DISTANCE
14.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,091 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

blowdown

muddy

old growth

rocky

scramble

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked with the intent of adding Haystack- was not in the cards as a wind and rain weather system moved in as I was descending Basin. Saddleback Cliffs weren't as difficult as I had anticipated. Most of the issue (especially descending) was the vertigo you get from the view while looking down the entire time. If you are not used to or comfortable with this type of scrambling while having that exposure (and it should be said that it does add a mental hurdle to get over)- this may be an issue. Once you get used to it-it was very manageable. There are a few slabs on other 46ers I find to be a bit more difficult physically but 'felt' easier/more comfortable with because I was surrounded by trees. This all being said, the cliffs may get most of the attention on this hike from hikers but it should be noted that Basin is no slouch either. I would not recommend this hike during or just after heavy rain.

On my return to John's Brook Lodge and the Garden parking area I saw a Bear about 50 ft. on the right side of the trail foraging. I stopped to watch him lumber around the ground debris. He had gotten about 35 ft. from me before he had seen me and I made noise spooking him away. Very cool.