Explore Backpacking Trips - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Backpacking Trips Map
19 hours ago

Road up to trailhead is in good condition. Potholes as expected but plenty of room to maneuver around. Busy parking lot, make sure to get up there early! Trail is in great condition. Tennis shoes will get you to the top no problem now. A couple of very small snow patches to cross but nothing to be overly cautious about.

great workout and absolutely fantastic views

Worth it!!! It is a pretty tough hike! Be prepared. Steep towards the end of the trail turns from physically demanding to mentally. Over all it is worth every drop of sweat. Take swim trunks and enjoy that lake and lay in the sun at the top. Feels amazing and very rewarding. Have fun!

Hiked July 14 and was gorgeous! Lots of streams, snowfields, and rock scrambles along the trail that made it a challenging hike, but the views are so worth it!

I went here this morning @7:30am and took about 5 hours to get done hiking lol I'm out of shape that's why it took a long time, but it was worth it to be done! I saw very beautiful views and nature!! Highly recommended to see mason lake! btw please go early in the morning so you don't park the alley in the road. And you will need a northwest pass for sure. :)

Love this hike but FYI, it’s closed till August 31st.

2 days ago

Nice hike! The rocks on the switchback can be kind of difficult to maneuver if you’re not wearing boots. Lots of people were wearing tennis shoes but I wouldn’t recommend it - especially since there’s still snow on the trail to the lake that’s pretty slippery. Come early to beat the crowds.

Its a very good hike it’s not that hard I really liked it

Hiked 7/918 with three other gals!
Drove for a little over a mile on a fairly "gravelly" path and arrived around 1:40 PM then had to get a day permit/pass for $5.00. There are a fair amount of switchbacks and can be jaggedy, which I like. There are two old bridges above the streams with reconstruction at the trail at 3/4 of the trail. Then Arrived at Talapa lake at 2:40 with a lot of breaks and photos ♡ I can easily say an enjoyable hike for beginners who want to push themselves with the elevation.

2 days ago

We did this hike after Denny Creek Trail and when comparing the 2 trails, made this one feel so much easier. It took 1.5 hours to the top and decided not to do the hike down to the lake - it was pretty snowy/muddy and we didn't have the right hiking shoes on. It probably would've taken another hour out and back to lake if we wanted to go. The peak of this trail provides amazing views of Snow Lake

Very pretty home, forest pass required.
The snow on the lake is starting to melt.

Amazing view! Steep inclines at parts on the way up, but so rewarding with the view

6 days ago

Nice trail, not too long and not too short. very crowded though.

Brought my pup and two friends here on fourth of July. we left Seattle around 6:30 and arrived to full parking lot- still found a spot though and had a great great hike. we did the loop back which is very steep and only relatively maintained..but AWESOME with hardly any people. download the map and use your GPS to find your way it's pretty obvious. the one kinda tricky part was at the boulder field- stick to the right of it heading towards the creek. By the time we got back down there were cars for a mile down the road and the main trail seemed packed.

I am not in the best shape and this trail definitely was hard for me. It took me 2.5 hours to get up and approx the same to get down. The trail is up hill all the time. The first 1.5 mile is less steep and then the rest of the trail is steeper mostly. Only the last 0.4 or so mile is downhill to the lake. Based on my tracker the trail to the lake Mason is about 7 miles round trip, there and back. Discovery Pass is NOT valid on this trail. I got a ticket! You can buy a pass online for $5 in advance and display a print out.

It’s very crowded. We arrived at 9:30am and took the last spot at the parking lot - just lucky. Lots of cars were parked on the side of the road already, which is very narrow. The only way to turn around with all the cars parked on the side is to drive all the way to the parking lot. The last 3.2 miles of the road is not paved, watch out for pot wholes. But you don’t need a 4x4. My one wheel drive hunchback made it OK-ish.

The trail is in great condition and there are some nice view points of Mt Rainier. There was one or two spots only where we had to go through boulders, the rest of the trail is just dirt path. It’s OK for dogs and there were plenty of them.

Use the restroom at the trail head, it’s not an easy trail to find a private spot lol.

The lake was beautiful, makes a good compensation for the work out. BUT it was very crowded and some people don’t understand that you didn’t just climbed 3.5 miles to the lake to hear them sing and play the guitar or have a loud conversation with family members who sit 10 fit away.

There was a couple of people swimming in the lake, the water was pretty chilly though. Lots of bugs, especially in the shade, take your repellent.

Enjoy the great outdoors!!! Cheers!

We came down from BC to do this over the weekend! Got a late start (6:45) - we took upper Elliot trail on the way up and it took us 2hr15min. Got there just in time to watch the sunset behind the lake and find a spot for our tent before dark. It was busy but no problem finding a place to camp. We took lower Elliot on the way down and it was nice walking by the creek (1hr 45 min).
We didn’t see the bear !

8 days ago

Great hike! Lots of shade which is great for the furry friends, not too difficult but definitely still a good workout. We went early afternoon which was perfect as a lot of people were leaving and it was starting to cool down but there was still a lot of cars when we showed up and parking is tight. Only complaint was lots of bugs at Olallie even with bug spray, but Talapus was great! Want to bring some floaties and spend the day out there next time!

8 days ago

Nice hike. Lots of people on a Sunday. Go early to beat the crowd. The trail is mostly rocky. There was no snow till the view point. Some snow on the trail if you go further for lake access.

8 days ago

We got to the trailhead around 9am. The parking lot was already starting to fill up. We hiked up to Snow Lake and attempted to descend but there was still too much snow and we didn’t have the proper equipment. On our return, we took the trail to Source Lake and enjoyed seeing the waterfalls. The views from the side of Source Lake were amazing!

8 days ago

Pretty easy trail all things considered. Some parts are rocky. Went on 7/7 and the trail from the top down to the lake still had a lot of snow - poles and snowshoes or spikes are needed. The lake was also still frozen and white.

Not a bad trail but be ready for a climb. Also, both lakes were still frozen over, but melting. There was plenty of snow from snow lake, onwards. Better have a map and compass, but it’s worth the view!

Trail is clear and easy to get to lower Lena which is a good place to camp for a day to 2. Upper Lena trail has fallen trees and is a bit overgrown towards the top but no snow on the trail as of 7/5. Totally worth the view at the top!

8 days ago

Amazing trail, my best so far in the PNW. Be careful of sketchy snow bridges. Bring a GPS with you or near the top you will follow false bootpack and miss the trail. This resulted in required Class IV maneuvers to get to the top.
Incredible waterfalls!

Easy to moderate trail, good for leisurely hike. You can pay for parking at the entrance if you don’t have a nw forest pass. Carry mosquito repellent if you plan to go in summers near the lake.

Went there about 5 days ago a lot easier than I expected , got a little tough to make it all the way down since there’s still a bit of snow but doable ! Worth the little extra effort

beautiful hike on 4th of July! snow up to the meadow is very compact. follow the pink ribbon to stay on the trail. we continued past the meadow and up the peak for lunch which was beautiful. bring poles or prepare to "ski" down or, as I did, sled on my bum! it feels a bit exposed at some snowy areas with drop offs on the side, but totally doable and super fun.

Nice wooded trail, pretty dry most of the way with a few muddy patches. Mostly all uphill but a gradual incline. Lots of dogs on the trail. Easy enough for kids.

micro spike is very helpful if you like to reach the lake

9 days ago

Great hike! We didn’t see the bear. We climbed up to the top and went swimming in the lake. Seven chipmunks came and visited us and ran all around. We took upper Elliot up and lower Elliot down. I thought both trails were super cool and would recommend doing both.

10 days ago


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