Great hike! Trail was all snow with some soft areas that made hiking a little more challenging but definitely manageable. Snowshoes or skis going down would've been nice but again not necessary. I'd suggest snowpants for sure though and microspikes if you have thme(i did not and it was fine). Good elevation gain, good workout, great views!
Gorgeous hike! We used spikes (which I STRONGLY recommend this time of year) and it was beautiful. The lake is covered in snow, and the trail isn't as packed down near the top. It's also pretty difficult- made harder by the snow. So keep that in mind.
On our way down a full grown moose darted across the trail (5 feet in front of us!) and grazed on the trail... we ended up waiting 2 hours during a blizzard while it was dark out for him to move. Eventually we called and had officers come get us because there was no way around him. They finally scared him off, but boy was it scary. If you want to hear the story, I wrote about it in my blog
We have visited countless times and each time we find something new, someplace we didn't see before. My young kids (2, 4, and 6) absolutely love it! There are easy, kid friendly trails and depending on how adventurous/brave you are, some moderate trails that lead up to an awesome rock climb.
It's been years since I've done this hike, so we can back and did it again! I definitely recommend some microscopes or snowshoes right now, it's slipped on the snow without them. it's such a gorgeous hike, and a pretty tough hike that doesn't relent much in elevation gain. I definitely recommend!
[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. :)