Gothic Basin

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Washington weather is changing drastically these past few weeks, and it seems like the good weather window for hiking is closing faster than usual. Scooter and I made it out to beautiful Gothic Basin just off of Mountain Loop Highway. (2.5 hrs from Seattle) Mile one of this trail is also the once railroad now trail to the ghost town of Monte Cristo, an abandoned mining town from the turn of the century. The Weedon Trail splits from the trail to Monte Cristo and leads straight up 3,000 feet to Gothic Basin. It’s a stout day hike with waterfalls and impressive views to the valley floor that you just walked from. I think its much better to stay the night in the basin. There’s lots to explore there and a few non technical class 3 scrambles up Gothic Peak and Del Campo Peak for even better views. There are lots of campsites if you explore the area, and best of all no permits. (only NW Forest Service Pass to park the car) The bad news: People have loved this place to death. There are TP flowers everywhere in obvious spots off trail, human poo on the trail itself, and I picked up garbage constantly for two days. Especially no thanks to: The (great scholars) boys soccer team at Roosevelt HS. You left your rotten t-shirt at the nicest campsite on the planet. Also left your garbage too. This place needs to be cleaned up, and the people who leave their trash need to be spanked. Leave no trace isn’t good enough anymore. Remove all trace needs to be the new normal. Rant over. Still, this place is so special with unique rock formations, and interesting subalpine exploring. You gotta check it out…

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