One of the joys of living on the Wasatch Front is how close some of the best hiking in the world is to a major metropolitan area. You can be close enough to work to get up early for a hike up to spectacular lakes and mountains and back down in time to go to work in the morning. The Lake Blanche trail is one such hike that is a 6.65 mile round trip hike made relatively strenuous because of the 2700ft gain in elevation. Of course if you want to spend considerable time up and around the area, there is plenty to do including exploring of lakes Florence and Lillian, scrambling up Sundial Peak and overnight camping.
I was first introduced to this hike by my friend Bob when we hiked up here almost 20 years ago. Thankfully, it is still the way I remember it and it has become a favorite hike for my wife and I. Lake Blanche, Florence and Lillian sit in an alpine basin gouged out by glaciation. You can actually still see the grooves cut into the smooth stone up at the top of the hike by the lakes. Access is relatively simple as the trailhead is easy to get to up Big Cottonwood Canyon just before the S-curve. At the trailhead, the path starts the constant climb of about 1000 ft/mile pretty much all the way to the lake. The hike is a beautiful one, but can be difficult if not downright dangerous in the winter months as there are constant reminders of avalanches on the upper third of the hike.
Once getting to the top, Lake Blanche is beautiful, but do take some time to explore the other lakes and enjoy a well deserved meal while watching hummingbirds, deer and other wildlife.