Lake Blanche is one of the most beautiful destinations, but it is a challenging seven miles to get there and back. It is such a stunning 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 and aspens.
The mountain views are incredible along this trail!
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.
This is a fun place to take photos and you might see small wildlife like this pika!
If you look across the rockslide, you can see a view of the city over the canyon walls.
The wildflowers are also stunning!
I really want to hike it in the fall, but haven’t yet. There were a few colors when I hiked it once.
When you are on the boulders, this is your view looking up.
There is another great viewpoint with a ledge to take it all in.
You get your first view of Sundial Peak. It is such a distinctive mountain!
I haven’t yet hiked it in the winter, but you can get some great shots from the Lower Mill B North Fork Trail.
Lake Blanche is just beyond that lower rise.
Here is me heading up the last few minutes of the trail. You can still see the Salt Lake Valley below from the top of the rock.
Lake Blanche is the first lake you see as you come up the trail. The first picture was taken in August of 2020, at the peak of the drought, so the lake was low. The sunset picture was in August of 2019.
There is an old dam on the far side of the dam. It is hard to see in the in the pictures above, but on the far side. Lake Blanche was part of Salt Lake Cities water supply from the early 1900s up until 1972. The dam helped direct the surplus snow melt.
Lake Blanche is incredibly beautiful!
If you walk down to the right side of the lake you get a different view.
You can add on another mile round trip to continue to Lake Florence and Lake Lilian. Behind Sundial Peak you can see a bit of Mount Superior and Monte Cristo. People also like to camp near the Lake. The trail to Lake Blanche is actually open year-round for snow shoeing or with spikes in winter, but it is definitely a challenge, because it’s so steep for so long. It is gorgeous at all times of day!
There is also a stream and little waterfall behind Lake Blanche and another waterfall towards the smaller 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, one behind the other. For more details, click on this link.
This whole area and destination is very picturesque. You can also wander in the wildflowers closer to the trail back down.
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 (it might take longer than you think). 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.
Here are a few more photos from the Lake Blanche trail!
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