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Esmeralda Basin


Key Info

2 of 5 (technical difficulty)
3 of 5 (physical difficulty)
NW Washington


12 miles total
2700' elevation gain
80% single track
20% fire road
47.417 lat.
-120.938 long.


This scenic loop around Esmeralda Peaks is an excellent "mini" Cascade alpine sampler. It is a nice shorter backcountry ride with a solid long singletrack climb and a technical descent full of tricky switchbacks, plenty of root systems and even a bit of exposure to keep you honest. Anticipate 3.5 to 5 hours on trail, though the mileage is relatively short, the singletrack and jeep road climbs will take some time and an occasional hike-a-bike. Parking at the De Roux Campground and pedaling the quick 2 miles to the Esmeralda trailhead provides a nice warm-up as the trail immediately climbs steeply away and you will then finish the ride at your car.

The trail is shared by hikers, horses and the De Roux section by motos. Typical for the area the tread can become dusty with loose rock as a result of usage and horses leave their "usage" on trail. :)

Some of these trails are listed incorrectly as closed to mountain bikes on the Forest Service website and on Green Trails maps. They ARE open to bikes.

Cle Elum is the closest for food and services.