Esmeralda Basin/Gallagher Head Lake Loop
07/20/13 - 07/21/13
Mary B. Evans
Expect to see spectacular displays of wildflowers on this trip, as well as dramatic views of the surrounding country and high peaks. We will hike at a pace comfortable for all party members, taking occasional rest stops as needed to replenish our energy and enjoy the beautiful views the trail affords. Our hoped-for camp will be in open forest with prime views just off the Country Line Trail.
After establishing camp, we’ll take an optional hike to a high ridgecrest for views, then drop down to beautiful little Lake Ann, where a quick swim or dip will be an option, weather permitting (expect cold water!). This area is typically warm and sunny in July.
Be fit to backpack 7 – 8 miles per day, over sometimes rough trails, with substantial elevation gains and losses each day, up to elevations above 6,000 ft. We will take care to Leave No Trace (http://lnt.org/learn/7-principles).
I will contact all participants about a week in advance of the trip with gear requirements, planning assistance, and potential for gear sharing. I also will facilitate carpools and send out driving directions. The road to the trailhead is dusty with a few potholes, but is suitable for passenger cars.
A Friday-evening option for those who can leave town a little early is car camping at a nearby first-come, first-served established campsite such as 29 Pines, Beverly Creek, or DeRoux Campgrounds.
Be sure to bring a map of the route on this trip: either Green Trails Mount Stuart No. 209, or a USGS topo map that you print out by following the directions here: http://www.mountaineers.org/foothills/hiking/docs/how_to_print_usgs_maps_for_free.html (use “esmeralda peaks, wa” as the location).
This trip may be cancelled or moved if weather or trail conditions are unsafe on the trip dates (e.g., if there’s a substantial heat wave or thunderstorm activity). Starting Trailhead: Parking area at the end of the North Fork Teanaway River Road (TH for Ingalls Lake, Longs Pass, and Esmeralda Basin)