Explore the most popular forest trails near Index with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

The lake is just magical. Must return on a clear day.

14 hours ago

I’m 22, 5’1, 120lbs and I left my body and soul on the trail. This is hike is definitely difficult. It took my group and I about 3.5+ hours to get to the lake. I’d say this hike has 2 parts. The first part is the most intense, you’re going on a steep uphill for about 2 hours? It seems like never ending, never look up it’s discouraging. Bugs weren’t bad, weather was fine. The second part is when it plateaus a little then you go down hill for 1.5 hours? When you get to the lake go to the small little water fall on the left side of the lake it’s beautiful there. Water is cold.
Tip: WEAR GOOD SHOES. I wore running shoes and they were not comfortable throughout the trip
Bring at least 2L of water! You will be sweating tons
Enjoy the hike!

Well maintained, light traffic, beautiful and not a huge commitment. I had trekking poles but didn’t hugely need them. No sign of bears, just an odd amount of slugs drying in the sun. Easy parking, free and no way to get lost.

not a hard hike for kids

on Heybrook Lookout Trail

7 days ago

Up, up, and up. It seemed to never end. I have done longer hikes with more of an elevation gain, but this one hits you very fast and strong. Someone else suggested poles, I agree and wished I had brought mine.

Nice short hike, great view! Would do again!

14 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.

14 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.

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!

We did this with the kids. They are 8 and 10. They loved it. We saw Bear skat and tons of fell trees. I suggest bringing bear spray or carry a bag of cayenne pepper just in case. The view is incredible!!! Great family hike!

16 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.

18 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.

18 days ago

Well, I told the kids it was pretty flat and easy (based on the trail report), but nah...it had quite a bit of up. It wasn't hard though and its 1.66 to the top. There are markers along the way at .25, .75, etc. So its 3.2 miles from bottom to top and back. Great views. My 3 teenagers breezed up it even though they told me once again I lied about it being flat. We were there on a Tuesday at noonish and it was about 85 degrees. There was a nice breeze and was under cover the whole way until the last bit. The trail is great. Not many rocks and roots like some other hikes, so I can imagine it gets pretty slippery in the rain, so make sure you aren't wearinf flip flops or converse type shoes in the rain. Shh....this is a new trail, so not many people know about it. We were one of two cars at the trailhead. There is a porta potty. The only reason I didnt give 5 stars is because the power lines are ugly. But still a cute little jaunt. It got our hearts pumping a bit and we felt great after.


18 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.

20 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.

Lol..whoever rates this as easy must be either an idiot or such an expert hiker that they could do this in their sleep. I’m in decent shape and had a rough time with it so just beware, not easy, get ready to work for it. Good hike though.

24 days ago

Very difficult but very rewarding hike to this gorgeous lake up in the mountains, went last year and it was definitely a one to remember! Always get an early start as it has a million switch backs and it gets harder as you go up! If I remember correctly the trail was very maintained and no overgrowth

27 days ago

Definitely get an early start on this one, you will thank yourself. The hike is worth the final destination, but it’s not a hike that should be started in the afternoon. It took us approx. 3.5 hours to get up from the car (2 miles from the trailhead due to road washout) and 3 hours to get down. The trailhead warns you might need a map and compass to navigate the snow on the ridge, but this definitely was not necessary - we just followed all the packed down snow. The offline-AllTrails map with GPS also helps.

it was easy to spot this trail-head. And also quite short kind of a hiking for me.Just a few switchbacks and you will be there in a heartbeat.
View top of the tower was beautiful . Renting out top portion of this tower can be great idea but that will be the only reason i can come back to this trail again.

It’s ~8 miles round trip from the trailhead, ~4 miles round trip hike from the car to the trailhead, so it was about 13miles total, it is up hill all trail except the last mile to the lake, the trail goes down. Bring enough water.

on Blanca Lake Trail

28 days ago

It was harder than I thought it would be. But the reward is amazing and totally worth it. The lake is stunning.

28 days ago

Nice trail. Took the family and the dog. Kids (ranging in age from almost nine to almost 5) all did it without complaint, and all had a great time. It was a little slippery on the way down for the almost 5 year old, but other than that there were no issues. Great view at the top, nice parking at the bottom.

29 days ago

Hike was 13 miles total. 1.8 to get to the actual trailhead, and another 4.7 up to the lake. This app doesn’t take you to the right trailhead, so we had to ask for directions.
Go to mile 50 on highway 2, and turn onto Beckler River Rd. You’ll come to a fork in the road, stay left. There’s a couple of miles of gravel road until you get to the parking area.
Overall difficulty: hard. Uphill the whole way!

29 days ago

We walked about two miles on mostly flat terrain to get to the trailhead from the car, due to the road washout. The hike itself is definitely a workout. It’s a pretty steep climb with a ton a switchbacks, but the plus side is that it’s only for the first 2.5 miles. After that you drop down to the lake, which makes everything well worth it. It took me about 2.5 hours to get to the lake, stayed at the lake for about an hour, and 2 hours to get back to the car. I would recommend getting an early start if you plan to do this hike.

This should be considered a Moderate trail.

1 month ago

Beautiful views but we had to walk a mile or so to access the beginning of the trail since it was closed for repairs

Great hike! very challenging as its switchbacks almost the whole way up. We reapplied bug spray 6 times, they are vicious. we had our dogs on leash the whole way up and on the way back down we let them off due to the rocky scramble. We ran into a park ranger on the way down and she told us that it was not required to have the dogs on leash, which was comforting and I wish I would have known sooner. I tracked the hike on my phone, it was a total of 12 miles round trip from car to the lake and back. Be prepared!

1. Tracked this hike and it's a total of 17 miles from car to lake and back to car. You hike 2.5 miles from your car to the actual trailhead.
2. Left at @10:30am, Lake @1:30pm, hung out for an hour, then got back to our car @6:30pm
3. Absolutely the most hardest hike I've ever done, but stunning and rewarding.
4. Bring a suit! You've got to jump in the lake, it's definitely worth it.
5. (tip) Some parts of snow, but dig toe down as you cross, at least that's what I did
6. (tip) The descent is hard on your feet!
7. Bug spray is a must. They're super aggressive out there.

beautiful trail with wonderful views. the switch backs were gradual which was nice but still steep and long even when coming back from the lake. Bring a minimum of 2L of water!! Made this mistake and ended up eating snow on the way back. the section in snow was completley manageable in runners.

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