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Blanca Lake

Difficult
 4.7 (16) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Journey to a downright gorgeous alpine lake!


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Map Key

11.8

Miles

19.0

KM

Out and Back

4,657' 1,420 m

High

1,668' 508 m

Low

3,634' 1,108 m

Up

3,639' 1,109 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

44%

Max Grade (24°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

According to the WTA website, the trailhead is currently inaccessible. Check here for updated information.

Overview

One of the lakes contributing to the beauty of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Also, one of the 100 Classic Hikes of Washington, so say The Mountaineers.

Need to Know

National Forest Road 63 is permanently closed due to 3 major washouts along the road to the trailhead. The washed out road adds 2 to 2.5 miles to the trail length both ways. This hike is now roughly 12 miles round trip NOT 7.7 miles. There are 45 grueling switchbacks along this trail and it is NOT for beginners! Take double the water that you normally take for a hike or bring a Life Straw.

Description

Begin your hike in a beautiful a second growth forest that could be mistaken for an old growth due to its sizable trees. The trail is easy to follow but begins switchbacks early on. At first, they are in the trees, and after you break the treeline, you continue your switchbacks on a rocky face with a welcome view of the surrounding mountains.

Before you know it, you'll find yourself on a ridge line that drops to a small lake, more or less desirable to be near, depending on how you feel about little critters and the season. Continue on to begin the descent to Blanca Lake - more primitive trail here than the rest of the hike. The gorgeous turquoise Blanca Lake is fed by the glacier in the middle of the framing peaks of Monte Cristo and Keyes.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jackie Clark with improvements by Mandy Evans

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 16 votes

#553

Overall
  4.7 from 16 votes
5 Star
69%
4 Star
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3 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#46

in Washington

#553

Overall
53 Views Last Month
3,746 Since May 28, 2015
Difficult

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8%
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Photos

Blanca Lake panorama
May 29, 2015 near Skykomish, WA
The view from the trail to the south/southwest.
Jul 26, 2019 near Skykomish, WA
Once you reach the top of the mountain, the views are amazing! This is the view to the north/northeast off the trail.
Jul 26, 2019 near Skykomish, WA
A fun little shuffle up some rocks on the trail. There's no getting around this as you have to go up it to continue on the trail and back down it to get off the mountain!
Jul 26, 2019 near Skykomish, WA
False "summit" before the main attraction
May 29, 2015 near Skykomish, WA
BLANCA LAKE! ... on a cloudy day
May 29, 2015 near Skykomish, WA

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Check-Ins

Jun 26, 2019
Esteban Contreras
Way harder and longer than expected. But so worth it
Oct 20, 2018
Jay Rosencrantz
Jul 28, 2018
Sophia Riffkin
12mi
Oct 2, 2017
Julia Proctor
Oct 1, 2017
Michael El-Jiz
Extra miles from closed road to trailhead 10.3mi
Sep 16, 2017
Paul Bond
Aug 28, 2017
Genna Olson
Aug 27, 2016
Michael Bautista
7.7mi