Gothic Basin will thrill and enthrall those who pay the admission. Day hikers will wish they’d brought their tents and bags and the backpackers will ache from shouldering the load. But neither will be disappointed. Be wary of this trail’s apparently lowish elevation gain and mileage. The miners who constructed it had little time for switchback or nicely graded trails.
Once in Gothic Basin, you’ll be greeted first by Gothic Lake, gateway to this special place and deserving of much respect. Melting ponds, gurgling brooks, chirping marmots, and towering rock faces greet you in every direction. The temptation is to wander aimlessly. Instead, remember the Leave No Trace principles and confine your travels to durable surfaces such as rock and snow. If you’re looking for further wandering, head to Foggy Lake, off to the right as you follow periodic cairns and the most prominent footpath. Allow yourself extra time to find the path and to appreciate the natural beauty surrounding you.