Blanca Lake Trail

HARD 236 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Blanca Lake Trail is a 6.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Index, Washington that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3415 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

Blanca Lake Trail is a popular mountain trail through Wild Sky Wilderness and Henry M. Jackson Wilderness with fantastic views along the way. On a clear day visitors will be treated to great views of Glacier Peak and Columbia Peak across the valley as well as the peak of Monte Cristo once you reach Blanca Lake. The highest point of the trail is at Virgin Lake and then descends to the southern shore of the gorgeous blue lake below. Waterfalls feed the lake from the Columbia Glacier which also gives the lake its turquoise green color. The Blanca Lake Trailhead can be reached from National Forest Road 63. For additional information check out the Washington Trails Association.

hiking
15 days ago

No service when I got there so couldn't track online, but this trail is awesome and long for the winter trek. my brother and I hit this today for the first time, the extra 2 miles one way make for a full day. We weren't moving very fast but made it just before virgin lake on the ridge and started post holing through to our waist. We were pooped at that that moment (Not knowing how close we were to the lake of course) and didn't finish the last 3/4 mile or so. But we will definitely be back. somewhat reminded me of pratt mountain on the way up but can't wait to see this majestic lake finally someday!! all said it was an 8 hour trek total. intermediate time. definitely not advanced speed wise. snow shoes recommended if there's anymore snow for the final mile, micro spikes worked great until we got too deep. side note that I think is important. with the extra mileage due to the slide its actually 12 miles round trip so plan accordingly

hiking
25 days ago

With the extra 2mi each way to access the real trail head tacked on, this makes for a long day, especially in winter months with shorter daylight hours. We took it slow with a minor ankle sprain on the way back, so from parking lot back to parking lot with very little time spent at the lake we finished in almost exactly 8 hours. It's doable in 7-7.5hrs. About 18in of snow in the deepest spots, traversible with microspikes. Crampons give you a little more security especially since the recent rain/freezing rain is going to ice things up. Don't underestimate this trail in the weather and/or darkness. It has a tiny bit of exposure and some steep sections. Path is easy to follow, though. It'd need 12+ inches overnight with drifting to make this one hard to navigate because of the trudging it has gotten. Lake is stunning an has a serenity to it that makes the trek worth it. Sounds like there could be a nice little waterfall below the lake, but it'd be hard to get to with all the markoffs for restoration areas.

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

A little bit of snow up top that is starting to get icy just before virgin lake. Blanca Lake itself was clear.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail. We had it all to ourselves. The access road was closed which added 2 extra miles before/after hike but they were an easy 2 miles so if you have the time I'd still say it's worth it. A little melty snow up top but nothing to make it too difficult. Did the trail last Friday.

hiking
1 month ago

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2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

FS Road #63 is currently closed to traffic, so you need to add 1.8 miles each way to this hike.
Beautiful lake.

2 months ago

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hiking
2 months ago

This was one of my favorite hikes of all time. I went on a hot summer day and jumped in the lake with some friendly fellow hikers I met at the top. It's a good one for experienced hikers.