Trail does much vertical climbing, expect hike-a-bike and near technical riding.
The Esmerelda Basin Trail begins at the Esmerelda Trailhead at the end of Forest Service Road 9737 and ends at Trail #4W301 heading to Gallagher Head Lake.
From the trailhead, the trail heads up a steep slope along the river for about 0.5 mile and intersects with the Ingalls Way Trail 1390. Beyond the junction, the trail grade moderates as the trail goes on into Esmerelda Basin through meadows and groups of trees. There are some switchbacks along the trail as it continues upwards. Past the junction with County Line Trail 1226.2 (formerly a part of 1394 which heads north towards Lake Ann), the trail goes over a ridge and then down a series of switchbacks into the south fork of Fortune creek, where it ends at the junction with FS 4WD301(4x 4).
Make a loop by climbing the 4x4 road up Fortune Creek to Gallagher Head lake, and down the De Roux trail back to the De Roux trailhead. This makes an excellent mini epic.