Talapus Lake (Mar 1, 2014)

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talapus_lk_coverConditions: Day hike
Gear: snowshoes
Map: USGS Bandera
Area: North Bend, WA
Reference:  Snowshoe Routes Washington
Stats: 10.6mi, 1615' gain (round trip)

This trip was so strange...about a month ago I was in the area and the conditions were spring like. Today...yes, it really felt like winter. Finally...

Gwen and I decided to head up to Talapus Lake. I was getting off my second bad cold in about two months and my lungs were in no shape for something strenuous. This trip fit the bill perfectly.

Gwen drove (thanks) and we headed over 90 to exit 45, then headed north (over the freeway) and parked (road is not plowed and currently not passable). OK...so we'd be walking a good amount of road...that's OK.

We headed up the road and at the first junction (.8mi from the car) went right, uphill. After a series of switchbacks in the road we finally reached the summer trailhead (about 4.1mi from the car). Then finally we were on trail. There wasn't too much difficult about this trip. It's only another 1.2mi to the lake. It's beautiful forest, the snow was pretty crusty and in some places it was pretty darned windy. Following the summer trail wasn't too hard. Cut branches and a faint impression of a trail bench were pretty visible and easy clues to follow when the tracks of the snowshoers ahead of use got wiped out by the wind.

We reached the lake outlet and the was one snow covered foot bridge to cross, then a couple of snow bridges lead us along the summer trail route that goes to the east side of the lake. Finally, seeing the openness of the lake, we dropped off the trail to the edge of the lake. Surprisingly it was less windy but snow devils were blowing strong out on the lake. We didn't stay long. Visibility was low and we were cooling down fast. Lunch was eaten standing up! When done, we retreated back down the trail, and road, back to the waiting car. We did cut a couple of the switchbacks on the way down.
 
Talapus Lake Slideshow

talapus_lk_map
(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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