NOTE: This was originally scheduled to be a backpacking trip but due to unfavorable weather Saturday night and Sunday, we will day hike the whole loop on Saturday.
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.
The loop begins at Esmeralda Trailhead and for a little while follows up a rocky mining road along North Fork Teanaway River into a basin with close views of Esmeralda Peak, then to a unnamed pass overlooking Lake Ann.
Next Fortune Pass is reached, elevation 6,020 ft. and after that the trail descends steeply to Fortune Creek Road Junction. Following the road for about a mile, we will arrive to Gallagher Head Lake, which is about the half point.
From there we will start on De Roux Trail leading from the lake into the De Roux Creek basin, and them mostly downhill to the De Roux Creek Trailhead.
The final segment of the trip will lead us up North Fork Teanaway River Road back to Esmeralda trailhead.
Distance: 12 miles
Elevation Gain: 3500 ft
Northwest Pass is required to park at the trailhead.
WHAT TO BRING
If you have a NW Pass, please bring it even if you don't plan to drive.
Cash to reimburse drivers for fuel.
Please be respectful to the drivers and their vehicles and bring change of boots and possibly clothing, so that in case you get muddy during the trip, you will have a clean clothing for the ride home.