Esmeralda Loop

Cle Elum, Washington 98922

Esmeralda Loop

Esmeralda Loop Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"A semi-loop through Esmerelda Basin and down De Roux Creek. The Esmerelda Loop combines several trails in a convenient 12-mile loop around the Esmerelda Peaks in the upper Teanaway River region, just outside the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. As described here, the loop begins from the Esmerelda trailhead, but one may also begin the hike from the De Roux Creek trailhead.

Most hikers do only the first few miles of the loop, hiking through Esmerelda Basin to Fortune Pass or Lake Ann and back, a reasonable and popular day hike. Determined hikers can complete the entire loop in a day, but most will do it as a two-day backpack with a camp at Gallagher Head Lake or thereabouts."

Esmeralda Loop Reviews

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Even though longer, there is not much elevation gain on this trail (our GPS registered only 2600 ft cumulative gain) and the loop can easily be done as a one day hike; however it offers several camping possibilities for those who choose to backpack. One of the sites being right atop unnamed pass after the steepest part of the trail is conquered. This side offers one of the best views on the trail but does not have a water source nearby and provides no protection from the elements. Much more comfortable sites can be found about half way through, at the Gallaher Head Lake, where trees protect from wind, water is within few feet, and views are worthy too. As for the trail itself it does not offer view of larch trees as the neighboring Ingalls Lake trail but has it's own share of beauty - views, making it an attractive choice for those who want to escape the crowds heading up to Ingalls. Conditions as of 10/8/2011 - first half of the trail was well maintained and easy to follow. We encountered multiple blowdowns on the second part of the trail, all of which could be easily navigated through.
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My wife and son and daughter -in-law and 1 year old and 3 year old went up to Esmeralda Basin last week end. The trail was dry and clear. Small clear creeks passed over it now and again. The trail is on rock so the creeks did no damage. We had sun shine all the way. The fire danger was low and The woods smelled geat. Views were good. At 5,400 feet we found paches of snow in deep shady areas. My son and his wife were in fine shape so they went up out of the basin to about 6,000 feet. Next time we will take the cut off and go to Longs pass. It sits below Mt Stuart in Washington.. Fantastic views there. Happy trails to you....

Esmeralda Loop Photos

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Trail Information

Cle Elum
Nearby City
3,400 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Overnight backpacking trip
Best summer through fall
4,300 feet
Trailhead Elevation
6,020 feet
Top Elevation
Wenatchee National Forest, Cle Elum Ranger District
Local Contacts
USGS Mount Stuart; Green Trails 209 (Mount Stuart)
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018