Backpack - Gothic Basin


Backpack - Gothic Basin

This is a rigorous weekend trip in the North Cascades, climbing sharply (nearly 3000 feet in just under 5 miles) over rough and rugged terrain. The payoff is a pristine alpine basin dotted with tarns, streams, lakes, and meadows all set in the shadows of Gothic Peak and Del Campo. Participants should be prepared for potential snow crossings and areas of mild exposure.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Sat, Jul 11, 2015 — Sun, Jul 12, 2015
  • Foothills Backpacking Committee
  • Backpacking
  • Singles, 20-30 Somethings, Retired Rovers, Adults
  • Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 9.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,840 ft
  • We will meet at the trailhead Saturday morning at 8:00 AM, followed by a short briefing and hit the trail by 8:30. The backpack begins by traveling the road towards the now abandoned mining town of Monte Cristo, parallel the Sauk River. At approximately 1 mile we will veer off onto the Weeden Creek trail. From here the path gains elevation very quickly. Scramble over rooted trail, several stream crossings, snow patches, and rocky sections with mild exposure. We will try and take a short breather for lunch at “Kong Falls”. From here we will make the last push over the increasingly rocky trail until we reach the basin. After setting up camp, explore the offerings of Gothic Basin: take a dip in icy cold Foggy Lake, check out an abandoned gold mine, take in the serene meadow landscape. The next day we will make a late morning retreat back down the trail and return to the cars by mid to late afternoon.

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 credit. In addition, this backpack will have a practical instructional/learning focus and offer experience in proper gear use and camp set-up techniques.

The trail starts at Barlow Pass, follows the road for about a mile, the turns into the forest before passing a waterfall at the crossing of Weeden Creek.  Then you will start seriously climbing.   The upper part of the trail is mostly exposed scree.  Several spots along this trail require light scrambling over frequently wet rocks.  Excellent views of he peaks of the Monte Cristo area will come and go to your left. Wildflowers should be excellent though there will be some patches of snow around the basin.  Once we reach the basin we'll hunt for camps and then do some wandering.  Foggy Lake will be a logical place to find around to the right.

Bear cans or Ursacks will be required because  there are no trees in the basin for hanging your food.

More details will be provided by the leader as the trip date approaches.


Gothic Basin

  • Green Trails Mountain Loop Highway No. 111SX

    Green Trails Sloan Peak No. 111

    Green Trails Monte Cristo No. 143

    USGS Sloan Peak

    USGS Monte Cristo
  • 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