Gothic Basin Trail

HARD 94 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
3477 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*

2 months 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!

2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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 ;)

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
3 months 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
3 months ago

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

3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

very beautiful and very steep in spots! go the little bit further to Foggy Lake

3 months ago

The smoke sucks so don't go until it clears because the views aren't as great. Other than that it was a nice hike. Pretty steep and the last half is rough rocky terrain so be careful with puppy paws if you bring them.

backpacking
3 months ago

Lots of rock climbing and 2 beautiful water falls before you even got to to basin

hiking
3 months ago

Such a beautiful hike. More crowded than I thought though (we went on a Sunday). It took us 2 hours 5 min to go up, stayed up there for 2 hours, and it took less than two hours to go down. We hike almost every weekend, and this hike is one of our favorites in Washington. Our computer said 11.5 miles. Make sure to go up to Foggy Lake. The lake itself is very pretty, but the views are even better.

hiking
3 months ago

This is one of the best hike I ever done !!. First mile of the hike is plain gravel road then you will see the signs where you will take right. Once you reach the trail head first half mile easy then it's start getting steep. Trail is in very good condition. We started around 8:00am, parking lot was almost full so we parked around the roadside. It was foggy and cool so bugs were not that bad. Took us 3 hours and 20 min to get up to Foggy lake which is just extra less then a mile away from the basin. We took couple small breaks to eat snacks. If you go to gothic basin you should defiantly go up to foggy lake. We had lunch at foggy lake and the view was mind blowing!! Took us 2 hours and 40 minutes to come back to the parking lot and parking lot was over flowing. We meet people of all ages up there which was super impressive, It's want easy hike for us.
Checklist:
1. Go early in morning on weekday and on sunny day.
2. Plenty of water and food we took 3-4 liters and it was gone.
3. Extra layer of clothing and hiking poles at foggy lake it gets cold.
northwest forest pass.
4. Sunscreen/sunglasses/ bug spray.

This is a hike where every turn you take there is a different beautiful view.

Best of luck!!!

4 months ago

Took daughter on her first over night. Slight breeze kept the bugs down, very little to no snow left. Fairly busy for a weekday but otherwise enjoyable.

trail running
4 months ago

A bit crowded but nice views and lakes. Do yourself a favor and go scramble Gothic & Del Campo peaks, they are well worth the extra effort. They are not terribly difficult (if you have scrambled before).

4 months ago

Well worth the effort! A variety of terrain and awesome views. Bring a filter or lots of water!

backpacking
4 months ago

Mid July-it was hot! The views are amazing!

backpacking
4 months ago

Stunning views in the basin and at Foggy Lake, which still has ice in it. There's also still some snow in the basin, but it's very possible to move around without having to actually cross any snow.

Compared to other trails in the area, the people who created this one weren't generous with the switchbacks; the grade is steep in the middle of the hike.

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing view with steep climbs

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