Hiking to Lake Blanche – in Winter!
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. We 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.
Here’s a driving map from SLC.
Distance: 6.6 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
This is the TH. In Summer, you can drive past this gate into a small parking lot.
There are restrooms, however in Winter they are locked. Continue past the sign.
Look for the small Lake Blanche TH sign and a larger one above it – this is the turn off.
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.
I started hiking at 8:15 am, and it was so pretty to see the sunlight hit the rocky canyon walls.
The trail cuts through two aspen groves. This is the first. The second grove will be about 2/3 of the way up.
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!
I was feeling pretty good and strong on my way up!
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.
By mid-November 2018 the lake was already frozen over!
My oldest brother was in town, and I finally got to take him on a hike. He’s lived in Florida for the past decade and hadn’t seen snow in 3 years. It snowed the whole time and he loved it!
My track via Gaia GPS – the best tracking app! Get your app here for a discount.
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