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Blanca Lake (WA) and Attempt Kyes Peak
Timestamp Free: 2018.09.23 - 19:00:08
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Washington Cascades
  (1 days)
Participants: Lucas Earl Easy trail hike to Blanca Lake and easy routefinding to the end of the Columbia Glacier. At least Class 3 scrambling required to summit Kyes Peak.
Day hike to Blanca Lake and an attempt at Kyes Peak
Since USGS maps are given in feet, elevations are in feet here in order to better compare to the GMap view.

Also, this is not to be confused with the Blanca Lake near the Pemberton Icefield in B.C.

Introduction

Weather: Clear and warm to mostly cloudy and cooler mid-afternoon

Blanca Lake is a popular destination in the Upper Skykomish Valley, as it is fairly easy to access and is one of the only lakes in the central Cascades that is primarily glacier fed. I was fortunate enough to spend much of the summer of 2013 in Seattle for an internship, and wanted to check out at many interesting hiking destinations as possible.

Since I am very much a glacier person, Blanca Lake seems liked an interesting hike, and with the 4th of July holiday looking good, I decided I would try out the trip then. Despite the fact that this hike is generally not recommended before mid-July, the streak of hot weather in late-June made it seem like it might be a nice time to go. Information I was able to gather also aid the trail was in good condition (trail condition updates can be found at Blanca Lake info on wta.org. My plan was to make it to the lake, and if I had time make an attempt at Kyes Peak, which is apparently an easy scramble along the south ridge.

Access
The Blanca Lake Trailhead is about a 2 hour drive from Seattle, so I left bright and early at 6 AM to get a good head start. Getting to the trailhead is a pretty straightforward trip, heading east on U.S. Rte. 2 along the Skykomish River. This a scenic route, with views of the Cascades on a clear day. The turnoff for Blanca Lake is just past the gas station in Skykomish ("Sky Gas" on the right); left onto the...

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