Blanca Lake Trail is a 6.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Index, WA that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The USDA site states: Drive US Highway 2 to just west of milepost 50 (located between the town of Skykomish and the Skykomish Ranger Station). Turn north onto Beckler Road #65, toward Beckler River Campground. From US Highway 2 on FS Road #65, drive 15 miles and turn right on FS Road #63. Continue for 1.8 miles and turn left at the junction for the entrance to Blanca Lake trailhead. Mile 12.5 from Highway 2 (Jack Pass) - *this is where everyone gets lost* You'll enter a circular intersection/clearing. You want to take the second left in order to continue on 65. (not the sharp left turn) There is a sign for 65 right at the start of this road (once you have already taken this turn correctly). Going straight gets you to a dead end quickly.
First of all, ignore the listed length of this hike. 6.5 miles is an inaccurate extrapolation of the present realities of this trail. The road to the trail head is washed out. There is some considerable length added to this hike. (My pedometer gauged 11.7 miles round trip.)
Once you actually make it to the trail head, be prepared for a switchback challenge for the better part of your day. This was a grueling hike, and worth every drop of sweat! The lake is impossibly beautiful.
Don't be daunted by the reality of this challenging hike, but be prepared to commit yourself for the better part of a day. I started at 7:30 AM, and made it back to my car at 4:30 PM. On the hike down, about 1/2 mile into the trail, I met a group of eager people, with smiles on their faces, asking me cheerfully if they were almost there. I just smiled sympathetically, and told them, "Good luck!" Make sure to be ready for a committed hike, with a view at the end which will definitely make it worth the trip!
beautiful lake!! wished it had a sign anoucing virgin lake, n just an extra sign to let u that u are almost at blanca.. sometimes i thougth i could have been going tje wrong way.. but over all beautiful hike, hard since its all uphill going towards blanca lots of rocks.
Too hard for us! But the view is very wonderful!
The view at the end is always worth it! Don't give up.
One my favorite hike!!! The lake is breathtakingly BEAUTIFUL!!!! I definitely got a good workout but it's totally worth it! The trail was slippery going down from virgin lake to Blanca lake. Trekking poles will definitely help. It's about 12 miles round trip due to road closure.
It is 11.5 miles, you have to park your car 2 miles before the trail starts which adds up total or 4 extra miles. It would be good idea to go on sunny day and start hike early. We went around 8:00am got at lake around 11:30am, only few small breaks and took 3 hours to come back. When we reached the lake it was mesmerizing.
Thinks to remember:
1.Take a lot of water and snacks with you. It is hard hike so stay hydrated.
2. Bug spray if needed we had it but did not use it because bugs were not too bad.
3. Go early to beat the heat and this hike requires $5 fees so Have some money and discover pass also.
4. Since it's not 7.5 miles be ready to do extra 4 miles. Total of 11.5miles
This hike was hardest hike for us so far but the view worth the hike. I would highly recommend to go there at lest once in life time. The view is breathtaking!!!
Good luck, you will love it.!!
Hiked 15 August 2016
about 12 total miles including the road. Went on a rainy/cloudy day so we did not get the glamorous reward at the top we had hoped for.
Best bang for your buck off Hwy 2. Always gorgeous.
My fitness tracker says we hiked for almost 15 miles. It's "2 miles" from the road to the trail, there and back that's 4 plus 3.5 each way on the trail that's 7+4= 11 miles. Not sure how we ended up hiking an extra 4 miles. Spectacular views from the top of the mountain, before you start descending into Blanca. Totally worth it, pictures do not do this place justice, they never do. It's a very beautiful lake, a hike I would do again.
very great hike !! i loved it just need to do 2 extra mile to the trail head since road closed
Beautiful Lake. The additional hike to parking is tough at the end of hike.
This was difficult on a warm day. Breath taking! Bug spray is a necessity as there are a lot of mosquitos and flys that will swarm you. A landslide washed out the road, adding on miles to even get to the trailhead. From start to finish, my phone tracked 14.2 miles total.
Difficult hike but the lake is worth it! Lots of switchbacks and it was a very steep ascent. A beautiful hike that I would do again!
Start early!! You have to hike an extra 4 miles (round trip) to get to the trailhead. It's about 3.5 hours up and 2 hrs down.
Just returned from hiking to Lake Blanca. A spectacular destination with the lake set in front of beautiful mountains and an active glacier. The lake should be called Verde as it is green due to the glacial flour from the glacier melt. The original road to the trailhead is closed due to major washouts, so plan on an extra 2 mile hike both ways. Really felt it going out! The hike is steep with many long switchbacks. Lots of roots on the trail which help with traction going up but tend to be a bit slippery going down. A great view of Glacier Peak at the top. When you finally drop down to the lake, the trail is steep and if muddy a real pain. Fortunately is was dry (for now) so no big problem. Some nice overlooks just above the lake are possible at the popular photo spot. A great hike but it kicked my butt as a long uphill going back then a long hike out. Well worth the effort!