Gothic Basin


Miles: 11 roundtrip

Elevation: 2,900 feet gained

Follow the road towards Monte Cristo for the first mile where it intersects the South Fork Sauk River and locate the official trailhead on the right just before the crossing. Enter a dense forest and begin climbing, completing a few sets of very steep switchbacks as the trees start to fade out a bit. The next bit of trail dips to cross a couple of streams and then steepens through brush. A perfect spot to stop is Bigfoot Shower Bath, a waterfall about three quarters of the way to the basin. Onward up, until you cross over a pass and enter the basin. Gothic Basin is glacial carved smooth rock, with little vegetation. It is definitely worth the climb, and exploring seems to have no end. Find Foggy Lake nestled under Foggy Peak at the north end of the basin and scramble up for a ridge top walk along the west side. 

  • Get there: Take the Mountain Loop Highway beyond Verlot 19.5 miles where the paved road becomes gravel. This is Barlow Pass and the gated road to the right is the Monte Cristo Road. Please park in designated areas only.