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Naturalist Basin Trail & Blue Lake Trail

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Basics
Location:
Off Highway 150 about 35 miles northeast of Kamas and about 3 miles in on the Highline Trail
Length:
2.5 miles oneway
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Elevation Change:
400 feet
Season:
June to October

Description

These two trails provide access to the popular Naturalist Basin area from the Highline Trail. Immediately east of the junction of the Blue and Naturalist Trails, the Naturalist Basin Trail fords a stream. While not particularly hazardous, the stream runs deep early in the season and poses a challenge to hikers who want to keep their feet dry.
Location:
Off Highway 150 about 35 miles northeast of Kamas and about 3 miles in on the Highline Trail
Length:
2.5 miles oneway
2 miles to Blue Lake; 2 1/2 miles to Shaler Lake
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Elevation Change:
400
Season:
June to October
Useful Map(s):
USGS Quads: Hayden Park
Additional Details:
Heavily used between July 24 and Labor Day, both during the week and on weekends. Most popular destination is Jordan Lake. Naturalist Basin Trail: Moderate hike to Jordan Lake. Trail is obscure between Jordan Lake and Shaler Lake; but the country is open tundra and navigating cross-country is easy. Blue Lake Trail: Moderate to base of cliffs below Morat Lake, steep and difficult from base of cliffs to Morat Lakes, and from Morat Lakes to Blue Lake. The lakes are usually frozen over until the middle of July...Naturalist Basin is a very popular area and campers are urged to practice the principles of no-trace camping. The best areas for picketing horses are the meadows east of Jordan and Everman Lakes. Firewood is scarce in Naturalist Basin around the more popular lakes. Campers traveling to the high lakes - Blue, LeConte, Faxon, Shaler or Hyatt - must use backpacking stoves as these lakes are above timberline. If you build a fire, use an existing fire ring. Camp at least 200 feet from the edge of all lakes. Also, camp out of sight and sound of trails, streams and other campers. Verrill and Gatman Lakes are good choices for campers who want to avoid the crowds.
Basic Directions
Naturalist Basin Trail: Begins four miles southeast of the Highline Trailhead on the Highline Trail. Terminates 2.5 miles northwest of this point at Shaler Lake. Blue Lake Trail: Begins one mile northeast of the Highline Trail on the Naturalist Basin Trail. Terminates at Blue Lake, one mile north.

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