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Esmeralda Basin (Esmerelda)

Snoqualmie Region


Snoqualmie Region -- Salmon La Sac/Teanaway
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7.0 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 1750 ft.
Highest Point: 5960 ft.


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WTA worked here: 2016

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

Esmeralda Basin, found at the end of the North Fork Teanaway Road, affords hikers the opportunity to walk through old forest, meadows brimming with wildflowers, and along rocky hillsides, all while enjoying the striking scenery of the jagged and craggy Esmeralda Peaks. The trail boasts over 75 varieties of wildflowers, evidence of an old mining operation, and vantage points into the Cascades from two different passes - one is unnamed, the other is Fortune Creek Pass.

The trail begins at the end of the North Fork Teanaway Road. Follow the trail as it meanders along an old mining road to a junction with the Ingalls Way and Longs Pass Trail (1390) in less than half a mile. Continue straight and wander through trees, then meadows, cross streams, and gain elevation, making long switchbacks as you go. In the summer, flowers are prolific in the meadows and along streams which cascade gently down the often rocky and otherwise dry terrain. The wide, old roadway eventually narrows as the trail climbs higher along the hillside. Eventually, the trail skirts the slopes of Ingalls Peak as it heads northwest.

Approximately 3 miles from the trailhead, an intersection with Trail 1226 heads north to a pass overlooking Lake Ann. Taking this trail to the overlook is worthwhile, and adds just about 2 miles to your trip and nearly 500 feet in elevation. Otherwise, continue hiking straight, staying on Trail 1394. It travels the side hill until finally reaching the barren ridge which is Fortune Creek Pass.

The views here open west to Hawkins Mountain, Mount Daniel and Hinman to the northwest, and if one scrambles the rocky hill to the south of the pass, Mount Rainier can be seen in the distance beyond Gallagher Head Lake. Of course, Ingalls Peak is showcased immediately to the north, a different view than many hikers get from its more visited other side.


Esmeralda Basin (Esmerelda)

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.4361, -120.9372 Open map in new window


Snoqualmie Region -- Salmon La Sac/Teanaway

Esmeralda Basin (#1394)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Cle Elum Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Pass (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)

Buy the Green Trails Mount Stuart No. 209 map

Download a map to plan your hike

Getting There

From eastbound I-90, take Exit 85. Cross the freeway on the overpass and turn right onto Highway 970. Drive 970 for 7 miles and turn left on Teanaway Road. 

7.1 miles later, bear right as the road becomes North Fork Teanaway Road. 5.9 miles past this fork, where the road becomes unpaved, take the right fork to Forest Road 9737. Drive 1.1 miles and stay left at the fork signed Beverly Campground. Continue on this road a further 6.7 miles and keep right at a fork signed for 'Trail 1394'. Drive another 1.7 miles to the trailhead. It is 22.5 miles to the Esmeralda Basin/Ingalls Lake trailhead from the turn off of Highway 970.

If the trailhead is full, park ONLY on the west side of the road (it is signed "Parking This Side Only") to allow safe traffic flow.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

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Esmeralda Basin (Esmerelda)

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