DISTANCE
7.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,206 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

over grown

rocky

scramble

snow

hiking
7 days ago

I had fond memories of this trail from hiking it a couple of times about 12-14 years ago when I was a semi-frequent hiker. Unfortunately my memories did not serve me well enough, or rather, they gave me false confidence; I probably shouldn't have undertaken this hike as an extremely out-of-shape non-hiker as one of my first attempts at getting back into things. Coming down from Gobbler's Knob to the saddle my knees and legs were already quite angry at what I was doing to them, so I skipped the leg that goes up to Mount Raymond. I did however take the Bowman Fork trail and Baker's Pass loop, shuffling along zombie-style for the last 2-3 miles. But enough about me, you're here to learn about this hike.

What can you expect?
• Unrelenting steepness from the Alexander Basin trailhead to the top of Goblin's Knob, save for about a 1/2 mile stretch of more moderate trail in the middle of the Alexander Basin trial.
• Lush forests and wildflower meadows all along the way. In July, even the summit and exposed mountainsides of Gobbler's Knob were covered in flowers.
• A decent amount of solitude, especially if you choose the loop through Bowman Fork > Baker Springs > Baker Pass (a.k.a. White Fur Pass.) The Baker Pass trail in particular is quite overgrown and does not seem to get a lot of traffic, although portions had been recently cleared (July 2018.) My memory served me well on this point and I was happy I chose to wear pants.
• There is an actual spring along the Baker Springs trail with water piped right to side of the trail a little ways South of the junction with Baker Pass. I wish I'd had the presence of mind to mark it as a waypoint in my recording. I was just happy to grab some extra water and then sit in the shade off trail for a few minutes.

If you want a lot of bang-for-your-buck in terms of sheer elevation gain and accompanying views for a short distance traveled, all while climbing/descending through lush basins, this is the hike for you. Don't be like me and forget you have to make it back down somehow, nor ignore that the loop actually adds several miles to your hike even if you don't actually go up to Mount Raymond.