Backpack - Esmeralda Basin/Gallagher Head Lake Loop

Overnight to De Roux River camps with Gallagher Head Lake and De Roux Falls

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  • Strenuous
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 15.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,000 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 5,900 ft
  • Pace: 1.25

9am De Roux TH or Beverly Campground


This trip is hopefully going to be a rather strenuous loop but the route will depend on snowmelt.  Our plan is to set up camp at 2.8 miles, drop packs and hike up to the lake (1.2 miles further) and go for a swim.  The camps are muuuuch better and less bug infested down on the river though (we won't be camping at the lake).  If we do that, that will make a longer day on Sunday....or we may just opt for an out and back.  I'd definitely appreciate input from those who sign up on which we choose.  There aren't marked campsites counterclockwise, the best camps are unfortunately at De Roux at 2.8 miles from the TH. 

If we make it up there, the view from the pass is pretty amazing.  Full view of the Stewart Range and the surrounding areas.  The pass is 3.2 miles past the lake going in the clockwise direction.  If we opt to do the pass and back, that will make our mileage 10.8 miles the first day and 2.8 the second.  Or we can do the lake the first day so that would make our mileage 6 miles the first day, then 9.2 the second day to finish the loop.

 We will hike at a slow pace, taking frequent breaks - photography is encouraged.  To keep the group together we may opt to have the slowest hiker lead. We will stop for an extended lunch (~20 minutes) or when we get to camp. We will break camp and head back to our cars Sunday morning starting around 9am.

** NOTE ** This trip is *NOT* recommended if:

   ** you are in a hurry to get to camp and/or can't handle hiking at a slowwww pace
    **  you are awake earlier than 5am and get really bored waiting for other folks to wake up
   **  you don't feel like waiting while others take a swim at the lake


Esmeralda Basin/Gallagher Head Lake Loop

  • Green Trails Mt Stuart No. 209

    Green Trails Alpine Lakes East (Stuart Range) No. 208SX

    Alpine Lakes Wilderness (ALPS)

    Trails Illustrated Alpine Lakes Wilderness
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports