Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Lake Blanche

Shhhh! Don't tell Coco.

While Coco was on a trip with her owners, I took advantage of a free afternoon to hike up the Mill B South Fork Trail to Lake Blanche. The hike provides some killer views of Sundial and Dromedary Peaks. If you have a full day, you can hike to the tops of the peaks and see the other side. Being a good weboholic, I took my camera and shot photos. There's over a hundred pictures in this set that includes both wildflowers and scenic views. You can skip to the middle pages to get to the alpine scenes. The Cottonwood Ridge of the Wasatch is one of those areas that would be a national park if it were in any other state.

Wisely, the state does not allow dogs in the canyon.

The trail follows a little creek labeled Mill B. The name is a bit confusing as there is another Mill B Creek on the other side of Big Cottonwood Canyon. The literature refers to them as North and South Forks of Mill B Creek. This is even more confusing since both creeks drain directly into Big Cottonwood Creek. There are also creeks called Mill A, C and D.

The trail is relatively steep. It climbs 2700 feet in about three miles. I wore a shirt sleave shirt, no hat and no sunscreen. I was having a worse time with the high altitude sun than the steep grade. I ended up camping out in the shade of an SPF 40 pine tree to let my skin cool down. Because the air is cooler at high altitudes, people like me tend to forget that the sun is more intense.

Because I took a long siesta on the way up, I found I was pressed for time to invest walking around the lakes. I ended up walking the last mile of the trail back to the car in the dark. The tips for the trail: Bring a hat. Wear a long sleave shirt. Bring sun sreen. Don't bring a dog. Above every, be prepared to enjoy wildflowers and scenery.

White VioletDromedary PeakAlpine buttercupReflecting on Sundial PeakSouth Fork Mill B Drainage


Anonymous said...

How much snow was on the trail itself? I've made this hike later, in mid-June, practically wading through mertensia on the way up. That luxurious growth usually implies a lot of snow earlier in the season, so I've never tried it any earlier. Looks like it's time to get out there.

y-intercept said...

This was a light snow year. I was surprised by the lack of snow.

There was only one patch of snow right before reaching the lake. That patch is probably already gone.

There was enough snow in the cirque to make getting to the summit difficult.