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Northwest Basin

Northwest Basin

Northwest Basin

Page Type: Route

Location: Maine, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 45.90440°N / 68.9228°W

Object Title: Northwest Basin

Route Type: Hiking-some hands

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Hiking class II

Route Quality: 
 - 2 Votes


Page By: desainme

Created/Edited: May 13, 2003 / Jan 26, 2007

Object ID: 158042

Hits: 9031 

Page Score: 80.49%  - 12 Votes 

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Russell Pond campground at the north end of Katahdin. The signage and the rangers are good about aiming you in the right direction. You will be taking the Northwest Basin Trail and traveling toward Fort Mtn. The Katahdin Saddle is 8 miles distant. The basin itself is at:

Route Description

Walk in a southwesterly direction up Wassataquoik Brook, crossing it at least once. At the foot of Fort Mtn. hang a left (no choice here) and walk into the remote Northwest Basin to lake Cowles and Davis pond. Both are wicked cold in the summer. Ascend southward from 2900 ft. to northwest plateau at 4410 feet in
about a mile. This is a bit steep as I recall. Admire the view including the giant elevated spruce swamp which is the headwaters of Wassataquoik Stream. Stroll up to the North Peaks to the east and continue south to Hamlin Peak. You'll probably have this part of the mountain to yourself for the day.

Essential Gear

Good boots would be helpful. There is some scree climbing out of the basin, so gaiters might help. Approach shoes would be fine if you had appropriate experience in them. At a young age, I descended this trail in Converse All Stars but I didn't know better. The rangers would prefer that you be better shod. The water is extremely clear but it would be good to filter it even though only critters use the water. If the weather is nasty take some pile and have some kind of windbreaker. In any case you will spend at least 3 miles above timber. Remember that Maine(in June) has the mosquito and the blackfly- The black fly is a gnat 1/10 the size of a mosquito but ten times as blood thirsty. They do swarm. Remember to stop along the way and smell the diapensias.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.


Northwest Basin seen from the...