Gothic Basin Trail

HARD 93 reviews

Gothic Basin Trail is a 9.3 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
9.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3579 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

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*

2 days ago

6 days ago

9 days ago

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!

hiking
15 days ago

19 days ago

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
20 days ago

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
23 days ago

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
23 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

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 ;)

hiking
26 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

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

backpacking
1 month ago

First of all: regardless of what the weather looks like it is doing...PEOPLE, RESPECT THE BURN BAN. Are you smokey the bear? Didn't think so. Also, uphill hiker has the right-of-way...

Disrespectful hikers aside, this is an incredible hike:

Did an overnight here. The climb up with an overnight pack is definitely a smasher, but if you are in good shape, you are going to enjoy it. Honestly the hike down was more strenuous for me than the hike up. Your legs are just jelly by the bottom. If you prepare yourself mentally for a tough hike, its going to be a good time. Take your time and bring your nutrition and water. Plenty of spots to filter refills, and one area of rushing water you can dip right in.

Unfortunately it rained and was cloudy the entire day/night after setting up camp, but the area is so incredible it was still worth it. The next day we got a sense of the views as it started to clear up. There are some camp sites up closer to foggy lake, but water access is not as easy for refills. We stayed down by the lower lake.

Will be going back for an overnight on a clear evening for sure. Favorite trip other than the enchantments that I have done in WA.

hiking
1 month ago

Well worth the steep climb the view is impressive .
I am going to the trail again !

hiking
1 month ago

Strenuous and difficult hike! however this is one of the best hike I've done!

hiking
1 month ago