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Esmeralda Peak Loop Hike

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

Difficulty: Moderate

Pace: Moderate

Northwest Pass is required to park at the trailhead.


10 essentials

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.

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  • Gabi

    Even though longer, there is not much elevation gain on this trail and the loop can easily be done as a one day hike; however it offers several camping possibilities for those who choose to backpack. It does not offer view of larch trees as the neighboring Ingalls Lake trail but has it's own share of beauty, making it an attractive choice for those who want to escape the crowds heading up to Ingalls.
    Great group, little bit of sunshine, and a pleasant walk made for a wonderful day outside.

    October 10, 2011

  • Charlene

    It was a nice group of people. The weather was so incredibly spectacular. A perfect fall hike. Pace was perfect.

    October 9, 2011

  • Darren

    Thanks Gabi for a great hike! it was fun.

    October 8, 2011

  • Charlene

    I have a NW Forest pass - my car doesn't handle so well on dirt roads. Can we send each other our cell phone numbers for finding each other at the park and ride tomorrow morning?

    October 7, 2011

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