Sunday, June 22, 2014

June 2014 Lake Blanche / Lake Florence / Lake Lillian Hike

Well today I made another hike.  I had been itching to get up into the mountains since Saturday but do to family obligations and such I never made it on Saturday.

I decided to revisit Lake Blanche.  I've been up there a bunch of times, but I enjoy the hike.  It is a 3 mile hike (one way) and it is a toughie.  If you aren't ready for it, it will kick your butt, as it is a solid climb and if it is warm, the heat will take something out of you too.

It is one of the more popular hikes in Big Cottonwood and this early in the season there was absolutely no shortage of people on the trail.  What is also nice is with that many people, generally the moose stay away.  I think I saw at least one group of hikers every 5 - 10 minutes, which is reassuring, particularly if you are a solo hiker like myself.

I went nuts on the way up.  I was passing people left and right, even people half my age were gasping for breath as I climbed towards the lakes.  I really have to say that hiking really builds leg muscle strength.  I measured my heart rate a few times and my heart rate was consistently in the 130's through 150's.  It is like a nice tempo run without all the pounding.  According to my Garmin, I made the climb in around 75 minutes.  That includes time for pictures, chatting with random people and any waiting I did to get around people and such.  I've done this hike with other people and generally it is a 2+ hour adventure, so suffice to say I was booking.

One word of caution to those who read this:  bring PLENTY of water on this hike.  I brought 32 ounces of Gatorade, at least 64 more of water.  I am in pretty good shape so I don't need a lot (as a runner, I am conditioned to not expending as much energy and I feel I have better acclimated to cooling myself off), but if you aren't in shape you are going to need more than a 16 ounce bottle of Crystal Geyser to make the trek.  On the way down I realized I had plenty of water and wound up giving / offering water to any who would take it.  I found quite a few takers.  You really can't bring enough water up there.

I finally got to get up close and personal with Lake Blanche's two sisters, Lake Florence and Lake Lillian.  Lake Florence is absolutely stunning, but small.  Lake Lillian is gray and seems very lonely.  Not very many people seemed to visit it and not a lot was going on there.

Me at the top in front of Lake Blanche and Sundial Peak

Pretty much have to climb up to the snow peaks

Getting closer to Sun Dial Peak

Looking out over the Salt Lake Valley from Lake Blanche

Lake Blanche

More Of Lake Blanche

Waterfall that feeds Lake Florence

Lake Florence

Lake Lillian

Wildflowers are coming up.

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