Winter Hike to Gothic Basin
Washington › Gothic Basin Trail
Added by Jason Horstman
- Amazing views of surrounding mountain peaks
- Frozen lakes, tarns, and waterfalls
- Light scrambling
- Views of Gothic Peak, Del Campo Peak, and Silvertip Peak
Start out hiking from Barlow Pass. The first mile begins on an old logging road that passes along the Sauk River. Hike along the road for about a mile before coming to a junction for Weeden Creek, and veer off to the right to begin the trail.
After a half-mile of forest rambling, Weeden Creek will appear and must be crossed. The waterfall may or may not be frozen depending on how it is in the season. The trail begins climbing steadily as soon as you make the crossing. There are about five waterfall/creek crossings in total and numerous switchbacks, which should be done using extreme caution. Several spots along this trail require light scrambling over frequently wet or icy rocks, and require microspikes.
After the last creek crossing, the trail begins to get steeper with a majority covered in ice. Be sure to take your time and make sure to wear spikes at all times. You'll eventually reach a plateau at the top with a few ponds and tarns, at which point, you'll have to do a short scramble up on your right to reach the basin where Foggy Lake is located.
Be sure to use extreme caution on the way back down, as it is requires more focus and stability than the ascent up.
- 10 Essentials
- Insulated clothing or multiple layers
- Hat and gloves
- Microspikes (must-have for waterfall crossings and icy scrambling)
- Trekking poles for stability
- Ice axe (if planning to climb either Gothic or Del Campo Peak)
- Tent (if planning to do a backpack)
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Cold And Wet
Just wanted to follow up on a previous review. The road is not closed every year at the same time. It is dependent on snowfall is my understanding. I've done this hike in January on years we have received very little snow. Checking if the road is open or not is appropriate as is the recommendation to check avalanche reports.
Road not open during the winter
The Mountain Loop Highway is closed 12 miles from Verlot (because of snow etc) which is 7 miles from the mentioned trail-head. That turns this 9 mile hike into a 23 mile hike. I'm surprised there is no mention of the seasonality of this road in the description as the road is closed every year. I imagine that this time of year (with the quantity of snow we have received) that snowshoes would be required as well. In addition I would think it would be appropriate to mention that there is potential for avalanche danger on this route and people should check with the NWAC forecast/predictions prior to setting off into such an area.
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