Esmeralda Basin Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Kittitas County, Washington. It is within Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. It is 3.4 miles long and begins at 4,268 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 6.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,962 feet. The Esmeralda Trailhead parking is near the trailhead. There are also restrooms and an information board.
Esmeralda Basin Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"Sometimes we need to readjust our perspectives to fully enjoy our outdoor experiences. Hiking in the Pacific Northwest typically means traveling through some of the most scenic mountains in the world. The high, jagged crest of the Cascades—punctuated by the glistening cones of the great volcanoes—dominates the views. The attraction of those majestic scenic vistas, though, can prevent us from appreciating the scenery closer at hand—or foot. In the Esmeralda Basin you’ll find your eyes straying, not to the distant views, but to the local wonders along the trail—an array of flower species, fluttering birds, and even a dead forest sheared off 6 to 10 feet above the ground by a powerful avalanche."
--Dan A. Nelson, Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Region (The Mountaineers Books).
"This is one of the supreme wild?ower hikes in the Teanaway country. Manning wrote upon hiking here that “more than 150 species of ?owers were in bloom and in my hyperkinetic rush I could do no more than nod in passing.” So take your time in this old mining district rich with ?oral diversity. And decide what it’s going to be: easy hike to the basin, moderate hike to Fortune Pass, or invigorating hike on the Gallagher Head Lake loop. The Teanaway country is a popular hiking destination for rain-dodging westsiders. But it’s more than the ample sunshine that draws the knapsack crowd here."
--Craig Romano, 100 Classic Hikes Washington (The Mountaineers Books).
"Vast meadows of wildflowers—one small clearing boasts several acres of purple shooting stars—line this trail, but that’s just the icing on the cake. The meadows provide local color, but the towering peaks surrounding the basin provide majestic highlights to your hike. The modest pitch of the trail makes this route ideal for hikers—two-and four-legged varieties—of all abilities, and the wonderful scenery will captivate everyone who visits."
--Dan A. Nelson, Best Hikes with Dogs: Western Washington (The Mountaineers Books).
"One of the wonderful aspects of the Teanaway River valley (Indian for “Place of Fish and Berries”) is the promise of sunshine. Though the weather may be cool and wet in Seattle, the Teanaway Valley, in the rain shadow of the Cascades, usually has dependable sunshine. An old miners’ access road to long-ago gold mines now switchbacks through flower-filled meadows to high viewpoints. Children will be intrigued by the sight of rock climbers with their curious gear, leaving from the same trailhead to climb Ingalls Peak. The trail is wide and gains elevation gradually between rugged ridges, past flower gardens renowned among botanists for their rare and unusual species."
--Joan Burton, Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades (The Mountaineers Books).
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