Bedal Basin Trail

MODERATE 1 reviews
#73 of 91 trails in

Bedal Basin Trail is a 5.2 mile out and back trail located near Darrington, WA and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from July until October.

5.2 miles 1900 feet Out & Back


No parking at trailhead; just find a wide spot in the narrow road and don't block the way. No facilities.

4 years ago

(Sorry my photo doesn't look upside down on my computer or iPhone. I uploaded it a second time after rotating it in Preview, but now there's two upside down ones!! Does anyone know how to delete photos?)

This was a challenging hike for my wife and I in some respects, but not for our friend, John, who has more high-country experience than us. I need to qualify that, because we went beyond Bedal Basin. If you're turning around at the basin, this is a fairly straight-forward and moderate hike, which is why I rate it moderate.
We were aiming higher, though. Upward from the basin, heading toward the south flank of Sloan Peak, we were hoping to bag a peak (no name I know of) beyond the ridge you see to the right side of Sloan. Instead, we turned around at that ridge.
Left the TH at 8:30 and arrived at the ridgetop at 3:30. Lingered there for close to an hour taking in the unbelievable views, and then got back to the TH at 8 pm. If you're only going to the basin, it only took 2-1/2 hours for us to make it to that point.
What made it difficult for us was that we missed the official trail (look for cairns at the rocky chute; we missed the crucial one) and scrambled up a rough chute of bolders, then traversed an even rougher field of boulders before ascending a very steep chute of snow on crampons and ice axe. The boulder city was unstable and I don't recommend it! A very large boulder rolled down toward me at one point and I very nearly lost a foot or knee to it. As it was, my catlike reflexes resulted in only scrapes and bruises.
It is a lonesome trail--we were the only ones there on a beautiful weekend day.