Area: Bandera

Length: 5.9

Elevation: 1880 +2300 -750

Condition: good

Solitude: low

Appeal: medium

Features:
Pratt Lake
Views of Mt. Rainier over Ollalie Lake

Difficulty: moderate

Administered: USFS, North Bend R.D.

Trailhead: Pratt Lake / Granite Peak

Connects to: Talapus / Ollalie trail
Tuscohatchie / Melakwa trail
Bandera Plateau trail

Guides: ALWsm, DNSnoq

Maps:USGS Bandera, Snoqualmie Pass
Green Trails Bandera, Snoqualmie Pass


 

map

Overview

A trail that is not terribly wild, but with lots of features and easy to follow on an even pace. A pretty if not unusual lake, with clear water and firm shorline. This was once a prime camping destination, far enough away to escape most of the crowds, without too much agony to get there.

 


Pratt Lake

Pratt Lake

Details

From the highway-side trailhead, the trail heads slightly west of due north, then soon takes a tack to the right, beginning a relatively straight 0.5 mile uphill slant to the northeast. At 0.5 miles, switch back to the northwest, continuing the same even uphill pace to reach the Granite Mountain trail junction at 1.0 miles. Pass it, continuing straight, onward and upward, reaching the Talapus / Olallie Lakes junction at 2.8 miles. Here the uphill trend moderates a little, as you circle counterclockwise high above the east shore of Olallie Lake, with some excellent views down to the lake and beyond.

Olallie view

Pratt Lake

Pass a little creek that feeds Olallie Lake at 3.4 miles. This is a reliable source of water, but be sure to filter from the non-doggie side of the trail. At 3.8 miles, reach the clearly marked junction, where you could stay left to reach the Bandera Plateau. Take the right turn, gaining just a few more feet to cross over the gentle pass. Downhill at last. As you descend there are views across the lake and into the upper Pratt River valley.

Older maps often show a rather inaccurate historical location for this descending leg of the trail. There are a few switchbacks, immediately at the pass, and then the trail angles to the northwest a considerable distance, finally reaching a small boulder field. Here, it switches back right, eastward and still downward, until reaching some firm ground just above a marshy area. Relatively easy and level trail from here curves north, passing high along the east shore of the Pratt Lake, with stony tread and walls of brush. At 5.9 miles, reach the day use area at the lake outlet, on the north end of the lake.

Pratt Lake

This location can be busy at times. The shoreline is generally sturdy. If you are stopping here, you can cross the outlet creek to find a comfortable rock for staring back up the lake to the slopes of Pratt Mountain. For camping, continue on the trail a short distance to the north, and look for some very old camps under the trees on the right; or there are also rough camps as you ignore the "trail not maintained" sign and start down the nearly forgotten trail into the Pratt River valley.

Most of the people going further will take the half mile east on the Tuscohatchie Trail to Tuscohatchie Lake.