Backpack - Big Crow Basin

Big Crow Basin

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6:30 AM at Tibbets Lot, 1675 Newport Way NW, Issaquah, WA
Although open to all club members over age 18, this trip is also part of the B3 backpacking Building Blocks series and eligible for B3 course graduation credit. In addition, this backpack will have a practical instructional/learning focus and offer experience in proper gear use and camp set-up techniques.

Individuals interested in this trip should email the leader by email to get approved for participation.

Trip Co leader is Linda Kuramoto.

Here’s a grand loop in the Norse Peak Wilderness, long on splendid scenery and alpine meadows – and short on crowds. Most visitors to these parts congregate on the 6856 foot peak that lends its name to this 52,000 acre wilderness, leaving the Big Crow Basin below it teeming with goats, elk, deer, and bear. Explore nearby Lake Basin, Cement Basin, and Bullion Basin and look for relics of the area’s mining past. And, not least, stand on Crown Point, reeling in a royal in-your-face view of Mount Rainier.

Join us on a 3 day journey in the Norse Peak Wilderness. This is a moderate trip, and the pace will be leisurely (slow to moderate).

  • On Day 1 we will drive to the Norse Peak Trailhead, and start our trip, ascending 2831 ft to our highest point, Norse Peak, and then continue on to camp at Basin Lake for 7.3 miles.
  • On Day 2 we will dayhike from Basin Lake south on Trail 987 to Crown Point, then continue further south on PCT possibly as far as Sourdough Gap, then return to Basin Lake via the PCT, for up to 15 miles with minor ups and downs.
  • On Day 3 we depart Basin Lake, heading north on the PCT thru Big Crow Basin to Barnard Saddle, and back to the Norse Peak Trailhead, for 8.2 miles and 575’ gain.


Date Time Daily Mileage Trip Mileage Daily Elevation Gain Trip Elevation Gain Hiking Time (hours)
Leave Norse Peak TH 13-Jul 9:00am 0.0 0
Arrive Basin Lake 13-Jul 4:00pm 7.3 7.3 2831 2831 6.5
Depart Basin Lake for dayhike 14-Jul 8:00am 7.3 2831
Arrive Basin Lake 14-Jul 4:30pm 15 22.3 645 3476 8
Depart Basin Lake 15-Jul 9:00am 22.3 3476
Arrive Norse Peak TH 15-Jul 1:30pm 8.2 30.5 575 4051 4

Although not required, I recommend using a bear canister or ursack for food storage. A water filter is also a necessity.

I will facilitate carpool arrangements to our meeting place prior to our trip. We may have to arrange pickups at people’s homes to avoid leaving vehicles at P&Rs.;


  • Green Trails Bumping Lake No. 271
  • Backpacking Washington: Overnight and Multiday Routes, by Craig Romano, Trip No. 21 Big Crow Basin. See pages 106-110

Driving Directions From Enumclaw, head east on State Route 410 for 32 miles, and turn left onto Crystal Mountain Road (just before the Mount Rainier National Park entrance). Continue for 4.2 miles and park along the road, across from gravel road that leads to the unsigned Norse Peak Trailhead on your left (elev 3850 ft). Northwest Forest Pass required.

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials
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