After a long winter of skiing in the Wasatch Mountains, my legs needed to stretch – to hit the trail, to tread softly through the trees, to explore.
While winter’s white hadn’t quite released its grasp at the higher levels, Lake Blanche proved its name in beauty and color.
Located in the center of the Twin Peaks Wilderness Area off of Big Cottonwood Canyon, the Lake Blanche Trail follows a well-maintained path and climbs through a beautiful canyon for 3.4 miles to a high alpine lake basin. This moderate hike pays out big rewards after climbing 2,600 feet for a photo-finish view of Sundial peak behind the lake system.
While Lake Blanche were still snow covered, the trail was quiet and peaceful. Using snowshoes to walk the last quarter mile of so, I hiked past untouched powder – expect for the occasional animal track running off over the crest, not another dot punched through the snow’s crust. Before turning around, I sat and just soaked it in for a few minutes; the next spring storm creeping at my back. With hiking season right around the corner, I stood, smiled, and started back down the trail.
Getting There: Travel east into Big Cottonwood Canyon from Salt Lake for 4.4 miles. At the bottom of a series of sharp s-curves, there are two small parking lots for the Mill B Trailhead. Park here and follow the paved path along the south side of the canyon to the trail. Try to avoid this popular trail on hot summer weekends, unless you like to share the view with a few dozen other people.