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Needle Creek Trail #504 to Chicago Basin
4 Photosets

2016-09-05  
2016-09-03  
2016-09-03  
2014-09-01  
mini location map2016-09-03
15 by photographer avatarchumley
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Needle Creek Trail #504 to Chicago BasinSouthwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Backpack avatar Sep 03 2016
chumley
Backpack14.80 Miles 3,287 AEG
Backpack14.80 Miles1 Day   18 Hrs   41 Mns   
3,287 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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clairebear
John9L
Chicago Basin is an outstanding backpacking location ... if not a little bit overcrowded. Despite our arrival on Saturday evening on Labor Day weekend, we were happy to find a pretty good campspot out of the way of the numerous others. In fact, despite there being well over 100 people in the basin, it was actually surprising how peaceful it was. There was quite a bit of room for everybody to spread out.

The hike up after the train dropped us off in Needleton was steady but not difficult. The grade was moderate with only a couple of short steeper sections. The trail was almost always along the creek, so the sound of flowing water was plentiful. We reached the basin just before sunset, got camp set up and dinner finished before staying up for a couple hours. I'm pretty sure we were the only camp in the basin with party lights. :y: They're a near necessity here since there is a permanent fire ban.

In the morning we stayed in our tents and waited out some rain before heading out on various day hikes (described in a separate triplog).

That night the skies cleared and it got really cold. OK, it wasn't that cold (mid to upper 30s) but without a fire and a steady breeze, plus the air and ground raw with moisture from the earlier rain, it just felt cold. We all retired to the warmth of our sleeping bags fairly early.

Monday morning we hit the trail at 8, leaving plenty of time to get to the train before 11:15. For a Labor Day departure, we were not alone! :o Nonetheless, the hike downhill was pleasant and it was great to hop on the train back to Silverton.

One of two rangers I spoke with (rangers who actually hike and spend time in the wilderness! :o ) said he counted 62 tents in the basin on Sunday morning and from his count at the train stop it was girl power weekend with the ladies outnumbering the gents. : queen :

I'd love to come back here again sometime. There are so many worthy destinations that are accessible from Chicago Basin! :)
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Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
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