Over the past weekend we finally made it to the De Roux campground area and did the Gallaher Lake - Esmeralda Basin Loop. It was well worth it and made us wonder why we haven't visited sooner!
Driving into the trailhead was "interesting" once you get off of North Teanaway Road the "road" part becomes iffy in places, especially past the second bridge crossing. The trailhead at De Roux was packed as well as the Esmeralda Basin trailhead parking area where we came down on the way back. It's a popular spot.
One thing that was immediately noticeable was the preponderance of sick trees, Anyplace you look you can see gray instead of healthy green conifers. I spoke briefly with a forest ranger at Gallaher Head Lake and he reported that there is currently an infestation of "Spruce Bud Worms" in the area and that the outbreaks are somewhat cyclical in nature. In spite of the stressed trees the wildflowers were/are tremendous! The meadows in Esmeralda Basin in particular are just gorgeous.
In addition to the wildflowers of all shapes, sizes and colors, the views both from the pass and all along the trail were wonderful. We were tickled to be able to see Mnt Rainier from Gallaher Head Lake.
As always for a detailed route map, driving directions, more photos, and trail video click HERE.
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