From Evergreen Trail Guide
|Total trail||12 miles mi.|
|Alt. change||2,700ft; high point 5,900ft|
|Nearest medical:||Not set yet|
|Page adopted by:||No one yet|
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.
How to find it
- I-90 east to Exit 85
- Take SR-970 towards Wenatchee/Leavenworth.
- About 6.9mi from the freeway, take a left on the Teanaway Rd.
(If you get to the junction with SR-97, you've gone too far.)
- After another 7 mi, you'll reach the intersection with the W. Fork Teanaway Rd., keep going straight and the road becomes the N. Fork Teanaway Rd.
- The paved road becomes gravel, follow the signs to the Esmerelda Basin Trailhead #1394, from the point where the road turns to gravel to the trailhead is approximately 10 miles, if you are going to park at the De Roux campground, it is approximately 8 miles.
- You'll see the horse camp on your left, just past the horse camp, take the road fork to the left down to the De Roux Campground.
|Northwest Forest Pass required to park at trailhead|
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. :)
August 26, 2012: The climb up trail #1394 was in decent condition, dusty this late in the season and many loose rocks. Trail #1392 was really in very good shape. The very bottom section is dusty, but the rest was fun to ride. Some of the switchbacks are getting pretty washed out. We rode this on a sunday and while the trailhead lot was packed full (cars were parking down the road), De Roux Campground was virtually empty. Despite all the cars at the trailhead, we only saw one group of hikers on #1392 and two 4x4's near Gallagher Head Lake. Otherwise we had the place to ourselves.
Sept. 2007: The trail was in very good condition for this late in the season. The singletrack climb was in good shape and the De Roux section (which is open to motos) was also fine.
Up Esmeralda Trail 1394 (2,000 ft climb) to the saddle viewpoint at approx. 5900 ft elevation (ignore the steep spur trail at the saddle and continue over and head down). Do not take Trail 1390 (Lk Ingalls) or 1226.2 at junctions. Continue 1394 downhill until you hit a jeep road (4W301) and turn left (south). The jeep road has a short but quite nasty climb in it. Ride past Gallagher Head Lake about 100 yards or so and look for sign on your left pointing to De Roux-Boulder Trail 1392 (De Roux Creek), which is a singletrack heading down. Enjoy the trail back to the De Roux Campground.
If you feel that 12-ish miles and 2,700 feet of climbing isn't enough exercise to justify the long drive, there are lots of ways to extend the ride by starting elsewhere and riding to the loop. Many of the nearby trails are open to bikes.
Boulder/DeRoux lollipop variation
This adds about 9 miles and at least 1800 feet of climbing. Tough climbing with lots of challenges: roots, scree, rocks, rutted trail, steeps, roots, rocks, you name it. Only for those who are in great shape.
Instead of using the regular directions, drive to Roslyn, then follow the Salmon La Sac road north, going about 7 miles past the end of the pavement at the Salmon la Sac campground, and go right up road [#??] to find the Big Boulder Creek trailhead.
Local Points of Interest
Cle Elum is the closest for food and services.
Green Trails map #209, "Mount Stuart"
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.