Gothic Basin Trail is a 9.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Granite Falls, 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.

DISTANCE
9.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,280 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

Passing the metal gate just south of the parking lot is where the adventure start. For about 1-1.5 miles is an old gravel road that parallels to the Sauk River (This part is NOT included in the 9 mile round trip) You will first pass the Monte Cristo trail head first. Keep walking until the trail comes to a fork. You will proceed to the right going into the forest until you see the trail head for "Weden Creek/Gothic Basin #724". There is also an old outhouse. Proceed past the sign for a little bit and then you will then see a large sign for the "Weeden Creek Trail". This is your destination. The trail starts off with a gentle grade incline through the sheltering forest for about a mile. A couple of small stream crossings will be passed. About 1.5 miles into the trail, a series of switchbacks (about 20) will begin. The switchbacks are moderate at first then the incline starts to ascend pretty dramatically. Leading out of the forest, you will arrive at the first major waterfall. Continue onward and upward crossing to the left of the waterfall. The trail then beings to get very rough and rocky continuing this way throughout the rest of the hike. Some of the pathway is very narrow, hugging the edge of the mountain with thick overgrowth. The final ascend into the basin is very steep amongst rocks and flat boulders. You will then arrive at Gothic Basin when you see a small lake surrounded by numerous peaks at 4.5 miles into the hike. The hike to Foggy Lake was about 20 minutes past Gothic Basin. It is probably about half a mile away with another 500 ft of additional elevation gain. There is not a clear trail to the lake. You will not see any views at the base of Gothic Basin. The higher you go, the better the views get. After reaching the top of the first ridge the view was magnificent seeing the small lake on the bottom and the different surrounding mountains/peaks. The view was worth the difficult journey. Foggy Lake is very nice. You will not see much green as it is surrounded by rock formations. This hike is mentally draining because you are constantly trekking over rocks, boulders and walking/climbing steeply over ridges without knowing if you are close to the end. However, all breathtaking views come with a challenge! *Northwest Forest Pass required*

hiking
15 days ago

this was probably one of the hardest hikes i’ve done. it starts out flat for about a mile and then it’s just straight up the entire way. when you think you’re almost there you have about another mile to go. the basin was beautiful and gorgeous and while we were up there a person fell off the ledges of the hike and had to be airlifted out of there so i really suggest being careful when you’re up there! the hike kicked my butt but it was beautiful!

Beautiful hike, to say the least! Breathtaking almost the whole way, In one way or another.Kicked my butt though.

backpacking
1 month ago

Absolutely awesome. This one definitely fits the bill for "hard" I think. I recommend planning an entire day here, or camp overnight at the top. Perfect balance of enjoying the forest but with a ton of scenery of the surrounding peaks throughout. Some of the parts, the trail isn't very visible but still easy to know where to go. I can't wait to do it again!

backpacking
2 months ago

A 50 lbs pack on this hike was a real leg burner but worth it. We camped 2 nights and 3 days. The downside is that we got stuck in a constant rain+wind storm for 2 days and couldn’t see more than 30 feet in front of us. The the views were of a gray cloud that we were stuck in. Upside, bears and bugs don’t like that weather so no run in’s, ha. I have an inReach Garmin and kept holding onto hope for Monday, our last morning, since the weather report kept updating at 0% chance rain. It did finally blow out and I’ll admit, seeing that happen was almost worth the storm. Once the sun finally pierced through the clouds, it was amazing. Then it took about an hour for the cloud cover to blow away and reveal why the North Cascades are my favorite. Photos don’t do it justice, you just have to come and see for yourself. Just don’t be a jerk, pack out what you pack in and no fires. The plant life up here is like a PNW rainforest. It’s gorgeous and there are also tons of wild blueberries around. We got to spend 3 hours exploring around which was great. We all had tent fever pretty bad and needed to stretch out minds and our legs. I’m just happy we were able to see the endless sea of Cascades before heading down. We were also stoked that we didn’t have to scramble down wet and muddy rocks. I will say that the scramble area is way longer than posted on here. It wasn’t constant but there were scrambles for the last mile. Some of them were so high that my full pack top touched what I was climbing. Trekking poles and hiking boots are a must, and not worn down hiking boots, you’ll need good outsoles. Also, the split from Barlow trail to Gothic Basin happens a little before what’s posted on here. The original trail is unsafe, looked like a tree fell through. They made a new trail to connect over, just follow the wooden sign that says “Gothic Basin” and ignore your preloaded maps. I use OnX, it lets you preload high resolution maps for offline use. They’re better than my Garmin maps. Definitely bring a bear canister or ursack. There was a warning sign saying they “strongly discouraged camping” at Barlow pass, which is the trail you begin on. Apparently it’s a bear hangout and the trial head where you park, bears have gotten into vehicles and aren’t easily scared off. So while Gothic Basin isn’t Barlow pass, they share the same parking and part of the trail and it’s still bear country. So be smart. Do your research and enjoy the view! It’s worth every bit of leg burn.

2 months ago

Trail ran this today. Similar to what the other reviewer said, biggest regret was not bringing a tent. The basin is pretty awesome. Hard to describe and pictures don’t do it justice. Hike was smoke free, bug free. Super steep at times so be prepared to have your legs burning. Kind of like Mt . Si but 3 miles longer. First 2 miles are flat and easily runnable. Hiking poles and hiking shoes are a must. Trust me. I post photos of my hiking adventures on instagram under “adventuringKR”. One final note, this hike is 30 miles from cell service so download some offline maps and get a lot of gas before you get there.

hiking
2 months ago

Only regret is not bringing our tent. Take your time, and bring hiking poles if you’re unsteady on your feet. Plan on hanging out in the basin for a while!

hiking
2 months ago

Very nice and extra hard trail however well worth the view all the way to the lake

backpacking
2 months ago

Definitely a challenging trail. but not so hard that it wasn't enjoyable. The views and waterfalls were great going up the trail. The basin has panoramic views no matter where you set up camp.

2 months ago

One of the more challenging hikes I have done. My only gripe is someone had their boom box on at the first lake and it was rap echoing across the hills. Ugh. A hike behind us asked them to use ear buds. Thank you!!

hiking
2 months ago

I did this hike last Saturday. Very strenuous and very very smoky. I don’t think this hike is worth doing until the smoke from the fires in Canada has cleared. Once they have I’m sure it would be a worth it to hike. Be prepared tho!! This hike was recorded for 14.5 miles.

backpacking
2 months ago

Perfect quick overnight trip. if your taking someone who is relatively fit on a first backpacking trip, this would be a great option.

backpacking
2 months ago

Went up to Gothic Basin this past weekend and is sad to report back that almost every single campsite had a fire pit in a location where fires are prohibited. We disassembled some of them but was frustrated and angry to see that people have no respect for these fragile places that we are so lucky to go and for LNT principles. Please educate yourself before heading out there and leave places better then when you found it.

backpacking
2 months ago

This trail absolutely destroyed my legs, went camping for 2 nights, Gorgeous scenery, but do not let the "light scrambles" confuse you. There were some parts where I should have hiked in a ladder. All in all the hike is beautiful but a very very strenuous all uphill/rock climbing hike

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike, good views, and fun rugged terrain that will challenge you. Trekking poles recommended for anyone doing this trail, especially for inexperienced hikers. This trail is a bit longer than the posted 9 miles due to the 3/4 mile walk from the mountain loop road to the trailhead.

3 months ago

Yes, this trail is grueling- but I’m so glad I did it. It would be an amazing place to camp.

backpacking
3 months ago

Crazy difficult hike, but so worth the trip! Breathtaking views especially when you get near the top. I will say though- I thought it was going to be 9 miles round trip, but it ended up being 7.5 miles EACH way according to my fitbit, not including the mile or so from the parking lot to the official start of the trail. Still well worth the extra miles!

camping
3 months ago

Panoramic views and a good challenge with a pack. Bring some bug spray and take a dip in the lake

3 months ago

Hiked up on 7/21 and camped on small peak just east of foggy lake. Lots of snow in the last 0.5 miles of hike, and foggy lake still frozen.

The trail is 5.1 miles from the parking area (on the mountain loop highway) to Foggy Lake. Shorter estimates do not include the 1.1 mile walk from the parking lot, along a dirt road, to the trailhead.

3 months ago

great workout and absolutely fantastic views

3 months ago

Hiked July 14 and was gorgeous! Lots of streams, snowfields, and rock scrambles along the trail that made it a challenging hike, but the views are so worth it!

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing trail, my best so far in the PNW. Be careful of sketchy snow bridges. Bring a GPS with you or near the top you will follow false bootpack and miss the trail. This resulted in required Class IV maneuvers to get to the top.
Incredible waterfalls!

backpacking
4 months ago

One of my favorite backpacking destinations in the Northwest. We went up mid August 2017. The 17 or so switchbacks about 1/2-2/3 of the way up were quite grueling. Especially after accidentally hiking Barlow pass before Gothic basin, due to trailhead confusion. We woke up to incoming rain and high winds after a sunny previous day — be prepared for quick weather changes. The sight at and around Gothic basin was absolutely stunning. There is a certain dark beauty about the whole place, especially as the clouds roll in quickly. Highly, highly recommend this spot in late summer!

hiking
5 months ago

Definitely worth the grind to get up. Can not recommend crampons and an axe enough if you want to get to the peak. Be careful of snow bridges and slushy snow. Alpine experience is a plus. Once past the main waterfall, the trail is heavily snow covered and expect to make your own trail if necessary. We made our own trail to the peak and loved every minute of it. Foggy lake is still completely frozen over, but the view is spectacular. Absolutely worth every minute it takes to get there. Enjoy your hike! Trail is open.

6 months ago

This hike was completed Aug 2017.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Snow has already began to set in for the season so I highly recommend bringing gloves, warm layers and waterproofing as much as possible. It got pretty cold and was snowing/sleeting near the top which had a lot of people turning around so check weather conditions to. A lot of the Trail was hiking up a literal river but views were spectacular and totally worth it!

Friday, September 29, 2017

I'd call this a Mini- Enchantments because it will kick ones ass and provide breathtaking views- and not just at the top. I did this hike today and took my time going up and coming back down. In all I spent 8 hours almost on this one, including relaxing and eating lunch in the Basin. Saw less than ten people on the hike which was also kind of pleasant. I loved the different water Falls along the way once you get past the sign that indicated the lands belong to NDR (or whatever it says).

The paybox near the trailhead gate was recently stolen so if you want to get a day pass you'll need to buy it at the Verlot Ranger station 20 miles before the trailhead.

What makes this hike challenging is you need to watch your footing most of the time, especially on the way down. I found myself surprised that I'd climbed over some of the slabs of rocks on the way up when I was having to climb down over them. You may say "Did I really come up over all this?" Yes. Almost thought I was using alternate trails back down but then I'd see something familiar and knew I wasn't.

Wear ankle supporting shoes is my advice and don't get in a sloppy hurry. I also used Trekking poles and am very glad I did, especially coming down.

This can be done in a day but I envied those camping on top. That's the way to do it, weather permitting.

hiking
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

I did this hike on a cold winter morning and really wish I'd had better layers. It's best for experienced hikers, and also seems like a good one to do with company. We didn't see other people on the trail, as I'm used to.

hiking
Monday, September 25, 2017

Beautiful hike with some beautiful views of the surrounding mountains (to the East). Pretty intense second half in terms of incline and rocky footing.

Just before reaching the final lake, the view out East over Weeden Lake is pretty good. High vertical drop down to the water.

hiking
Sunday, September 24, 2017

Gorgeous hike. Getting to the top is like walking into another world. The trailhead is not clearly marked at first - park at the Barlow Pass lot, then cross the road, pass the gate to a wide trail and walk 3/4 mile until you see the trailhead sign on the right. There was a lot of scrambling, but nothing technically difficult. The trail is also very narrow in places and overgrown, so if the trees are wet your clothes will be too. The elevation gain kind of bottlenecks during the second half, so be aware ;)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

This was brutal but so worth it! I was smiling when got to the top and smiling...grimacing when I got to my car.

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