Lake Blanche Trail by:J
I am relatively new to the Salt Lake area, this being the case I hit the internet to find info. on some hikes I might enjoy. I heard an assortment of good things about Blanche Lake so off I went. For those who don't know Blanche is located at Mill B South in Big Cottonwood Canyon. It is approximately a 6 ½ mile round hike. I have been told that the Blanche trail is actually the Mill B South trail, I'm not big on technicality so call it whatever you like. The word I would call the trail is awesome, the word for the lake is... we'll get to that later.
I hit the trail late fall which meant a little snow and ice traveling; I would suggest bringing micro spikes or some sort of crampon. If you choose not to heed my advice your hips and knees will be sore before the journey ends, I can personally guarantee that. We managed to lose the trail a few times but if you continue heading up you will get there. I suggest when the trail is visible to stay on it. Not for personal safety but because it is the right thing to do. There is quite a bit of sun exposure so dress appropriate and bring sun screen. The first 1 ½ miles is a moderate hike, the last 1 ½ becomes strenuous, the trail starts to weave through rock out croppings just before you summit the lakes. Yes, lakes there are 3. Blanche had a couple sisters their names are Lillian and Florence. I was unaware of that so it was exciting to get more than I bargained for. Once you reach the cirque you have an excellent view of sundial peak. This area would make an excellent base camp for summiting sundial.
I'm going to throw down some insider information that no other website will tell you about this area. I was a bit disappointed when I discovered this info. First, at the top of the outcropping there is a tremendous amount of graffiti on the rocks as well as the aspen trees, I'm sure some day) 1,000 years from now) an anthropologist will look at it and say "stupid kids"; which is a nicer reaction than I had. Second, there is a sign that states NO SWIMMING ALLOWED!! (This is part of our watershed.)Please respect it! I would have been disappointed but the lake was frozen, I wished I would have brought Ice skates. The last bit of info and also the answer to the word I would call the lake Man made. I'm sure the lake would still exist if it was not for the series of dams. They have dismantled it so the water can run free, for the most part. I'm sure there is a good piece of history about the dams but I have been unable to track down that info. I will defiantly be hiking this spot in the summer, I'm sure it is amazing when everything is in bloom.