[I originally planned to hike Mount Olympus, but due to avalanche risk I didn't. Boy I'm glad I didn't!]
This is one heck of a workout, especially if you're not used to the elevation. (I'm from Ohio.) It was very easy to find my way with the clear path in the snow, but I imagine it could be difficult to follow after a heavy snow. Man does the trail get steep in some spots, and the climbing really never ends. I'm usually a very fast hiker, but as I got closer to the top I had to stop every several minutes or so to catch my breath. I was actually dizzy at times. Yikes! I never really caught my breath until I got to the lakes and sat down a while for lunch, and then I felt great again. No problem hiking down.
I hiked up with hiking shoes and poles, then put on show shoes at the top as the snow was quite deep, then used the snow shoes the whole way down. What a great trail! Would love to do it again.
Lake blanch trail is absolutely amazing For hiking, camping and sight seeing. and the trail is defiantly a good workout as well as a good reminder to be prepared. It was a hot day and a bit smoggy as well due to wild fires in California but I made it with my water and snacks and thank goodness for water and snacks! this hike really seemed to push me harder than any other hike so far but once I reached lake blanch and had my lunch some good old exploring was defiantly part of the menu.
and to my surprise I soon found out that lake Florence and lake Lillian where closer than I thought! you can actually see all three lakes at the same time if you stand between lake Blanche and lake Florence and even though the sky's were smoggy the view was still breathtaking. Plus on my way back to the trail I ran across a mama moose and two babies, so I sat and watched them drink and play in the water of lake Lillian for another thirty minutes before descending. :)
Hiked this trail plenty of times in the summer, and just did my first winter ascent. It was beautiful, the trail is quite well packed. Lots of people snowshoeing but almost as many without. I used micro spikes and one trekking pole. The pole was essential in my opinion. A few stretches of the trail are soft and you easily sink thigh deep. Worth the effort for the wonderful views.
Trail was well packed today, used microspikes going up and snowshoes on the way down, but people were bare booting it. Parking at the trail head wasn't too bad in the morning, but was crowded when I got down. Beautiful area, will have to go back in the summer.
Hiked this trail on January 1st! The trail is well groomed. The first 2/3 is a steady incline.. the last 1/3 is a series of steep(er) switch backs and a few steep climbs. The scenery was beautiful! Took us 2 hours to the top, about 45 minutes down. . but we boogied on the way down..! All in all, a fun but at the end a challenging hike. DO IT!
I love this hike in the summer but the winter is incredible. Lots of wildlife and beautiful views all the way up the canyon. I thought the snowshoes may be a tad overkill until I reached the second half of the hike where it begins to steepen and snow drifts became knee deep in some places. The weather was crazy with rain and snow mix but the summit was just clear enough to get some shots of sundial peak.
Took this beautiful hike on a Sunday morning. It's a steady incline the entire route so be prepared. Do take the time to continue past Lake Blanche to Lake's Lilian and Florence. I spent a good 45 minutes at both with no other hikers in sight. It was simply gorgeous.
The one thing to note is that this trail never lets up- its all uphill to the lake, and all downhill back to the trailhead. This is a challenging trail for those who do not regularly hike, and a good workout for those who do. Some snow and slush on the trail, but mostly wet dirt. 4 stars because the scenery while hiking up the trail isn't that wonderful until you get to the lake. I suspect as we get more snow through the next week this trail will become packed snow. The weather has been great and the crowds were not too significant. Parking on the S-curve during the weekend is now doable without too much parking space hunting. I lost a Subaru car key on my hike the other day and was overjoyed to see that someone had found it and left me a note. Thank you!!