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Blanca Lake Trail is a 7.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Baring, 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.

Distance: 7.8 miles Elevation Gain: 3,441 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

scramble

snow

Note: The Index-Galena Road and Forest Road 63 provide access to this trailhead. These roads have had many issues over the years. The route on this page has the hiker starting directly at the trailhead. In the event that the main parking area is full, or the access roads are closed, you may need to park at the intersection of Index-Galena Road and Forest Road 63, adding several miles to the trip. You can find the status of the roads here: 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. Before last year there was a road leading directly to the trailhead. That road has since washed out and there no plans to fix it. Visitors must park outside of the closure and walk 2 miles to the trailhead. The "new" trailhead is reflected accurately on the map shown here.

nature trips
snow
2 days ago

Went on 3rd July. Stared at 12.30, reached at 3.30. Got lost a couple of times in the snow and lost 30 mins. Snow is manageable. The trail was not crowded, I saw some without hiking poles, but I am glad I took a mop head I could find at home. (Didn't plan ahead in order to buy one). If you are driving from Seattle, dont use Google navigation. Go to Skykomish and then use navigation. Direct navigation from Seattle takes you a washed out road. The lake was still thawing. 90% of it is still frozen. It was gloomy when I reached the lake. For almost 45 minutes it was just me at the lake. Waterproof hiking boots would be good. Take some dry socks and pants. I climbed up wearing a t shirt. Had to wear a jacket at the lake. I had to switch back to t shirt within 30 mins on my way back.

hiking
snow
4 days ago

hiking
off trail
snow
7 days ago

Getting here was such a challenge. We took Beckler to FS 65 to FS 63. Google maps was a total failure, I’m glad I downloaded he AllTrails map ahead of time because that’s what ended navigating us to the trailhead! Lung burning switch backs right off the bat. We got to about 4500 elev when it starts leveling out and it’s very snow packed. Even with the AllTrails map it was challenging finding the trail. We ended up turning around since we weren’t equipped to go down to the lake.

9 days ago

great hike

hiking
snow
11 days ago

hiking
icy
snow
16 days ago

My #1 tip is to DOWNLOAD the map from all trails app before heading to the trail head. This will help you stay on trail even when it is hidden and covered by snow. I started this hike at 6:40am and was out and back by 2pm. We stayed at the top for about 30 minutes and got off trail which probably added 30 minutes to our time. Overall the hike is beautiful and challenging. Bring lots of layers & hiking poles. We made it to the lake but it wasn’t easy. The lake is still 90% covered in snow so if you are going to see the bright blue waters, I suggest waiting till August when snow is melted.

hiking
icy
muddy
off trail
18 days ago

hiking
muddy
snow
23 days ago

Hiked on 14 June. Challenging. Microspikes, GPS and trekking poles are a must. Snow makes the trail very difficult to navigate on the descent into Lake Blanca. Several groups turned back and abandoned the attempt. However, if you can make it, the view is ethereal.

muddy
off trail
snow
1 month ago

Hiked this yesterday on June 6, 2020 and there was snow at the top. Recommend hiking poles, microspikes, and gaiters (gaiters optional or preference). DID NOT FINISHED THE TRAIL as we lost track of the trail around 4ish mile I believe. There is a part of Blanca Trail were it says descent starts but I couldn't find anything. My friend and I decided to call it after several attempts in finding the trail. It seems like the trail is maybe covered in avalanche snow and you can't find it. Im sure where there's a way there's a way but I decided to call it for our safety. Georgii Gobozov- I'm not sure how you did it? Road to Blanca Lake from Beckler Road is somewhat pothole central. I did it in my small car so it's doable. Hope you guys enjoy Blanca Lake. We did see the frozen pond right before Blanca Lake.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Take Beckler road from Skykomish not Index road. Road is rough in the middle part but I believe every car can make it. Snow all the way after 3.5k. I highly recommend bring ice axe if you want to go to the lake, there is steep slope descent and travers which will be much easier and safer with ice axe. Also recommend shoes with stiff sole to kick foot holds and hiking poles. Gaiters are optional I didn't experience postholes at all, but they can keep mud away though. Gps + map and some routefinding exp will pay off as well. Lake still full covered with snow so if you going for green water view wait month or so.

hiking
icy
muddy
off trail
snow
1 month ago

Awesome trail. Definitely a difficult one. Not easy to find either. Also after about 4 miles into the hike, there is still snow and you lose the trail and may have to turn around. I recommend waiting until the snow is gone to not be disappointed that you have to turn around after all the effort getting so far up and close to that amazing lake view. Not that this is rated as most difficult and not for beginners. It is 5 miles up and 5 miles down. But so worth it. Definitely going back when snow is melted and trail more clear.

snow
1 month ago

Two ways to go to this hike, but one of them is closed. So if you use just navigator to get the route, you will be go to the closed road. Right way is use 2 HighWay to go Skykomish, and there turn left on Beckler Rd. View on a top of the mountain is beautiful. For now, it's end of May, snow begins on the half way. And descent to the lake is totally under 3-4 ft of snow. We didn't reach Blanka Lake, will try again at end of the summer.

hiking
muddy
off trail
snow
1 month ago

The road to here is fine, it is not closed, take Beckler Road. A little over a mile into the actual trail the snow pack begins. You will lose the defined trail, but if you are using a GPS or tracks have already been cut, you will be okay. Very highly recommend bringing trekking poles, gaiters, and crampons. Hiking boots are a must for this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Road closed

muddy
scramble
snow
1 month ago

some snow about 4 miles from the trailhead but not too bad if you've got a good vehicle. about a mile up the hardpack starts and it's impossible to find the trail without gps. once you get up the ridge and past the meadow/virgin lake is where it gets extremely sketchy. it's about a mile straight down to the lake and again, tons of hardpack, non-existent trail and very icy. lake is still iced over so you won't get the same experience anyway. I recommend coming on a clear day and just hanging out on top of the ridge, great views there. the climb down to the lake probably needs another month to melt out before it's safe

hiking
bugs
icy
muddy
1 month ago

I was not able to make the trail on 5/10/2020, as the roads were completely covered with snow. To reach the trailhead itself we have to walk on snow for proximate 4miles. Try to avoid going this trail for at least a month

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