Lake Blanche is one of the most beautiful destinations, but it is a challenging seven miles to get there. It is such a beautiful hike and if you’re up for a difficult hike, this is one of the best! Part of what makes Lake Blanche so picturesque is striking Sundial Peak behind it.
The trail begins at the Mill B Trailhead next to the bathrooms. This is a popular trail, so parking fills up quickly, especially on weekends. The beginning of the trail is paved and is the same as the accessible Mill B South Trail. A few minutes into the trail there is a sign and a trail that leads off to the right, towards Lake Blanche.
The trail is easy to follow and a few minutes after splitting from the paved trail, there is a bench and a bridge across the stream. On the far side, head left to continue up the path.
The path is consistently uphill through pines, aspens, and incredible mountain views!
There is one section where you have to climb very briefly up some boulders. In the left photo below, you can see the lower trail and the upper trail with the switchback over the rocks. If you look across the rockslide, you can see a view of the city over the canyon walls.
The wildflowers are also stunning!
When you are on the boulders, this is your view looking up. Shortly after the boulders you get your first view of Sundial Peak. It is such a distinctive mountain!
Lake Blanche is the first lake you see as you come up the trail.
If you walk down to the right side of the lake you get a different view.
The snow has melted from this trail, but there is still some on Sundial Peak behind it. Behind Sundial Peak you can see a bit of Mount Superior and Monte Cristo. This trail is actually open year-round for snow shoeing or with spikes, but it is definitely a challenge, because it’s so steep for so long.
People also like to camp near the Lake. There is also a stream and little waterfall behind Lake Blanche.
There are also two smaller lakes: Lake Florence and Lake Lillian. This is a watershed area, so no pets and no swimming. Here is a peek at the other two lakes and the waterfall near them. For more details, click on this link.
This whole area and destination is very picturesque. Make sure you bring plenty of water (3 liters), snacks, and insect repellent. Also bring a flash light if there is any chance you might be walking in the dark. Be aware that moose and deer frequent this trail. We saw multiple deer up near Lake Blanche by the wildflowers. When we were headed down there was a bull moose blocking the trail in a place that we couldn’t circumnavigate. It took a few minutes before it moved along enough that we could sneak past.
Lake Blanche is a bit of a challenge, but it is definitely worth the effort!
Here is a link to a packing list.
Stats: Distance – 6.9 miler roundtrip
Approximate hiking time – 2 to 5 hours
Elevation gain – 2706 feet
Difficulty – Difficult
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks, boulders
Bathrooms – At Trailhead
Seasons to hike – Year-Round (Use micro-spikes in the winter)
Permits needed – None
Pets allowed – No
If you like Lake Blanche, you might also like Sunset Peak, Patsy Marley Peak, Mount Tuscarora, or Mount Wolverine.