Headlight Basin

Ingalls Way Trail No. 1390


October 18 - 19, 2008  We hiked to Headlight Basin to see the larches on this last backpack trip into the mountains for the year.  The larches were at peak color for this trip, and they glowed like candles wherever the sun touched them.  The sky was bright and clear, and a light dusting of snow topped the incomparable Mount Stuart.  Scores of day hikers made the trek to see the larches this weekend, but only one or two other parties were camped there overnight. 

The night was cold but clear, and the sky was filled with thousands of stars.  The moon, not to be outdone by either the larches or the stars, rose high and shone brightly all night.  We saw no mountain goats on this trip, but we were woken in the night by an unseen hoofed animal that visited our campsite briefly.  Highly suspicious of a goat passing through!  The temperatures dropped to 20, and we had to break the ice on a nearby stream to filter water on Sunday morning.  Ice crystals, in some places 2 inches long, formed in the ground overnight and pushed up through the dirt.  

We didn't make it to the lake this trip, but it was an amazing weekend and a very satisfying hike. 

9 miles roundtrip

2600' gain