Red, Blanca and Blue

While most people recover after Independence Day, we hit the trail to hike Lake Blanca. This blue beauty was on our bucket list and nothing, not even a patriotic hangover, could hold us back. 

We arrived at the trailhead around 9 AM and already temperatures topped the 80's. The 3300-foot incline felt like forever. Sweat dripped into our eyes. We pushed onward, encouraging other hikers and eventually making trail friends.

Up the switchbacks, through a meadow, down a cliff and around one last bend, she came into view — Lake Blanca.

We ran to the lake, tore off our clothes and dove in, unfazed by the frigid alpine water. The reward of our hard hike is a swim in the bluest water we've ever seen. No Photoshop needed.

Lake Blanca is the result of runoff from the Columbia Glacier. The glacial till in the water is what gives the lake its vibrant color.

We napped, we smoked, we swam and we had a blast. Lake Blanca is worth the 7.5 mile roundtrip hike. On the drive back, treat yourself. Make sure to stop by Alpen Village Drive-In and splurge on a milkshake!