We did a “lollipop hike”, extending the route slightly to a total length of 8.17 miles and 1,587ft elevation gain. We began as usual by heading first to Talapus Lake, then onward to Olallie Lake, and then took the much less well-trodden connector trail from the north-east corner of Olallie Lake straight up the mountainside to the Pratt Lake Trail. At this point we encountered intermittent patches of snow on the trail, continuing for a few hundred meters as we headed south. At the junction with the Talapus Cutoff Trail, we took the sharp right turn, and headed north back towards Olallie Lake, rejoining the Talapus Lake Trail with another sharp right turn, then retraced our steps back to Talapus Lake and the trailhead.
We arrived at 9am on 4th of July. I wasn’t sure how busy to expect, given the holiday, however it wasn’t too bad. The parking lot by the trailhead had just filled up, and so we were only the fourth car to park on the side of the road.
The gravel road to the parking lot was in quite good condition. The usual potholes, but nothing too bad. The trailhead toilet was also in good condition, and well stocked.
From the trailhead to Olallie Lake was quite busy, but the connector trail, Pratt Lake Trail and Talapus Cutoff Trail were very quiet, so well worth the extra mile or so.
There were lots of chipmunks at Talapus Lake, and lots of Canada jays (aka camp robbers) at Olallie Lake. We did not feed them, but they were quick to visit us in anticipation. While the animals left disappointed, we at least enjoyed taking photos.