Blanche Lake

October 2, 2016

See trip details at http://rblr.co/LibR

See more photos at https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1TNfwU

After our snowy styiming in the Uintas Dzevad and I decided to try something new at a lower elevation and a bit closer to home. As it turned out this hike is a real gem and one of my favorites of the year. When we visited the fall colors were definitely out but almost no snow, which was a welcome change after our last outing.

Twin Peaks Wilderness Area

This is a relatively short trail that makes a steady climb into the Twin Peaks Wilderness Area. It’s a popular trail so you need to get and early start if you want to avoid crowds and temper your expectations in regard to solitude and isolation, if not drop-dead gorgeous scenery.

Dromedary Peak from about 1/3 of the way up to the lake

Despite the stunning mountain views, frankly some of the best vistas are looking back down the canyon at the Salt Lake metro valley.

Just below the lake looking back down Big Cottonwood toward the SLC valley

But then again, this is a truly stunning lake. With Sundial Peak looming overhead it’s a real beauty. So worth the climb!

Sundial Peak and Blanche Lake

On the far side of the lake is a wooded ridge with an unusual clearing roughly in the center. It’s quite odd and somehow out of place here. A large boulder is in the middle that’s been split in half. Could be a great campsite

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Dzevad poses with the funky split boulder

The glacial valley on the other side of this ridge is amazing. It’s quite easy to imagine the glaciers that carved these areas out not too long ago. The stone all through this area is glossy and smooth with deep gouges.

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Glacial valley West of Lake Blanche

There’s an old stone weir here too at the West end of the lake, with a trail beyond heading to Lake Lillian downstream. We didn’t get to explore this area but it appears to be the center of the glacial cirque at the top of the Mill B South Fork drainage.

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Old weir and Dromedary Peak

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Looking East from the West end of Blanche Lake

Despite the number of people visiting the lake (we probably saw 20+ on our hike) we still saw a moose casually grazing the shore just before we headed back down.

That black shape in the center is a moose

This hike is a real gem and one worth repeating. There appear to be reasonable camping opportunities for those up for wilderness camping on the south side of the lake. I’m just not sure if the popularity of the trail would translate well for camping. Perhaps I can explore the potential in 2017.

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