusting of snow.  The road is icy in spots and I suggest 4WD just in case.  DO NOT GO INTO THE TRAIL HEAD PARKING LOT--that is unless you want to get stuck.  We parked on the side of the road and displayed our NW Forest Pass (this is all you will need.)  We were the first to arrive at 10AM.  There is not a lot of snow the first mile up.  We never put our shoes on all day, actually.  We could have used them at Olaliie, but it seemed too much work to put them on for the little bit we were there.  The conditions are wet at the trail head with maybe an inch of snow.  The trail is easy to follow as many have blazed before us.  It took us only an hour to get to Talapus Lake.  We stopped for a few pictures and decided to keep going on to Olallie.  We were very happy with the choice as Olallie was very beautiful. We saw no one until after our lunch by the lake and on the way back.  There are a few spots to jump over the river, but very easy day.  We saw a family with 2 young children on the return trip.  The kids seemed to be having fun as well. It sure was windy out there..between the roar of the wind and from the river it was pretty loud out there.  Total miles 6. (2.2 to Talapus, then .8 to Olallie)
Talapus Lake

On the way back, Terah slid down the switchbacks!

At Olallie Lake!
Lunch view...amazing even with all the wind!! 
On the way back home, we heard of the tragedy at Mt. Rainer.  Our thoughts go out to the family of the park ranger that was shot and killed.  It seems so sad that we had such a great day not too far away. 

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