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Blanca Lake

A beautiful turquoise lake near Seattle


Last updated: by Olha Savych
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Fed by Columbia Glacier, Blanca Lake has a beautiful milky color due to silt-filled water and rock flour. One of the most photographed lakes of the Cascade Mountains, it is located in the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness Area. The natural lake is surrounded by towering Monte Cristo Peak, Kyes Peak, and Columbia Peak.

Blanca Lake can be reached by Blanca Lake Trail that starts at an elevation of 1,900 ft (579 m). A 13-mi (21-km) trail then goes up steeply through a series of switchbacks gaining 2,700 ft (823 m). From the ridge-top, the trail goes through scenic meadows with wildflowers, passes the beautiful Virgin Lake, and finally descends to Blanca Lake. The path is usually snow-free from July until October. The trailhead to the Lake is located in just two hours drive from Seattle through US Forest Road 65. Mind that FS63 Road to the trailhead is often inaccessible due to washouts. Northwest Forest Pass is still required to park in the area.

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