Esmeralda Basin Loop Trail

HARD 9 reviews
#28 of 137 trails in

Esmeralda Basin Loop Trail is a 11.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Cle Elum, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

11.5 miles
2811 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash




nature trips

trail running


horseback riding





wild flowers


no shade

4 months ago

Learned the importance of printing out a map and using the compass ahead of time. My friend and I got distracted, were unprepared and missed the turn for Lake Ingalls. We hiked about 12 miles before we got back to the car (additional mileage due to parking lot being closed). We only ran into one group while we were hiking Esmeralda, pretty desolate. Bring lots of strong bug spray and wear tons of sunscreen. The trail is mostly uncovered and on a sunny day, you will fry. Although we didn't make it to the lake, we enjoyed the flowers, streams and views throughout!

5 months ago

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

My friend and I got talking and missed the trailhead for Lake Ingalls

Sunday, July 07, 2013

With a full pack and a six year old I would say this trail is difficult. We crossed 26 water with rocks, the rocky trail, and all the switchbacks to the top definitely a difficult trek. I really wish we had a tent because it would have been an overnighter! Awesome day! Lunch on top and dinner in Cle Elum.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Went to Esmeralda on July 29th. It was a beautiful day. I would have preferred it just a bit cooler, but that's just me. The hike is moderate, not too strenuous. But if you're coming from Seattle, it's definitely an all day trip.

There were still tons of wildflowers. Open meadows just full of them. Saw a few hummingbirds too. The views at the top were amazing! There was still a small amount of snow up there. LOTS of bugs, but my bug spray seemed to do its job for the most part.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Monday, June 01, 2015

horseback riding
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Saturday, July 26, 2014