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Lake Blanche

Sundial Peak w/reflection in Lake Blanche

Trail Facts

The Lake Blanche trail is located to the right of the road at the bottom of the S-turn at the Mill B South Fork trailhead. From the parking lot the trail heads east for about .25 mile along a paved walkway that follows Big Cottonwood Creek until you come to the Mill B South Fork stream. A sign clearly marks the trail at this point, which turns right and follows the right side of the small stream to a foot-bridge that crosses the stream. After crossing the stream, the trail makes one switchback and turns up the Mill B South Fork canyon toward Lake Blanche. There is a moderate climb in a straight path for about 2 miles (climbing nearly 1400 feet in elevation). Along here there are wonderful views of the entire canyon. To the South at the top of the canyon a somewhat dome-shaped cliff rises over the forest. Lake Blanche is located straight over the top of this. At 2 miles from the trailhead, the trail enters a series of switchbacks that climb the east side of the canyon for the final mile. Here, the foliage changes from Scrub oak and pines into groves of Aspen. The final set of switchbacks passes next to a small boulder-field and brings you level with the top of the dome-shaped cliff. At this point the trail comes out of the trees and climes over smooth, glacier-scarred rocks. Continuing south for about 200 yards Lake Blanche Comes into view.

Nestled in it's own little basin at the top of the canyon, Lake Blanche is one of the most picturesque lakes in the Cottonwood canyons. Sundial Peak rises 600' directly above the lake. The Cottonwood ridge rises 2,000' above the lake. Monte Cristo Peak (11,132') is visible to the southeast and Dromedary Peak (11,107') is visible to the southwest. Two other lakes, Lake Florence and Lake Lillian, lie about a quarter of a mile to the west.

In late spring and early summer, when stream levels are running high, it is a good time to venture down to the outlet of Lake Lillian (the lowest lake.) The high water creates a spectacular 40 waterfall just a short distance to the west of the dam. To get to the bottom of the falls and enjoy a front view, cross the stream at the dam and work your way down the slope on the south side of the stream. Later in the season, the stream level is lower and the water stays mainly within the cracks of the rock, hiding the majority of the waterfall from view.

Dromedary Peak & Lake Blanche, (Nov. 1998)

Waterfall below Lake Lillian