Gothic Basin

Granite Falls, Washington

4.4/5
based on 8 reviews

Details

Distance

8.74 miles

Elevation Gain

2785 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Derek Cook

Gothic Basin highlights stunning landscape in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. This hike is an excellent hike closer to Seattle (~75 miles). 

Looking for a hike that will make you feel like you're in a foreign landscape, but don't have to deal with that far of a drive? Then consider hiking Gothic Basin. This hike is located only 30 miles down the Mountain Loop Highway, which is nearly a hour shorter for people that live in the greater Seattle area than driving up to the popular hiking destinations of Mount Baker.

Looming above the old mining town of Monte Crisco lies Gothic Basin. This hike can be very strenuous at times due to the steep rocky landscape, and the rough trail constructed originally by miners, making the views that much more rewarding.

Start the hike by parking at the Barlow Pass trailhead. To access the trail you will have to walk 1 mile down a closed road that runs along the Sauk River. From here, the dirt road will end and the trail begins off the the right. The next half mile will be a cake walk. After you cross over Weden Creek, the grind of the hike begins.

Ascending nearly 3000 feet in elevation in just under 3 miles, you'll call for a break or two. Luckily, the views you have during the hike will make this almost essential. Once you reach the top, you'll be thrown in a scene of granite and small lakes, which will make you think you were in a scene of Lord Of The Rings. Climb up one of the Granite bluffs and enjoy the views while you eat your lunch. From here, you can continue on the trail for a short but steep distance to Foggy Lake or stay in the basin with views of the unique landscape and North Cascades.

Winter Hiking

The Mountain Loop Highway is closes seasonally 12 miles from Verlot (because of snow, etc) which is 7 miles from the mentioned trailhead. That turns this 9 mile hike into a 23 mile hike. Please be sure to check weather and raod conditions before heading out on this trail. Please check NWAC forecast/predictions if heading out on this trail in the winter. Also be prepared with the appropriate gear: snowshoes, microspikes, beacon, avalanche probe, shovel along with the additional essentials.

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Features

Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Gothic Basin Reviews

We decided to make it an overnight, on a beautiful October day. Quite a bit tougher than I expected, it started out very easy, with the walk on the gravel where cars used to be able to drive. Considering we had pretty heavy packs, trekking poles helped quite a bit on the ascent to the top. It took a good 4 hours to get to the top, but once we made it, it was very worth it. We set up camp on the base of Del Campo. There is plenty of areas to get water, in streams on the way up, and the lakes at the top. I would definitely recommend over nighting this hike, as it was stunning to wake up to at sunset, seeing an amazing panorama of mountains in all directions.

Strenuous hike but keep pushing to get to the basin because once you're there, all the pain you felt will suddenly vanish and you'll be left with the coolest vibes that this place encompasses!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Foggy Lake via Gothic Basin

Climb Del Campo Peak, WA

Vesper Peak Trail

Hike to Glacier Basin

Winter Hike to Goat Lake

Camp at Goat Lake