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Trip Report

Gothic Basin — Sunday, Sep. 10, 2017

North Cascades
Gothic lake

The mileage on WTA page is 9.2 miles but I think that excludes the 0.8 mile that you walk before the trail starts once you enter the gate closed for vehicles. The Round trip including foggy lake on my iphone (UnderArmor app) was more than 12.5 miles and elevation gain was around 3200 ft and I did not roam too much at basin area which might further increase your mileage. It may be slightly inaccurate but I had used same app in past for Sahale Arm and mileage was around 11.5 miles so just to give you an idea that this is not a moderate hike. The trail is steep and carry lot of water or a water filter as there were bunch of waterfalls and lake to refill water.

Started from trailhead around 9.45am and it was hard to find parking spot. The wildfire smoke from last week has almost cleared out and it might have rained earlier as the trail was not dusty. However scrambling on wet rocks made it bit unpleasant. Most part of the trail is challenging and with almost no views. After 3 miles the tree cover reduces and after crossing bunch of small waterfalls the views get better.

It get more and more challenging and sometime it feels like that it is dead end on trail but you can figure it out. There were ripe huckleberry at multiple spots before reaching top. The beauty starts after reaching basin. It was beautiful up there and if you decide to go up to foggy lake the views are even better. To be honest the image on home page of this hike looks like from peaks near foggy lake and it would be more challenging to go up there so didnt go to Del Campo Peak.

All previous reports were almost true about the steepness of the trail. After reaching gothic basin there is no trail up, mostly scrambling. I felt Sahale Arm or Hannegan peak were easier than this may be due to views I stopped in those trails to appreciate the surrounding beauty and may be this hike required too much hopping jumping scrambling. Was it worth the effort? Yes, if you know in advance and prepared for it that most of the great views starts after reaching basin and going further up. 

Foggy lake
Get ready for some scrambling