Forum Index > Trip Reports > Franklin Falls & Talapus Lake - 4/29/06
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1801 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostSat Apr 29, 2006 10:16 pm 
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SUMMARY
We had a casual day of hiking today, we both had afternoon events limiting our itinerary possibilities.

The weather was fabulous - especially since I heard rain was in the forecast.  Fortunately, the rain held off until we finished our hiking and returned to North Bend.

Both destinations were very pleasant and I'd recommend them to hikers looking for an easy and short hike solution.

FRANKLIN FALLS
We drove up Denny Creek Road with the intention of hiking up toward slippery slab on Denny Creek... but upon arriving at the campground, realized we under anticipated the amount of snow still remaining.

Without snowshoes, we decided to head toward the Slippery Slab trail head just to see the degree of effort required.  After a short walk we came to a bridge and a sign pointing us toward the Franklin Falls Trail... only 1 mile the sign promised.

Well, that sounded better than committing to a longer snow trek and it obviously followed the river and promised a waterfall at the end.  So we ditched the original plan and set out on the Franklin Falls trail.  Great Choice!  Neither of us had been to Franklin Falls before and we were in for a good time.

Even with the snow, we could easily follow the trail on well packed snow with minimal postholing.  Lots of opportunities for pictures but the bright sun mixed with the heavy tree cover, reflective snow and reflective water made it difficult to capture well exposed pics.  We tried our hardest anyway.

After a short while we came across a long look up the river with a nice set of falls coming around a corner.  We dropped our packs and clicked off photos, experimenting with lots of camera settings and locations.   
Prelude to Franklin Falls
Prelude to Franklin Falls
Mini-fungi
Mini-fungi

I was ready to head back to the vehicle, when my buddy revealed that he didn't think this was Franklin Falls... just a warm-up.   huh.gif   Excellent!  Let's keep going!

Carefully picking our steps to avoid a non-stop slide right into the river, I looked up and saw this peculiar knob on a large Cedar tree.   
Cedar Knot
Cedar Knot

After pondering it for a bit, decided it looks like a lady with a bun in her hair holding a baby in her crossed arms... 
Woman with bun cradling infant
Woman with bun cradling infant

(forgive the blurry qualities).

Finally, we descended down toward the river and could hear the pounding water from what would certainly be a waterfall larger than I would have imagined.   
Franklin Falls
Franklin Falls

We could have spent hours here but the wind was blowing all the mist directly toward us.  It's hard to get great pics when your camera lens is covered with 'mist spittle'.  So, we snapped a few pics, put away the equipment, had a quick snack and returned to the vehicle by way of the road.

Since the weather was cooperating, we opted to check out the Talapus and Ollallie Lake trail.

Length:  Sign said 1 mile, I suppose that is each way, if you don't take the Road.  The Road is a lot shorter.
Elevation Change: Minimal.
Trail Condition:  1 blowdown and trail 95% snow covered.  However, under all that snow is clearly a pretty well stabilized trail with some segments that have non-stop-into-the-river-if-you-fall situations.

TALAPUS LAKE TRAIL
We arrived in the parking lot to find a lot of other vehicles (including 3 super-size white vans with official UW labels in the window), but still some open parking spots.

The beginning of the trail was completely snow-free, but we encountered snow after the first half-mile or so, and then the snow completely covered the trail for at least the last half of the route to Talapus Lake.  Even covered with snow, the trail was pretty easy to follow from all those who went before us.

Most of this trail stays near a drainage creek from Talapus and Ollallie lakes and it provides a lot of white-water views, but few (if any) locations for quality pictures... at least not when there is a lot of snow on the ground.  It's possible there could be good locations later in the year, I suppose.

We finally reached the lake and took quite a few pictures, ate lunch and enjoyed the sunshine.
Talupus Lake
Talupus Lake

The lake was mostly frozen, but I was captivated by the snow along side the lake where you could see the variety of snow layers.  Additionally, the lake water was very clear  and you could see all the rocks and logs at the bottom.  These two pics, using different exposures obviously, show the snow layers in one, and the other allows you to see some of the trees that are under water.   
Snow Layers
Snow Layers
Clear Waters
Clear Waters

We quickly returned to the vehicle and stopped along the gravel road for a quick shot of this roadside creek before returning to North Bend and encountering the beginning of a nice N.B. squall. 
Pre Talapus Trail Creek
Pre Talapus Trail Creek

Length:  Trailhead sign says about 2.2mi. to Talapus Lake
Elevation Gain:  About 900 feet (I'm guessing...) - very reasonable for the Cascades.
Trail Condition:  Easy to follow, with switchbacks.  Snow covered on last half.  Couldn't follow past Talapus to Ollallie due to snow.

My next outing will likely be next Sunday (May 7th).

Happy Trails!

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"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
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Ruhkr2
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 42 | TRs
Location: Washington
Ruhkr2
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PostSun Apr 30, 2006 1:16 am 
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I love waterfalls and love your pic on Franklin Falls!  I like the way you set up your trip report with pics showing us what you were seeing as you went along!   up.gif  smile.gif

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Curt
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Joined: 09 Jan 2002
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Curt
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PostSun Apr 30, 2006 7:53 am 
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Did you happen to notice if any fish were surfacing in the lake?  Are they awake and hungry yet?
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1801 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostSun Apr 30, 2006 8:52 am 
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Thanks Ruhkr.

Curt - I spent some time looking deep into that clear water, but didn't see any fish activity (of course, I wasn't looking for any).

Funny thing... I have some pics of Gold Creek Pond where you can tell the lake is frozen over on the top... and pics of Lake 22 where you can tell the lake is covered with Ice, but at Talapus, it looks much more like an iceberg than just 'frozen'.

Near the shore at the border between water and ice, you can look down and see the underwater portion of the ice extending out under the water - just like an iceberg.  I thought it was very interesting.

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"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
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