Washington is probably one of the most beautiful states I have ever been to. Yes, I am biased because I get to live in this gorgeous, green, mountainous and nature blessed state. But, you know I’m right 😉. Washington State (otherwise known as the Evergreen State, see!) is pouring with Mother Nature’s beauty from state-line to state-line.
If you are planning a trip to this luscious and green state you must do a hike. Even if you aren’t in the best shape of your life and struggle going up the stairs (like your’s truly), Washington State has some of the most beautiful and doable hikes in the country (again, I am biased). Let me show you a few examples, these are some of the hikes I have done over the years. I will continue to keep adding to this list as I gain the stamina and strength. And, will forever keep exploring the corners of Washington State’s beauty.
☝️ Also; if you have done any hikes here in, Washington State, let me know! If are you in the area and need a hiking buddy and promise to not make fun of my wheezy, let me know!
Disclaimer: I am NOT an expert. I may include some information about specific gear, some tips and helpful hacks to guide you up the mountain BUT I am not a doctor or an avid hiker or wilderness expert (I was a Girl Scout though 💁🏽♀️); so keep that in mind. I probably don’t know what I am a talking about.
Trail Distance: 14.75 miles (including the beginning/end 2 miles due to the washout) / Steps: 35,780
Elevation Gain: 3,976 ft
Terrain Rating: Hard AF 💀
Hike In: 9:30AM (including a two-hour nap/photoshoot at the lake)
Hike Out: 10:30PM
When I say ‘almost killed me’ and ‘hard AF’ and the use of death emoji to describe this hike; I mean it. I wouldn’t call myself an avid hiker in any sense, I struggle running the mile but I’m also not in the worse shape of my life (pause to question life choices) but this hike was hard. I knew that going in, I knew that when I started to research about how hard it was. Did I train for it? No! Should I have? Probably. Did I learn my lesson? Not in the slightest.
Blanca Lake is something that looks like it belongs on another planet, with its agua/green colored water and pristine mountainous outline, the view itself will you make you forget the fact that you’ve been wheezy for the last four hours climbing uphill switch-backs.
Due to the washout (where the parking lot used to be), the hike is actually two miles longer. These first two miles are just a long, flat trail that leads you to the actual trailhead.
Once you reach the trailhead, you have a few more miles of slowly gaining more elevation then… hell … the switchbacks begin. For the most part, the 30+ some switchbacks are shaded but not clearly marked as a trail. Be very careful of protruding roots and disguised pathways. For the next three miles or so, you will be truly tested by Mother Nature’s cruel joke of the definition of an uphill switchback. No shame, but I had to stop multiple times because I felt my lungs collapsing and my muscles; but ‘Drill Sergeant Dani’
forced motivated me to keep going.
As the trees begin to open and the sun starts shining through, you’ll stumble upon the unamusingVirginn Lake; a mossy small body of water where lots of mosquitoes hang out. Once you reach this part you have about another mile or so. Soon, you reach a slated wall of white rocks and you just gotta keep on hikin’ because you are almoooost there!
Once you see the stunning gree/aqua water you’ve made it to Lake Blanca. Pat yourself on the back because damn, that was a hard hike and I’m proud of you! Stay for a while, eat your lunch, take a nap, have a photoshoot, sit and just enjoy the fact that Mother Nature has privileged us with this view.
And now begins the journey down; which is a billion times easier, on the lungs, than going up. I fully understand why people hike with knee braces now, that downhill incline really gets the knee/hip joints.
It may have been one of the most challenging hikes I’ve done but it was worth it for the natural beauty of that lake. Start early, prepare wisely and bring enough water and snacks to replenish your body.
Gear We Brought:
- 3L of water & some weird vitamin shot
- two peanut butter sandwiches, three bars – I didn’t eat them all
- hiking apparel (probably should have had hiking boots)
- hiking poles – they were a godsend
- extra socks and jacket
- emergency supplies (first aid, mace (probably should have had bear spray), etc).