Know before you go!
Trailhead: Chamberlain Basin can be accessed from several different trailheads including 4th of July, Three Cabins, Germania, and Washington Basin. The most common entry points are 4th of July and Three Cabins.
Round trip: 16.8 mi from 4th of July; 14 mi from Three Cabins.
Elevation gain: 2560 ft from 4th of July, 1900 ft from Three Cabins.
From 4th of July trailhead, hike past 4th of July Lake to Washington Lake. Continue down along Washington Creek to the junction with trail 047 to the Chamberlain Divide. Continue left towards the Chamberlain Lakes at the next junction with the Germania Creek Trail. The trail climbs through a burn to the Chamberlain Divide at 9800 feet, then descends into the Chamberlain Basin. There are three main lakes and countless smaller lakes and ponds to explore beneath towering Castle Peak–the tallest peak in the SNRA at 11,815 feet.
From Three Cabins trailhead, follow the trail along Three Cabins Creek to the junction with Washington Creek about 1.3 miles in. Follow signage towards Chamberlain Lakes, hiking along Washington Creek to another signed junction. Follow the trail to the right for another mile before connecting with the trail to Washington Lake.
This hike is strenuous and is best suited for an overnight backpacking trip. You can bike to the wilderness boundary at the Chamberlain Divide, but the trail is pretty rocky.