Blanca Lake is the most striking lake that I have ever hiked to in Washington state. Best hike in 2020 hands down!
I hiked it on Sunday, July 19, 2020 and spent roughly 8 hours: 3 hours to get to the lake, about an hour and a half at the lake, and 2-ish hours getting back to the car.
According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, you’d be climbing 37 switchbacks and gaining 2,700 feet in 3 miles. It’s by far the HARDEST HIKE I have ever done.
Location: Central Cascades, Stevens Pass
Distance: 7.5 mi., round trip, 7+ hours
Gain: 3300 ft. Highest Point: 4,600 ft. at Virgin Lake (You’ll see Virgin Lake at the top before arriving at Blanca Lake.)
Blanca Lake gets its gorgeous turquoise color from the Columbia Glacier. It also looks blue at certain angles, and you can see the mountain and tree reflection on a nice sunny day. I also really enjoy hiking through the forest as a lot of the trees remind me of sequoia and redwoods. So definitely GO HUG A TREE!
Once arriving at Blanca Lake, there are plenty of spots to sit and enjoy the beautiful lake. Many people swim, and some even bring their inflatable kayak, floaty, and bikinis.
DO NOT FOLLOW GOOGLE MAP AND DO NOT EXIT ON INDEX ROAD BECAUSE IT’S A DEAD END. YOU MUST ENTER FROM THE EAST SIDE AKA THE “NEW” TRAILHEAD.
From Monroe (or if you’re coming from Seattle), keep on driving EAST on US Hwy 2 until you pass the town of Skykomish. Turn left on FR 64 or Beckler River Road.
After driving about 12 miles on Beckler River Road (you’d bee seeing some people camping along the tiny creek), take the second left at Jack Pass – a 5-way junction. Then keep on driving for about 2-ish miles, take a right on FR 63 at FR 63 and Garland Mineral Springs Road. Go for another 2 miles and you will see the trailhead shortly.
Northwest Forest Pass required. Day Pass and ePass: $5/car or America the Beautiful Pass works, too. However, it was free the day that I went because of COVID.
MY OUTFIT: tank top: HANES (thrifted) | shorts: NIKE running | bucket hat: ACNE STUDIOS | backpack: PATAGONIA | boots: KEEN | socks: DARN TOUGH
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