Sep 08, 2012
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Blanca Lake
- Region: Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
- Agency: Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest
- Trails: Blanca Lake (#1052)
- Avg Rating: 4.24
The trail is a steep climb over a mountain and then another steep climb down to the lake. Contrary to the description, this hike is not too bad. It kind of reminded me of Mount Si. If you've done Mt. Si (to the top that is), you can definitely do this one. It's steep, no question, but it's only 3.5 miles to the lake. I even saw a "bigger" couple dressed in business casual attire at the lake, which was interesting. I can't imagine they had an easy time of it, but they made it to the lake nonetheless. Yay. I wouldn't recommend bringing first-time hikers on this one. It might be their last. But it's definitely the place to take out-of-towners who brag about how much more beautiful their state is compared to Washington. This lake settles the dispute for good. The pictures are amazing, but can’t replace seeing it in person. That said, whatever you do, do not forget your camera.
At the lake, there is plenty of room to camp if you can lug all that gear up. This is perfect for a one-night stay. You really wouldn't want to stay longer than that, since the lake can get very crowded (think Lake Washington on a hot day crowded) and there isn't too much to explore beyond the lake itself. I don't recommend camping here unless you live more than 3-4 hours away from the trailhead. If you live 1-3 hours away, I recommend packing a lunch and finding a more remote area around the lake to hang out for a few hours before making the trek back. I like to call this "day hiking with benefits"--all of the benefits of backpacking with a nice hot shower and comfy bed at the end of the day :)
There were really no bugs to speak of whilst we were there. The weather was very warm (80-ish), but it was a good idea to pack a jacket since it began to rain right after we left the lake.