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Strenuous Hike - Blanca Lake - HWY 2

Blanca Lake is no free lunch.  This hike's final destination is incredibly beautiful, with emerald green waters surrounded by high cliffs.  Blanca Lake certainly does not disappoint in the scenery department.  The hike however, is a different story, where elevation change is the name of the game.  This hike will have even the fittest of hikers working up a good sweat. For some reason, I have had nightmares about this hike.  I have never done it but the description alone must have done.  The pictures I have seen are stunning though and this may be my tough hike for the season.  If you are sure you are ready for this challenge come along.  If not, stay home. 
Blanca Lake by Opus.jpg
Dogs on leash
No children under age 16.
Please read all the information listed and linked to below.
Blanca Lake (#1052)
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest
Roundtrip7.5 miles
Elevation Gain3300 ft
Highest Point4600 ft
Old growth
Mountain views
Established campsites
User info
Northwest Forest Pass required
Driving Directions:

The North Fork Skykomish River Road from Index, the normal approach for this hike, sustained considerable flood damage in fall 2006. It will be years before this road is repaired. Until then, the trail can be accessed from Skykomish via Jack Pass. From Everett head east on US 2 for 49 miles to the small town of Skykomish. Continue east for 1 more mile, turning left onto Beckler River Road (Forest Road 65). The pavement ends at 6.9 miles. Continue north for another 5.8 miles, coming to a 5-way intersection (Jack Pass). Take the second left, the route signed as closed 3.2 miles ahead. Follow it downhill 2.4 miles. Just after crossing the North Fork Skykomish River is a junction and restricted access sign. Turn right onto FR 63 and drive 2.0 potholed miles, turning left into the trailhead parking area (elev. 1900 ft).

In consideration of others, if you do not plan on attending this hike please change your status. This allows those that are on the waitlist to attend. It also means we do not wait unnecessarily at the trail head for those not showing up.
Dogs are required to be leashed on this hike. If you decide you want to unleash your dog, it must be under voice control, stay on the trail, and away from leashed dogs. Give your self and dog adequate space from others. Please respect other hikers on the trail and restrain your dog when approaching or being approached by others. This will be the first meeting for many of the dogs, so let them get acquainted slowly as we walk. It takes time to form a pack. Not all dogs want to be greeted exuberantly, so take care and precaution. Also, dog waste needs to be buried (6 inches) or carried. Leaving along the trail to be picked up later is an eyesore for others , even in a bag,(especially with the number in our group) and is sometimes forgotten on the way out.

Please be courteous and use proper trail etiquette.

I have info in the pages section of this site (see top section on web site). Please review, good advice about what to bring and about hiking with a dog.

Also, please read the Bear Safety discussion and tips page in discussion section and pages section

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  • Kathy L.

    Five stars for us! We did it!
    This was not one I may have complete on my own. Thanks to Nancy for coming along and making sure I got it done.
    No cargo netting or ropes but there were spots where they might have been helpful.
    It was a lake just a lake, but like none I have ever seen. Totally worth all the sweat, pain, grime and such.

    September 15, 2013

  • Nancy W

    Not sure I've ever seen a more beautiful lake, vibrant with color. 3 miles felt more like 8...but well worth the effort!! Wow wow wow. Thanks Kathy for the great hike!!

    September 15, 2013

  • Gretchen

    Yay!! well done, both of you.

    September 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm a big maybe. Maybe will have a foster dog to pick up in Bellingham. Maybe need my head examined agreeing to foster another Tac.

    1 · September 9, 2013

    • Kathy L.

      Michele, thanks for the encouragement-check!

      September 15, 2013

    • Kathy L.

      Kristen, did you lose your mind? did you get the dog?

      September 15, 2013

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