Day 8: Blanca Lake

Jeremiah & I woke up around 8AM & grabbed coffee before heading to Blanca Lake.
Once we arrived, we had to park far away from the trailhead because the designated parking lot has been closed for a couple months because of a wash out that made the road inaccessible. After we parked, we left $5 on the windshield for the Northwest Forest Pass. We walked closer to the trail & saw the Trail Information Board that had a ton of info about the trail & you can pay for your Northwest Day Pass! All you had to do was fill out your information & drop the money+envelope in the dropbox. One of the stubs also requires you to fill out your information for safety purposes in case someone or a party goes missing. I’m really glad they included that.
*TIPS AT THE BOTTOM OF POST*

After filling all of that info out, we finally headed towards the trailhead, which began 2 miles from the info board. Once we started the actual Blanca Lake hike, we got to see some amazing views!

I stood here, 4600 ft. above sea level, speechless & in tears from being in awe of the view. The way I felt about the view is the same exact feeling I get when I’m standing in front of a Monet or Degas painting. It’s the feeling of seeing something so beautiful that the term “beautiful” doesn’t even do it justice. Sometimes there just aren’t words to describe that. I just found myself standing there in tears, taking in the view while listening to one of my favorite songs, & thinking about my dad. One of the things that motivated me was how much I wanted to be closer to him. Tears were rolling down my face & my insides were screaming, “Do you see me now Dad?! I’m right here!” (waves) “You’re right! Nothing compares!!!!”

Once you reach the top & have to hike through a bit of snow, you’ll reach this first lake which isn’t Blanca Lake. I forgot the name of this one!

You hike a little bit past this first lake & you finally reach Blanca Lake!
11.5 miles round trip (because the trailhead parking was closed off) with 3145 feet of elevation gain. You know what’s fun about a hike that’s straight incline the entire time? NOTHING. LOL. Jeremiah & I finally did a hike that’s harder than that mudslide one we did in Hawaii last year. I honestly can’t feel my legs right now, but the view is absolutely worth it. The photos don’t even do it justice. The place was so majestic & beautiful. There were actually a lot more people here than I expected. I’m thankful they were there because I didn’t feel comfortable being one of the only ones out there when the sun started to go down. We saw two rangers & a couple of people camp out near the lake, so that made me feel better too.

Jeremiah jumped in & couldn’t take how cold it was. I only dipped my feet in a little bit.

& congrats to the newly engaged couple here! I almost teared up because idk..proposals make me tear up. haha. They hiked a little bit with us.

you can see the couple on the left

We left Blanca Lake & hiked back up before sundown. Once we FINALLY reached the car, I wanted to cry tears of joy tbh. My legs were sooooo dead.

I’m still in shock (& in pain) that I did an 11.5 mile hike round trip, with 3145 feet of elevation gain, & straight incline the entire time. This is definitely something you should put on your bucket list. If a french bulldog, a guy in vans, & a guy in jeans can do it, you can too!

After Blanca Lake, we had it on our itinerary to eat at McMenamins, but we couldn’t make it in time so we picked up mexican food at Moctzeuma since it was on the way & one of the only things still open since we came back so late.

*TIPS*

– If you plan on doing hikes in the Pacific Northwest, do research about each hike & whether it requires a Northwest Forest Pass to avoid any fines
  • bring cash

– Bring plenty of water
  • I have a 32oz Hydroflask that lasted me this entire hike. I’ll try to do a separate post of what I bring on my hikes/adventure trips

Wear comfortable shoes that you can hike in
  • If you buy a new pair of hiking shoes, make sure you break them in first before doing a strenuous hike to avoid blisters
  • If your hike has possible run-ins with snow, make sure your shoes can handle hiking through snow (I wore my waterproof, ankle-high hiking boots)
– Wear thick, comfortable socks to avoid blisters

– Wear a comfortable backpack

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