Blue Lake: This year’s Larch March

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Golden Larches on the Blue Lake Trail

Last year, we wrote about the short lived fall joy of hiking to see larches in the high eastern Cascades. This year’s larch hike was to Blue Lake at Rainy Pass on the North Cascades Highway.

It’s a long drive, but a fantastic hike and worth every minute (to make the drive easier you could stay in Mazama or Winthrop, or camp at Pearrygin Lake State Park, as we did on this trip). It’s 4.5 miles round trip, with about 1000 feet of elevation gain, which is fairly steady along the trail (never extremely steep).

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Snow on golden larches on the Blue Lake trail.

The hike started out with heavy snow and fog, completely obscuring the view. Still, the fall colors were spectacular and the snow was fun. The lake has amazing scenery, but the snow was so heavy we didn’t stay there long.

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Blue Lake in the snow

As soon as we started down the snow let up and the sun came out, bringing out some of the views!

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View of Liberty Bell on the Blue Lake trail

Get out there and enjoy those high larch hikes before they are completely snowed in!

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Jennie Flaming
Jennie Thwing Flaming, Chief Adventure Officer: Jennie's life has been a continual quest for adventure (of the non-adrenalin inducing kind) from birth till now. Professionally, she pursues adventures in teaching, counseling and working to obliterate institutional racism for students in our region's public schools and also works as a tour and hiking guide. Previous professional adventures include working in schools in Seattle and Alaska, leading tours and managing tour guides and traveling science shows and lessons with Pacific Science Center. She is working to earn a living outside and by sharing her beautiful and unique Pacific Northwest home with visitors. She likes to be outdoors and spend time with the people she loves. Jennie is born and raised in Seattle and has also lived in Alaska and the Netherlands.