Teanaway - Esmerelda Basin

Trail No. 1394

NOVEMBER 3, 2007   I saw many hunters on the drive along the Teanaway River Road, so I donned a bright orange fleece jacket before setting out on the Esmerelda Basin trail.  I planned to hike to Fortune Pass and then maybe to a viewpoint above Lake Ann. 

The weather was moody and the woods felt deserted, perhaps because I did not see a single person while I was on the trail.  I had hiked this trail on a beautiful day in early July 2006, when the wildflowers were thick and the views were outstanding.   Fog hid most of the peaks this time out, and the wildflowers were long gone.  Gray jays followed me on one of the long switchbacks, no doubt hoping that I would drop my backpack and invite them for lunch.  There were a few patches of snow on the trail around 5200', and I saw deer prints in the snow.  The silence was broken once or twice by sharp cracks that heralded rock fall on the peaks across the valley.  Just before I reached the talus slope around 2 1/4 miles into the hike, the weather deteriorated, and I decided to cut the hike short and return to the trailhead. 

I reached the trailhead long before I was ready to go home, so I spent another 2 hours exploring the area by car, locating trailheads, checking out campgrounds, and admiring stands of late larches that stood out among the evergreens like larks in a hen house. 


Hiking the Esmerelda Basin Trail

Exploring Teanaway by Car