Blanca Lake Trail

Wild Sky Wilderness Area, Washington

Elevation Gain3,560ft
Trailhead Elevation1,966ft
Elevation Min/Max1947/4672ft
Elevation Start/End1966/1966ft

Blanca Lake Trail

Blanca Lake Trail is a hiking trail in Snohomish County, Washington. It is within Henry M. Jackson Wilderness Area and Wild Sky Wilderness Area. It is 3.5 miles long and begins at 1,966 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 7.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,560 feet. The Blanca Lake Trailhead parking is near the trailhead. There are also restrooms.

Blanca Lake Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

100 Classic Hikes Washington (The Mountaineers Books)
Craig Romano
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"Set in a large cirque in the rugged Monte Cristo peaks and fed by the Columbia Glacier and icy snowfields clinging to steep, stark slopes, Blanca’s location is as dramatic as any in the Cascade mountains. But what really strikes all who toil up the steep trail to this marvel is its cobalt-blue water, its sheen and tone constantly changing, depending upon the amount and angle of sunlight coming in contact with it." Read more
Hiking through History Washington (Falcon Guides)
Nathan and Jeremy Barnes
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"Enjoy a 7.5-mile hike into the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness to a unique alpine lake. Nestled in the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness at the bottom of a cirque formed by Kyes, Monte Cristo, and Columbia Peaks, Lake Blanca is something of a hidden treasure. At least it was at some point. Today the Blanca Lake Trail #1052 is very popular, drawing dozens of hikers down miles of gravel forest roads every weekend. We recommend this hike for most hikers, though some will find the elevation gain a little too taxing. Of course, as we mentioned, Lake Blanca attracts quite a few hikers, and you can expect quite a bit of company when you make the trek. However, this isn’t a hike to do early in the season to avoid the crowds, because the lake needs to thaw to reveal its trademark colors." Read more

Blanca Lake Trail Reviews

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Blanca Lake is unreal! It is one of my favorite hikes in the Pacific Northwest and I go every time I get the chance. Be prepared for a very strenuous hike -- I would recommend bringing trekking poles and obviously a lot of water. Dogs in good shape do well on this trip but it is probably a bit much for kids. Word to the wise: June is a little early to hike this trail because snow is still on the ground. It is much easier to navigate later in July and August. The blue-green waters of Blanca Lake are magical! Awesome hike.
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Did this hike with my husband, In Laws and our Lab yesterday and we were all in awe of the stunning aqua marine lake known as Blanca Lake! It was a tough hike but definitely do able. I hike very often and all over yet this is now my second favorite hike ever! There are some steep sections, not kid friendly but dogs are fine. Along the trail you will find beautiful meadows, huge old growth trees, and two lakes. You come to Virgin Lake first which is much smaller than Blanca Lake. Keep going past Virgin Lake and you will soon find Blanca Lake. There is a trail that will take you down to the water fall and down to the actual lake. It is a sight that should be seen by all! The ground cover and shrubs in the area are beginning to turn colors as fall is approaching which made for a beautiful sight as well! Enjoy!
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did this hike a little early, there was still about 6 feet of snow up at virgin lake and a little less at blanca. cold at night. hike down was a little scetchy but just head north and look for signs of the trail through the snow. crampons helped and an ice axe would have been nice. only one campsite thawed out at blanca lake otherwise set up tent on snow. mice were abundant and could hear avalanches.

Blanca Lake Trail Photos

Trail Information

Wild Sky Wilderness Area
Nearby City
Wild Sky Wilderness Area
Additional Use
Skykomish Ranger District—Skykomish Office, 74920 NE Stevens Pass Hwy., PO Box 305, Skykomish, WA 98288; (360) 677-2414;
Local Contacts
USGS Blanca Lake; Green Trails Map #143 (Monte Cristo)
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018