Blanca Lake Trail is a 7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gold Bar, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length7.0 miElevation gain3,372 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingForestLakeRiverViewsWaterfallwild-flowersWildlifeRockyScramble
Description
Waypoints (7)
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Getting There

SEASONAL ROAD CLOSURE: Roads leading to this trailhead are subject to seasonal closure. For more information, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mbs/recarea/?recid=17938 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.

Northwest Forest Pass required. There is a vault toilet at the trailhead.

Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Skykomish District Tel: 360.677.2414 www.fs.fed.us/r6/mbs

This trail can get very busy on the weekends, so arrive early! The road leading to the trailhead has experienced washouts, and can close seasonally for snow. The route on this page has the hiker starting directly at the trailhead. If the road is inaccessible or the main parking area is full, you must park at a parking area further away. There is a lot at the intersection of Index-Galena Road and FR 63, that will add 4 miles round-trip to the hike.

If you are coming through US-2 east and the road to the trailhead is closed, pass Index and let the Google map reroute. Drive about 12 miles from index on US-2 east and take left on Beckler road and drive about 13 miles on USFD 6517, take left on USFD 65 and after 2 miles take left to hit USFD 62.

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Reviews (1,059)
Photos (1,129)
Recordings (725)
Completed (2,488)
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Monica Taylor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 13, 2021
Hiking

Looks so awesome! I’d like to know if anyone has hiked it lately. Pretty sure actual reviews are what most of us are looking for.

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Fiorella Ramirez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 10, 2021
HikingGreat!

Can y’all just start telling us your experience instead of going back and fourth thanks

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Carson Burek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 3, 2021
Hiking

Has anyone done this trail within the last few weeks? Is the road accessible with 4WD?

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Adrian Padilla Vega
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 31, 2021
Hiking

I do agree with Kyra's comment about Annie's review. Although Annie is providing good insight about the driving conditions specific to this trail, her leaving a 2 star review on this trail helps no one, and it just shows her frustration over a situation that any functional adult would expect. What does that review mean, Annie? That once you get a 4WD with good clearance, then the trail will magically become good enough for everybody to go? Please come back when you stop blaming the world for your mistakes.

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Rachel Lee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 25, 2021

I don’t mean to stir the pot, but to the commenter below me, I believe Annie’s comment is warning others to not attempt the drive in an inadequate vehicle, because she personally drove out with an appropriate vehicle and ended up having to tow out a car that had gotten stuck. Based upon my understanding of what she wrote. Of all the places we as humans yell at each other in comments, it would be great if we could leave no trace of that on all trails. :)

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Kyra Hegdahl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 28, 2020

Haven’t done this trail yet but I’m sure it’s beautiful. I’m just here leaving a review to call out Annie Archibald below me. I can’t believe you left a trail two stars because YOU didn’t bring a suitable car. What are you doing in the Washington wilderness during winter time with a Honda Fit? You really have the audacity to leave a two star review on the trail because of your own incompetence? I bet you would leave a poor review on a restaurant after you would show up already full. You are incredibly annoying, Annie!

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annie archibald
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarDecember 6, 2020
CampingIcySnow

Do not try to get to the trail without the appropriate car. Was going out camping and had to wench out a Honda Fit which got stuck in the snow miles from the trailhead.

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Becca Savino
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HikingClosedSnow

Cannot get to the trailhead!! Saw many trucks have to back out the way they came and my Subaru couldn’t make it either! Amazing hike last time I did it though :)

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Klaudia Pajolek
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HikingIcySnow
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Ashley Shay
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 9, 2020
HikingGreat!IcySnow

So beautiful! On the way to Blanca on the back side going down, you should have micro spikes & poles! Very icy and could easily slip.

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James Lees
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Hiking
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Cody Chhay
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Glenet kleemann
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HikingGreat!

worth every pain.

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Dustin Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 2, 2020
Hiking

Gorgeous day, no snow up there today just a little bit of ice, steep up and down, poles really helpful.

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Carly Kovacik
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 1, 2020
HikingMuddy

This is my favorite lake in Washington! I've hiked to Blanca Lake twice, once in Oct 2018 and again just a few days ago Nov 1 2020. After turning onto Beckler Rd off HWY2, road is unpaved after a few miles and youll drive this unpaved road for quite some time-overall any car could handle it but there are quite a few potholes. Not too crowded on Nov 1 despite it being a sunny Sunday. The hike itself is pretty strenuous. The switchbacks are relentless and then when they give way to the ridge, which is also pretty steep in spots. But, you'll catch a few peeks from Glacier Peak on the ridge to take your mind off of it. A lot of the snow had melted but there were some icy spots between the ridge and Blanca Lake. Had microspikes with me but got by without them-would prob make for a little faster hike in this section if you opt to wear them. Youll reach Virgin Lake after the ridge (not nearly as beautiful as Blanca but still neat-and frozen). You will then descend several switchbacks down to Blanca. It'll all be worth it in the end! No NW Forest Pass needed right now.

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Matthew S
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Shengyi Teng
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Hiking

Awesome!

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Chan Luy
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Dejah Sanchez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 29, 2020
HikingBlowdownIcyMuddyRockySnow

Not crowded today and everyone wore a mask (thank you!!!). Huge thank you to the man who helped navigate the non-trail that seems to have shifted due to the snow. Definitely needed traction devices and poles.

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Amber Khan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 29, 2020
HikingIcyMuddy
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