The Blue Lake High Trail starts and ends deep in the Glacier Peak Wilderness backcountry. It can be done in either direction. As described here, it starts near Blue Lake close to the end of Pilot Ridge Trail #652
, goes east towards the PCT, and then ends at Bald Eagle Trail #650
very close to the PCT.
At a trail junction along Pilot Ridge Trail #652
near the Blue Lake outlet creek there are a couple signs. One sign points to Blue Lake. Follow this arrow to Blue Lake, to run Blue Lake High Trail. Do NOT follow the sign pointing to Bald Eagle Trail and the PCT, as its arrows take one the long way around to the PCT, avoiding the direct Blue Lake High Trail. From this trail junction, Blue Lake High Trail begins in the trees with a steep rocky, rooty climb along the Blue Lake outlet creek, on its north side. After about a tenth of a mile, the trail breaks out of the trees and becomes flat as it continues along the creek to arrive at Blue Lake, a scenic, popular place to camp.
At Blue Lake there are many side trails. To pass Blue Lake, cross the lake's outlet creek near the lake and continue along the lake's open grassy southwest shoreline. Blue Lake High Trail then leaves the lake behind to immediately climb a couple short switchbacks and then directly head up a steep open area revealing great views of the lake and Johnson Mountain.
Continuing on, the trail now angles up the steep ridge it will go over. The meadows thin and become rather rocky, as the trail heads higher towards its summit on a knife edge ridge. To the left/northeast the ridge rises steeply, and to the right/southwest, the ridge drops off sharply. Climbing the steep sided ridge, some loose talus stretches are also encountered just to keep things interesting. Close to the ridge summit there are a couple steep but welcome switchbacks, and then suddenly, after a bit over half a mile of steep climbing, the knife edge ridge top is reached. There are some great rocks to sit on here and admire the views.
Following a rest at the summit, the trail heads almost directly down the steep, loose, rocky east side of the summit. After a tenth of a mile the descent becomes less steep, as the trail now angles down the ridge. Soon the trail angle is almost at a contour line and although the slopes are steep, the descent eases substantially, as one finds themself in grassy meadows with wildflowers. An unmarked trail junction with Bald Eagle Trail #650
is soon reached where Blue Lake High Trail ends.
Rocky high meadows with wildflowers and barren rocky stretches.