Whee! Sorry the posting has been “light” (read: nonexistent), it’s the beginning of the school year, and all that entails. Which is mainly sleep deprivation, stress, and less exercise. But oh well. Let’s talk about this wonderful little hike instead. Yee! It was in August!! Yikes, I’m behind. Oh well. I digress.
Ok. Blanca Lake. I had been wanting to do this hike for a while, as I was inspired by the beautiful photos of sea-glass green water surrounded by towering peaks. Have I mentioned that I enjoy alpine lakes? It also spans two seperate wilderness areas, which is kind of cool. The hike is steep, steep, steep, but oh so very worth it. The first few miles climb relentlessly, but you’re surrounded by an ancient old growth forest which shrouds you from the sun, and is something pretty to look at whilst you huff and puff your way up. There are also huckleberries and blueberries for your nibbling pleasure.
Eventually the trail crests the ridge and there are some beautiful views of Glacier Peak in the distance. As you can see, we didn’t have the clearest day, but our views weren’t so bad either.
After ridge walking for far too brief a time, the trail descends, steeply again, towards Blanca. The Washington Trails Association crews had been out the weekend before, and had done some spectacular work on this side of the trail. Unfortunately, much more work is still needed. In contrast to the well maintained, relatively smooth trail on the way up, this side is root-filled, rough, narrow, and did I mention steep? First you encounter tiny Virgin Lake, then continue to descend towards Blanca.
The lake is green. And blue. It doesn’t look real. It’s kind of amazing. We had lunch on the logjam halfway across the output of the lake for optimal viewing pleasure. The weather was rolling in, so we didn’t stay long, but man, this place is gorgeous! I can’t wait to come back on a sunny day to actually go swimming! Tom swam, of course, but he always swims. So the hike is steep, hard, and dirty, but the lake was more than worth the effort.