McCarthy Basin

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 37.88000°N / 107.62°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hike
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Walk-up plus class 3 near the end
Sign the Climber's Log


See "Getting There".

Route Description

Trailhead Elevation: 11800 ft
One Way Distance per my GPS: 1.5 miles
Approximate Hiking Time (one way up hill): 1.5 hours

NOTE: This route will take you to the top of false summit (see Main Page).

At the trailhead, look south to see the low end of McCarthy Basin where it joins Eureka Gulch. Locate a faint trail that heads south over the grassy slopes and above a series of orange-colored cliffs. Hike this trail a short distance until it gradually veers right (SW) and enters the McCarthy Basin.

McCarthy Basin is a large alpine bowl that is covered with grass and wild flowers. At the head of the basin, you will see two horns. The higher one (to the right) is the false summit of 13330. The trail fades away but you can easily hike up the beautiful slopes to a 13180 ft saddle to the north of the false summit.

From the saddle, you will have to turn south and do some class 3 hiking over a fairly narrow area made of rotten rock to reach the top of the false summit.

Essential Gear

Hiking boots.

Miscellaneous Info

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


Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.