Summary: This is a VERY strenuous hike! Plan to stop several times to catch your breath. If you want exercise, this is the hike for you! The hike is a lot of work, but it is well worth it.
The views down into the canyon below are breathtaking. Just prior to arriving at the lake, parts of Salt Lake City are also visible from the trail. There is plenty of wildlife and an abundant variety of trees, flowers, and everything else Utah's great outdoors has to offer!
This is a very difficult hike, but is very satisfying to complete. Everyone should do it at least once!
ADVISORIES: Make sure to take plenty of water! Insect repellent is a good idea as mosquitos are plentiful. If you are planning this hike for later in the day, pack a flashlight (with fresh batteries) in case your journey takes longer than planned. Attempting to navigate the trail after dark would be a very dangerous endeavor.
Trailhead: The Lake Blanche Trailhead is 4.4 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon in the Mill B South Fork Picnic Ground.
Getting to Big Cottonwood Canyon:
Take I-215 South (freeway will become I-215 East) until you reach the 6200 South exit. Turn right onto Wasatch Boulevard, then turn left at Big Cottonwood Canyon. The intersection is clearly signed. You will see a 7-11 store to your right.
From the north or south ends of the valley, take I-15 to I-215 East and follow the directions above.
Locating the trailhead:
4.4 miles up the canyon, you will reach an S-Curve (look for the Mill B South signs). There are two parking lots, one to the right of the lower bend (the trailhead begins at the east end of this lot), and one inside the upper bend of the "S". The trail is paved for the first .35 miles. The beginning of the mountain (unpaved) portion of the Lake Blanche Trail is clearly marked. (Lat:40.63319 Lon:-111.72321)
Trail Guides for Lake Blanche Trail:
Best Easy Day Hikes - Salt Lake City
by Brian Brinkerhoff (Falcon Publishing)
Best Seasons: Fall, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Wasatch-Cache National Forest (801) 466-6411 Tu-Sa 10:30a-7:00p MT
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Troy Slater, who has posted 9 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 7 Submit your own review
Reviewed by fzs on 9/7/2015
Just so others have an idea to estimate their possible time in planning the hike, we hiked it on Saturday- 60s something male in good shape and a late 60s something female in no shape. We took 4 hours up with *lots* of stops for picture, including at least 20 minutes while watching a moose. Also two stops under trees to wait out some small hail storms. Without the moose and hail stops, but **with** the *numerous* other picture stops it would have been about 3.5 hours up. I have a tricky knee, so coming down *any* trail usually takes me about the same time as going up. 3 hours down.
Reviewed by ES on 9/9/2013
I am rating this one as my favorite so far. I did it this last saturday. It was a rainy afternoon and I decided to do it without the heat of the sun. It was verily raining when I got to the parking lot. It took me 2 Hrs to get to the top. I didn't have any water with me, just sipped a little from the leaves on my way up. I ran down after enjoying the lakes for 1/2 hr. I took me 45 minutes to get back to my car.
Reviewed by Ingrid on 10/3/2012
Just did hike it Oct 1 - absolutely stunning w the fall colors and bright blue sky. Strenous and steep, went up in 2 hrs w NOT enough water... had only 1 bottle. I am well conditioned and could have done it in prob 1 3/4hrs with less stops. Varied scenery, great views, nice lake also low in water. Given it was Monday it was quiet and peaceful - avoid the wkends if you can!!! Comparing to Mill D, Cecret lake or Lake Mary/Catherine Lakes probaly in a tie w the Lake Catherine/Mary one
Reviewed by AJ on 7/10/2012
Went for first time on 7/7/12. Loved it! I am 54, female, run 3 miles 2x/wk and do weights for frame strength 2x/wk. We went up in 1:45 hr. Was a very good workout and was soaked with sweat! I had no aches or stiffness the following days but my companion did. I think the leg presses I've been doing made the difference as this is the first good hike I've done where I've not been sore after. Another one I really like that is about par with this is Bell Canyon with its waterfalls. Next on my list!
Reviewed by Viewer on 7/5/2012
Good hike - we went camping - so we had packs. That plus the 90 degree heat and 2700 ft of altitude gain (you start at about 5800 ft and go to about 8500) and being 50 years old - I was wooped! But it was nice up there - great views - the moon was incredibly bright. Dehydrated food never tasted so good!
Reviewed by Jlm on 5/19/2012
I love this hike. It is one of the hikes that my girlfriends and I do every fall. The views are breathtaking and it's a nice workout. I have the most gorgeous pictures that others ask me if they are real. We sit and have lunch at the lake before heading back down. It usually takes us about 4.5 hours roundtrip.
Reviewed by L. Burton on 8/16/2011
Did this hike with two of my sons on 8/13/11. I would rate it as moderatly strenuous. The trail is constantly up but the pitch is so moderate that it requires very few if any switch backs. It's an excellent trail for families of all ages. The youngest age we saw was 2.5 months old.
Reviewed by Hart Family on 8/15/2011
I'm an experienced 50 year old backpacker and I brought my 10 and 14 year old sons for an overnite trip. The trail is very rocky and steep but the views are awesome. It took us 5 hours to get to the main lake with full packs. Camping overnite at the lake was extremely serene. It seemed to me like the trail was longer than the advertised 3 miles one way and, again, it was so rocky that my feet were really hurting on the way down. Good trip though. I would do it again...
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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