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Trip Report

Leroy Creek High Route

Central Cascades

Trip Report By

WTA Member


Hiked Aug 3, 2013

Type of Hike

Loo-natics Dig It in Leroy Basin! My brother and I have used Leroy Basin as a base camp for climbs of Mount Maude, Seven Fingered Jack, and Mount Fernow. It has sweet campsites, big views, and crystal-clear streams. But as a result, it gets lots of human traffic. It really needed a box toilet to minimize the impact of all of us visitors. The box toilet that used to be there was destroyed in an avalanche years ago. Alan Carter Mortimer, the Field Programs Manager for WTA, put me in touch with the Wenatchee Ranger District, and ranger Carly Reed agreed that Leroy Basin needed a replacement. We offered to carry in and assemble a box toilet if they’d provide the kit. They were quick to agree! Early Saturday morning, we met Carly at the ranger station in Leavenworth to pick up the kit. She had sent a ranger up to Leroy Basin to flag a worthy site, and provided us a hand-drawn map with GPS coordinates to help us locate it. The kit consisted of beefy side pieces framed on 4x4s, a top piece with a strategically shaped hole, and side, back, and footrest pieces, left disassembled for packing. It was made entirely of fragrant cedar...never to smell that good again! With the kit and the tools we’d brought, we now had an extra sixty pounds between the two of us! So instead of the usual two hours up the steep trail from Phelps Creek to Leroy Basin, it took us twice that long, shuffling and groaning under our heavy packs. Once we got there, we located the site -- flagged as promised with surveyor’s tape -- made dinner, and crawled into our sleeping bags. Sunday morning, up early and well fortified with French Roast, we started a critical part of the operation -- digging the hole. When I had asked Carly how deep we needed to dig, she replied, “As deep as you possibly can!” And yet the hole has to be narrow enough to fit under the box. So what you do to maximize the volume is start narrow at the top and then widen out the hole further down. This means spending a lot of time with your head and one arm underground, digging and scraping. It took us about four hours, taking turns with pick, shovel, and trowel, to hollow out a hole about four feet deep. Whoever didn’t have their head underground worked on either assembling the box or brushing out the faint trail that would become the main route to the toilet. The box itself came together without too much trouble. We placed the finished box, leveled it, and installed a sign next to the main trail to point to it. We agreed that the views from the finished throne, though not as spectacular as some facilities we’ve used, were entirely adequate. We high-fived, and our work gloves sent up a cloud of dirt. We agreed that this trail work trip was one for the books. And everyone else just agrees that we’re crazy! Anyway, we hope this’ll help keep Leroy Basin just a little bit cleaner for everyone. So next time you’re on your way to climb Seven Fingered Jack, be sure to take a test drive – it’ll get you where you need to go! More photos here:


This is amazing

Wow, look at those loads you packed in. Thank you SO much. You guys are the best. You clearly didn't have any fun at all, huh. ;)

Posted by:

"Loren Drummond" on Aug 08, 2013 12:25 PM


Thanks a bunch guys! I'll look forward to using that crapper this fall!

Posted by:

Ranger Gwen on Sep 15, 2013 11:33 PM