Explore North - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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We did this hike on July 29th. This is an easy hike that our 3 year old can easily walk himself. Even though it’s a short hike, I still recommend bringing water. A great place to pack a picnic.

Great hike. Last 5 miles to the trailhead requires careful driving as the road is pretty basic. A little hazy today so visibility was just okay. Bring bug spray!

Arrived at 10 am on a Monday; only 2 cars in parking lot. Really nice views of river and forest. Will do again. Trail in great shape. Enough elevation change to be aerobic with no bugs. Very little water on trail, can easily hike in sneakers; suspect it's a different story earlier in season. As others have noted, access road needs grading, low clearance vehicles may have problems.

Beautiful hike. Well maintained "manicured" pathway that's friendly to visitors of all abilities including kids on strollers. Trail ends near the caves and many will go off the trail to get close at their own risk.

Very lovely hike. Absolutely gorgeous waterfall.

watson lakes were great. anderson lake not so much. pretty buggy

Neat, short trail. Decent little hike. Very public-friendly. Prone to crowds. Amazing views. Was very rainy before the holiday this year, but still well-worth the hike. LOTS of dogs

hiking
8 days ago

I went on the 4th of July. I lucked out with parking. Judging by the amount of cars, I considered not going but was able to get a parking spot at the trailhead. Based on the amount of cars, I was pleasantly surprised to not really meet up with too many people for the about the first mile. The rocks weren't as bad as the roots as people have mentioned. I wouldn't take little kids but I saw plenty trekking without a problem. I had a dog and encountered about 18 others throughout the day. All but one were on leashes. The mud greets you near the top. I'd say the last half mile. The worst part were the bugs at the top. I didn't notice them once I crossed the wood planked walkway. definitely be prepared. Beautiful, relatively easy hike. I'd defi do it again.

hiking
10 days ago

easy to find, well maintained, mostly shaded moderate hike. would definitely do it again. nice little lake at the top to stop and eat lunch.

backpacking
12 days ago

Very rewarding hike with a beautiful lake. Would recommend getting an early start on this one to beat the bugs and crowds later in the day. Camping is not allowed at Blanca Lake however there is plenty of camping spots at Virgin Lake.

Great easy hike! My 6 year old had no trouble going there and back and even we spent time "exploring" the edges of the ice caves for a few hours before heading back. No T-mobile cell service shortly after getting onto mountain loop highway. Our only complaint today were the aggressive flies near the end of trail near the ice caves.

hiking
12 days ago

So so beautiful! But definitely the hardest hike I’ve ever done. It seemed like we would never get there but we finally did! I would definitely say take PLENTY of water. I drank 4 bottles by myself.
Check the weather before you go. We went yesterday and the weather was perfect. I think like 70-72 the whole day. I can’t imagine doing that hike in hotter weather. It would be miserable. We forgot bug spray and the bugs didn’t bother us too bad. I don’t think i have bites at all. They were only a nuisance when we stopped to take a breather. We got there and started on the trail around 11:30-12. We got back at 7:50. So it was a very long day but totally worth it. Make sure you wear hiking boots, if you don’t have any make sure you wear tennis shoes with GOOD SOLES.

The worst part was the 2 mile walk back because
It felt like it would never end.

Wonder hike not to difficult. We did with three kids in about 1.5 hours one way and camped for one night. Found some great cliffs to jump off into really clear water.

did this trail October 2017. went with a group of 4, which was a good size. it was cool in temperature but no one in the lake. cool rock wall at the lake.

Did this hike today. Started at 6:30am and it took us about 8.5 hours total, including about an hour at the lake. The climb up was strenuous, but it was all well maintained switchbacks. Once you reach the top of the switchbacks, there is a meadow, then Virgin Lake, then the trail down to Blanca lake. The hike is not technical and there are even stairs at a few points. It was well worth it for the view of the lake and several vistas along the way. I would recommend getting an early start to avoid bugs and crowds. There were only two other people at the lake when we got there around 11, and the sun lit up the lake closer to noon. We weren't attacked by any bugs until we started back down the mountain, and it was a lot busier later in the day too. Happy hiking!

hiking
13 days ago

Challenging and very worth it. It took us about five hours to do the trail including around the lake. We saw some fresh bear scat on the other side of the lake.

hiking
14 days ago

Please be aware the trail app takes you to the WRONG DESTINATION, please DONT FOLLOW it.

If you’re using high way 2 from cashmere; go past the Skykomish ranger station and turn right after the station. Follow the road for about 13 miles, it will turn into a dirt road. At the end of the road you will walk about 2.5 miles to the trail head and then about 7 miles round trip to Blanca Lake.

If coming from Goldbar; get to mile mark 50 then turn left and follow the same route as stated above.

It sprinkled and then pored rained on ya the last 1.5 miles. It wasn’t worth it but I bet on a clean day it’s nice.

Good luck to all hikers and please be safe.

Lovely evening walk 30 mins. in and 30 mins. out, the trail is so easy you could push your grandma in a wheel chair, well almost. Saw 3 people do it in flip flops. Berries available for snacking. Cave made it's own fog and it was visible at 8pm, very cool to see. Waterfalls are full and many. Lot's of downed trees in avalanche zone from a windstorm years back. LOVE this walk and nice picnic tables with a mountain view near first parking lot. Go late and avoid the crowds and enjoy the bird calls.

hiking
14 days ago

Thimble berries and huckleberries season is open, the snack bars line the trail. This trail is shaded and a good choice if it is hot. I found it moderate/hard as there are a lot of tricky steps with roots or rocks and hiking sticks helped a great deal. Looks like the Gardener was hard at work, the trail around the lake is lined with ferns and charming Bunch Berry in bloom. A swim in the clear water was the best reward and the GREEN is a balm to the eyes. You will love it! A perfect wedding anniversary hike!

walking
15 days ago

Great hike for a beginner and families.

This was a BEAUTIFUL hike up to the caves with an even more beautiful finish. It was fairly easy if you’re well and able to hike at a small incline.

hiking
16 days ago

Breathtaking! By far the hardest yet most amazing hike I have ever been on. Pack plenty of water and bug spray. The bees and flies were ridiculous. But it was so worth it!!

The road to the old trailhead is still washed out and won’t be repaired, so add the 4mi round trip. The hike can be a challenge, but just go early and take your time if needed. The lake is absolutely amazing.

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful and exhausting hike! Be prepared for lots of bugs. Never ending switchbacks will make you want to turn around. Bring lots of water.

One of the best hikes ever! Beautiful hike and warm lakes :) Too many bugs though...

Great hike and a beautiful view. I jumped in the lake and it was cold but felt so good from the hike.

Tough trail but manageable with hiking sticks. It's definitely not a beginner trail. The uneven terrain with rocks and roots going uphill on the way to the lake was quite an adventure. But on the way back it's all downhill!!

amazing hike! No so much bugs and water warm and clear!

hiking
18 days ago

INSANE amount of bugs on the trail! We did this hike on July 29. The weather was hot and humid. We just couldn’t even stand for a minute because of the bugs which included flies, mosquitoes and bees. There are new views except at the end of the trail.

Really pretty trail! Very scenic but highly populated. Make sure to go to all the caves! The last one was by far the best! Very easy trail

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