Lake Blanche Trail

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Utah 84062

Distance2.8mi
Elevation Gain2,774ft
Trailhead Elevation6,301ft
Top8,918ft
Elevation Min/Max6301/8918ft
Elevation Start/End6301/6301ft

Lake Blanche Trail

Lake Blanche Trail is a hiking trail in Salt Lake County, Utah. It is within Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and Twin Peaks Wilderness Area. It is 2.8 miles long and begins at 6,301 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 5.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,774 feet. Near the end of the trail is a camp site. This trail connects with the following: Mill B South Trail.

Lake Blanche Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Extremely popular and extremely scenic, Lake Blanche makes for a demanding hike to a gorgeous lake flanked by rugged high peaks, one of which in particular, 10,320-foot Sundial Peak, is fascinating for its truly distinctive shape. Situated in a glacial cirque, Lake Blanche has beauty in spades, and its trailhead is mere minutes from downtown Salt Lake City."

"A popular day hike into a rugged, glaciated canyon in the 11,300-acre Twin Peaks Wilderness in the Wasatch Mountains. Only 10 miles southeast of Salt Lake City in Big Cottonwood Canyon, this hike features huge glacial cirques, several lakes, jagged 11,000-foot peaks, and waterfalls.

From the trailhead, you hike about 3.5 miles and gain 2,600 feet of elevation to get to Lake Blanche.The well-marked trail parallels Big Cottonwood Creek east and then turns southeast to follow the west side of Mill B South Fork.Within 0.25 mile
the trail crosses a footbridge and cuts back to the left, remaining on the east side of the stream the rest of the way to Lake Blanche."

"The trail maintains a steady ascent for nearly 2000 feet until it arrives just south of Lake Blanche, at the base of the cirque. Grand views of Dromedary and Superior Peaks open up above, as well as of Lakes Blanche, Florence, and Lillian. Along with the wonderful view, the rocky slab south of Lake Blanche is interesting for striations in the rock, worn and smoothed by ancient glacial activity.

Small trails encircle the lakes, allowing for closer inspection. Between Lake Blanche and Lake Florence a small waterfall (or rapid) travels from one lake to the next. At the southwest end of each lake, old retaining walls are reminders of when these lakes were used as a watershed area. The hike’s proximity to Salt Lake City affords little solitude, but its beauty is fair compensation."

"Lake Blanche is one of the most popular hikes in the Salt Lake City area, not only because the walk is relatively short and the trailhead easy to get to, but because of the scenic beauty and the geologic attractions within the Lake Blanche Basin. Blanche and its two sister lakes, Florence and Lillian, sit in a high alpine basin that was dug out by a glacier during the last ice age.

Long straight scratch marks and deep polished grooves, etched out by the glacier, are still clearly visible on the stone surrounding the lakes. Picturesque Sundial Peak (10,320 ft.), which the Wasatch Mountain Club uses as its emblem, rises abruptly from the south shore of Lake Blanche, and Dromedary Peak (11,170 ft.) is only a mile to the southwest. Blanche, its two sister lakes, Dromedary Peak, and the Sundial are all part of Utah's 11,300-acre Twin Peaks Wilderness Area."

"Lake Blanche is a classic glacial tarn at the base of a cirque. The hike to Lake Blanche begins at the Big Cottonwood Canyon floor and follows the dramatically glaciated side canyon to an exceptionally scenic and remote alpine setting. It’s one of the most popular hikes in the Salt Lake area—and justifiably so."

"This is not the road less traveled. Though the climb is strenuous, the trailhead is easily accessible, the trail straightforward, and the destination a scenic glacial tarn at the base of Sundial Peak, which lords over the cirque below. One of the area’s more popular hikes, it provides a climb through shaded forest, up canyon meadows, and over glacially cut quartzite to three lakes at the top of the canyon: Lake Blanche and her sister lakes, Lillian and Florence, to the west. Slabs of quartzite and the surrounding forests allow space and time for reflection and exploration once you reach the lakes at the top."

Lake Blanche Trail Reviews

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7/18/2018
Tough beautiful hike with lots to see. Reaching the lake is worth the climbs! Be careful and steady climbing the rocks.
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7/13/2018
A hard hike, consistently uphill, to fantastic views. Awesome wildflowers and wildlife -- I saw two moose. The mosquitoes are pretty gnarly, so bug spray is a must. Watch out for too much sun and heat exposure. An intense workout but Lake Blanche is an amazing award.
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5/31/2018
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9/22/2012
One of the most spectacular hikes in the Wasatch. Fall colors this year were amazing with golden aspens and blazing maples. Steady ascent, but not too steep, leads to Lake Blanche with a stunning backdrop of mountains including Sundial peak. Absolutely gorgeous!
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7/12/2008
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11/7/2007
This was a great hike with well marked/maintained trails. The lakes at the top were incredible and I would recommend this to anyone but not those out of shape. They are not kidding about the 2,600 ft ele. change.
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8/25/2006
The trail provides a good workout for any hiker, especially if one is carrying camping gear. Although there are camping spots around Lake Blanche, I suggest one hike on to the lower lakes where there are fewer people and more privacy. For those interested in a relaxing afternoon with spectacular views the Lake Blanche trail can't be beat. Day hikes from Lake Blanche to Sundial Peak, Dromedary Peak and Twin Peak are very strenuous and require the proper gear, including in some cases ropes to safely summit some of the peaks. Reaching these peaks will require some bushwacking. you will be hiking/climbing through large boulder and scree fields. Be careful.
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7/29/2005
Beautiful well maintained trail with a great ending at Lake Blanche. This was a climb, not a hike - there were precious few flat areas. Very strenuous for hikers not used to the altitude. Wildflower meadows and aspen stands added to enjoyment.
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Lake Blanche Trail Photos

Trail Information

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
Nearby City
Twin Peaks Wilderness Area
Parks
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Salt Lake Ranger District
Local Contacts
USGS Mount Aire, Dromedary Peak
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018