Monday, February 8, 2016

Lake Blanche

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Lake Blanche Trail guide, Lake Blance, Utah, Lakes in the Wasatch Mountains, Lake Blanche trail map
Lake Blanche is one of the most picturesque lakes in the Wasatch Mountains. With Sundial Peak over looking the three lakes (Blanche, Florence. & Lilian) and with the surrounding mountains creating a bowl of amazing views, it's hard to leave the trail to head back to your car. Lake Blanche is a perfect place to have a picnic, spend the day relaxing, it would be great for a quick over night backpacking trip, or if you are feeling motivated to keep going, you can hike up to the ridge or above the Sundial. 

I usually hike up here every summer, but this year I wanted to see it snow covered with blue bird skies. I picked the right day to head up! I started hiking at 8:15 am to be the crowds. You don't want to get to the TH any later than 9am on weekends, because parking will be full. Once I got to the lake, I was the only one there, and had time to enjoy the view and relax by myself. In Winter, bring a thermos of chocolate or tea, something to sit on, and take time to enjoy the views.

From SLC, head south on I-15, then East on I-215. Take exit 6 for 6200 S/Wasatch Blvd, and turn right. Turn Left at the 7-11 for Big Cottonwood Canyon. Head up the canyon for 4.7 miles. Right at the "S" curve, on the south side of the road, you will see the trailhead sign for Mill B South. If the parking area is open, park there, or during winter you will need to park along the road.

Distance: 6 miles RT
Elevation Gain: 2,700 ft
Time: Varies 2-8 hours depending on how long you stay at the lake
Dog friendly? No. This is located within watershed limits, and therefore no dogs are allowed in all of Big Cottonwood Canyon
Kid friendly? Older kids, yes
Lake Blanche Trail guide, Lake Blance, Utah, Lakes in the Wasatch Mountains, Lake Blanche trail map
 This is the TH. In Summer, you can drive past this gate into a small parking lot.
Lake Blanche Trail guide, Lake Blance, Utah, Lakes in the Wasatch Mountains, Lake Blanche trail map
 There are restrooms, however in Winter they are locked. Continue past the sign.
Lake Blanche Trail guide, Lake Blance, Utah, Lakes in the Wasatch Mountains, Lake Blanche trail map
 Look for the small Lake Blanche TH sign and a larger one above it - this is the turn off.
Lake Blanche Trail guide, Lake Blance, Utah, Lakes in the Wasatch Mountains, Lake Blanche trail map
 After crossing the bridge and making one switchback, you will enter the Twin Peaks Wilderness and will have a view of the canyon you will be working your way up.
Lake Blanche Trail guide, Lake Blance, Utah, Lakes in the Wasatch Mountains, Lake Blanche trail map
 I started hiking at 8:15 am, and it was so pretty to see the sunlight hit the rocky canyon walls.
Lake Blanche Trail guide, Lake Blance, Utah, Lakes in the Wasatch Mountains, Lake Blanche trail map
 The trail cuts through two aspen groves. This is the first. The second grove will be about 2/3 of the way up.
Lake Blanche Trail guide, Lake Blance, Utah, Lakes in the Wasatch Mountains, Lake Blanche trail map
 Almost to the lake! It's so neat to see how far I had hiked.
 Panorama of Lake Blanche with Sundial Peak. I had it all to myself!
Lake Blanche Trail guide, Lake Blance, Utah, Lakes in the Wasatch Mountains, Lake Blanche trail map
 Selfie time!
Lake Blanche Trail guide, Lake Blance, Utah, Lakes in the Wasatch Mountains, Lake Blanche trail map
  I was feeling pretty good and strong on my way up! 
Lake Blanche Trail guide, Lake Blance, Utah, Lakes in the Wasatch Mountains, Lake Blanche trail map
 Taking a moment to take in the view. I found a nice packed down spot to lay down for a bit, and ended up staying up there for an hour and half. It was so nice to soak in some sun on my face. I'm sunburned today, but that's ok, it's worth it. 
Many people ask, "How do you take photos like this by yourself?" Get a selfie stick and a self timer app! It's that easy. 

Black Diamond Z Poles for Women, DISTANCE FLZ TREKKING POLES, Black Diamond Trekking Poles
 When I go backpacking or on bigger day hikes, I like to use my hiking/trekking poles. I feel that they help give me balance, help me get uphill easier, and help protect my knees on the downhill. I use the Black Diamond Z Poles. Here's why I love them:
  • lightweight aluminum structure (15oz)
  • rapid deployment system
  • soft grip for the handles
  • three-section fold-able shaft

Black Diamond Z Poles for Women, DISTANCE FLZ TREKKING POLES, Black Diamond Trekking Poles
This is what they look like when compacted. Black Diamond also provides a small bag to place them when, when not in use. 
Lake Blanche trail map, Lake Blanche Trail Guide
 Here's a map looking SE.
Lake Blanche trail map, Lake Blanche Trail Guide
  Here's a map looking NW.
Lake Blanche trail map, Lake Blanche Trail Guide
A close up of the three lakes and the Sundial.


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Hiking to Lake Blanche, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah


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