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Gothic Basin #724, ,Gothic Peak

Aug 02, 2007

by The Duge last modified Sep 10, 2008 02:44 PM
Type of Outing
Day hike
Read More in our Hiking Guide
Hike: Gothic Basin
Region: North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
Agency: Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest
Trails: Gothic Basin (#724)
Avg Rating: 4.36
Be Aware Of
Blowdowns
Bugs
Foggy Lake and Silvertip Peak from Shoulder of Gothic Peak

The weather looked great for this side of the mountains, so I headed up to check out Gothic Basin. I had been there last year in October after some early snowfall and it was spectacular.

When I arrived at Barlow Pass, no other cars were around. Five other cars were there when I returned. I only say one other person the whole hike. The first mile is on the old road to Monte Cristo, and true to other reports, there is a nice detour up over the clay slide. The trail starts to the right of the log jam at the old bridge site. The river is low enough now where one could ford it to get to Monte Cristo with the water reaching about ½ calf height. I could see by wear on the logs that others crossed on the log jam or on a large log crossing the river. The root ball could be a challenge.

It seems like the elevation gain is more than 2600 feet to the basin, but I am sure that is because the first couple miles is relatively flat and then the trail takes off like a the Blue Angels heading skyward at seafair. The trail is in very good shape up until you reach the first of several long waterfalls. Then it turns to ruts and bedrock until about ½ mile past after King Kong’s shower bath. I climbed up to the base of that waterfall and was rewarded with a small rainbow at its base. There are nice views out across Weden Creek to Silvertip Peak starting about ½ way up, and it keeps getting better.

Once into the basin, I climbed up to Foggy Lake. It is still about 20% frozen. As the day went, the ice pack became noticeably smaller. There are very few trees in the basin, but the multicolored rocks, numerous tarns, waterfalls, and snow patches makes up for it.

I climbed up the saddle to the west of the lake, and hiked along the ridge up toward Gothic Peak. The views down to Foggy Lake, and out across the valley to Silver Tip Peak and Columbia Peak behind it were spectacular. From the shoulder of Gothic Peak, I was able to see Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, and Glacier Peak. It was a beautiful hike, even though it is a bit strenuous.

Round trip to entrance to basin 10 miles, 2600 feet elevation gain. Round trip to just below haystacks on Gothic peak, 12 miles +-, 3400 feet elevation gain.

Snowmelt and Colored Rocks on Shoulder of Gothic Peak
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