purgatory trail to chicago basin
This may seem like overkill, but it’s common in this area. Started from the Purgatory Trail to the Animas River Trail to Needle Creek Trail. And Protect Our Winters (POW) is helping those who play outdoors to make a... Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Down ‘N Dirty: GORE Waterproof Gear For Fast Hikers, Fourteener Fundamentals: Gear that will get you out and up, Emily Harrington Becomes First Woman to Free Climb El Cap’s Golden Gate in a Day, Cripple Creek Backcountry Opens in Denver, WARREN MILLER ENTERTAINMENT’S “FUTURE RETRO” IS COMING TO YOUR LIVING ROOM THIS FALL, WIN YOUR DREAM SKI TRIP IN BRECKENRIDGE, COLORADO, Spend This Winter at Eldora, Colorado’s Favorite Local’s Mountain, Make a Plan: Vote This November to Protect Our Winters. I wouldn't even be able to tell you the way my group and I went up. I carried 2 liters but could've gotten away with 1 bottle. We ended up getting into bed fairly early and falling to sleep pretty rapidly - a thing not surprising, considering how we'd clocked 16.5 miles of hiking from the trailhead to our campsite with over 4,000 feet of elevation gain under full packs - definitely a solid day! All of that being said, this was a fun climb and definitely the most exposed of the three mountains. So...has Baz recovered yet? This part of the Colorado Trail winds through dense forest and gains about 1,400 feet to a nice lookout. It’s a surreal experience hearing the steam engine blast its whistle from several miles down the valley. You can stroll seven miles to the trailhead by way of the Purgatory trail, Or you can take the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Don't like ads? The train has a knowledgeable guide on board who points out noteworthy landmarks and photo opportunities. The hike from Purgatory Trailhead to Chicago Basin would not have been so bad, if only I would have packed lighter and worn some heavier duty shoes. Thanks. This climb actually turned out to be the spiciest of the three mountains. This is great, loved it! They need the salt from your urine and they’re not afraid to get it. Losing your pole made me think of a similar incident in Waterton NP, where a marmot snatched one of my wife's from right in front of us as we rested on a summit, and then dragged it a short distance down the steeper backside of the peak. We decided to climb Sunlight Peak first. We are working to be sure all orders are filled as promptly as possible. I will have to give you my half of all of the pics of you. Lots of deer. Speaking of using the restroom, the forest service is asking all backpackers to pack out their waste. Dear valued customer. Spring Fever: Trail Running in Durango, Colorado, The perfect day hike on the Colorado Trail, Durango, Pairing Adventures with Breweries in Durango, Colorado. Therefore to avoid paying the $80 fee along with the bag fee I decided I would put in bout 20 extra miles all for the love of hiking. We picked out a nice site, set up camp, and then I wandered around and took pictures of the evening light and sunset conditions. For a shorter hike, head to the first footbridge — a 6-mile roundtrip hike that follows Vallecito Creek, slowly climbing above the swift, rocky waters before descending to the water’s edge. Sweet report. Turns out this basin isn't fantastic for evening or morning photography from down within the basin itself. A bridge crossing Junction Creek on the Colorado Trail signals the start of a series of switchbacks up to Gudy’s Rest. My favorite part sunlight peak comes in part 2. Chicago Basin sees a lot of traffic in the summer months and as a result, it is important to select a campsite wisely. Known for the Missionary Ridge Fire that ravaged 71,739 acres back in 2002, this area north of Durango has bounced back tremendously. I was able to retrieve it by luring it away from the pole with some trail mix. On this mountain, getting off route can mean instantly increasing the difficulty and exposure of your climb. Start at the top of Kennebec Pass on the Colorado Trail and make your way down to the Junction Creek Trailhead on this 22-mile ride. I felt a little bad about putting him through that. We almost made the summit of Mt Eolus but due to more snow along the last 500' we opted not to chance it. Once the conductor loads your pack onto the boxcar, and you board the train, you feel like your stepping back in time. Sending a thank you shout out to all of our awesome sponsors that make this tour happen: Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Leki, Big Agnes, Stio, Roofnest, and Franklin County, VA. For more info on our sponsors, check out the post, “Live Outside and Play is Back!”. The trail takes you through aspen groves to a spacious valley known as Purgatory Flats, where the 13,000- and 14,000-foot Needles Mountains tower above. Just remember, if you’ve hit the switchbacks, you’ve gone too far. This trail junction has some ok spots to set up camp. Awesome job. For backpackers, the Vallecito Creek Trail offers countless opportunities to spend anywhere from three nights or longer in the backcountry. Want to learn more about our current projects, ways to stay involved and news from the San Juan Mountains Association? Awesome TR made even cooler by with that Princess Bride quote.... You must log in or register to reply here. Our goal was to summit all three Chicago Basin fourteeners in two days. We had a GPS route as well as a thorough description from Gerry Roach’s Colorado 14ers guide book and route finding was still rather difficult. The main parking area is located at the entrance to the valley, and is designated with an information board that talks to the trails and archaeological history in the area. Camping is prohibited in the actual basin. For the adventurers out there, Purgatory Flats Trail is a great way to access the famed Chicago Basin and its 14,000 foot peaks, especially if you want to avoid taking the train to get there. I just point and push the camera button and get a few good ones but not nearly that many. Back at camp Danielle and Elizabeth decided to stick around and take the train out the next day. Steep climbs on these trails are few. The next morning we set out for Mt Eolus – another class 3 climb with a significant risk of exposure and difficult route finding. Your description of old growth forest with large diameter trunks has me sold on that approach whenever I do it. We woke up at 4:30 AM the next morning and began our hike to the summit. During the summer of 2018, train access to the Chicago Basin was stopped due to a controversy around the Durango Fire, so the Purgatory Creek trail became much more high trafficked. So I PM'd him and got a really nice explanation how to get there. Overhyped, but still fun. We took the narrow gauge train from Durango to the Needleton stop, which was basically a clearing in the forest. I had a slight edge of nausea, but things didn't feel rough enough to warrant turning around, so I just kept slogging on, but everything we did today, despite being excellent in quality, was attended with this general lower level of energy on my part. Small town but free parking unlike Durango. Day 1: Purgatory to Chicago Basin. When we were there in early August the lakes were still half-frozen and each mountain had at least some snow to cross before you could make it to the summit. There was still quite a bit of lingering snow in early August and for this, we also used Micro Spikes and an ice axe.The return train comes at the same time every day and you have to flag it down if you want to be picked up. You may not want it on the way in, but you’ll definitely want something on the way out after spending a few nights in the backcountry. Dave and I are pretty quick hikers, even under heavy packs we were making good time. Since traffic consists of both uphill hikers and downhill riders, please respect other trail users and make sure you know who has the right-of-way. You can walk seven miles to the trailhead via the Purgatory trail, Or you can take the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. We rode the train from Silverton to the trailhead. Purgatory Flats really does offer something for everyone. The basin is a popular spot for climbers and backpackers and is home to three Colorado Fourteeners (mountains over 14,000 feet). Dogs are also able to use this trail. Overall this was a wonderful challenge. If you’re interested in backpacking, take the Purgatory Trail to Chicago Basin. Purgatory Flats really does offer something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a short day hike or plan on spending a few days backpacking, the Vallecito Creek Trail offers countless opportunities to take in the scenic Vallecito Creek and the surrounding jagged peaks. If you’re looking for an excellent high country mountain bike ride, then shuttling the last segment of the Colorado Trail is a must. These days, young aspens and scrub oak set Missionary Ridge ablaze in deep shades of gold and auburn. Looks like you had much different conditions than I did there. 17 miles, 4,000 feet elevation gain. The Chicago Basin. There are two other peaks very close by and it is possible to do all three in one day. When he said Sunlight, because of the summit block, this shook me a bit. Turn off your ad blocker to see a map of this trail, Lime Mesa to Ruby Lake, Emerald Lake and Needle Creek Trail Junction and, Coal Bank Pass to Engineer Mountain Summit, Sunlight Peak via Animas River Trail and Needle Creek Trail, Sunlight Peak, Windom Peak, North Eolus and Mount Eolus via Purgatory Campground. Every time I approached, it just moved further downslope with the pole still in it's mouth. Chicago Basin to Mount Eolus is a 28.0 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Silverton, Colorado that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. Hang everything at night and while you are away from camp. Missionary Ridge dazzles with fall colors and views of the nearby San Juan Mountains. Sign up for our eNews updates and be the first to know... SJMA was created in 1988 to assist the San Juan National Forest in providing education and interpretation of public lands in Southwest Colorado. This didn’t stop us from enjoying our hike in the woods, but it wasn’t exactly what we had in mind. What an awesome, epic trip, and great pictures and wonderful trip report to boot. We have done some hiking and camping in RMNP and Indian Peaks- your report makes me want to see more of the Colorado Rockies. For that reason, we recommend not attempting to climb unless you have a helmet. The Vallecito Creek trailhead is located about 30 miles east of Durango past Vallecito Reservoir. Absolutely incredible! Needle Creek Trail #504 from Needleton is the easiest and most common access to the basin. Dave and I are pretty quick hikers, even under heavy packs we were making good time. Chicago Basin to Mount Eolus is a 17.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Silverton, Colorado that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. Elevation Outdoors connects readers to local Rocky Mountain outdoor sports, active lifestyles and adventure travel—skiing, biking, paddling, hiking, climbing, camping and more—plus top outdoor gear, trails, festivals, races, local tips and news. Whether you want to get out on a quick evening hike or spend the weekend in the woods, here are six trails within 30 miles of downtown Durango for the best autumn colors.
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