Gothic Basin (Aug 16, 2015)

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gothic_basin_coverConditions: day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Monte Cristo
Area: Mountain Loop Hwy
Reference: Day Hiking North Cascades
Stats: 10.27mi, 3227' gain (round trip)

Wow...almost 13 years. Could it really have been that long since I've been to Gothic Basin? Yep! Dani suggested the destination, I was game because I knew it had been so long that it would seem new. Karen was agreeable to driving all the way down from BC. Tom...well he crashed the girls hike...

We decided to meet Karen at the trailhead at about 8:45am but managed to time it with perfection to run into her at one of the last turns before the long drive up MLH. Dani spotted Sunshine first.

We arrived at the trailhead to find lots of cars already parked along the road. But as luck would have it, we got a nice spot in the parking area. NW Pass up in the window, we headed up the trail. It's actually a road walk, about 1.5mi, from Barlow Pass (2353' elev) to the Gothic Basin trail (2306' elev). From the trailhead it is all uphill. Sometimes it is good trail with steep uphill. Sometimes good trail with really steep uphill. Often it is rocky and root exposed trail that goes STEEPLY uphill. To be honest, I'd call the way up to Gothic Basin more of a route and less of a trail. It is scrambly and very steep in some sections. Nothing too hard or too bad, but I had forgotten how long the rocky section really was. I don't think this is a trail I'd want to hike if it was raining. That muddy trail looks like it would be downright slippery. Basically once we started uphill we didn't stop until we got to the basin just below Foggy Lake (about 4.9mi from the TH, 4949' elev).

We had low clouds most of the hike in. Bumping into a friend just below the basin area he said Foggy Lake was socked in but it looked to be clearing. Sure enough, when we rounded the corner to the lower basin we could see blue sky starting to poke out. By the time we reached the upper basin at Foggy Lake (5.34mi from the TH, 5219' elev) it was almost clear. A few whisps of clouds would occasionally move through but we got lucky with a gorgeous views of the basin and surrounding peaks (Gothic Peak and DelCampo).

We took our good old time lounging around the lake, something like an hour. Then eventually it was time to head back down.
Gothic Basin Slideshow


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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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