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This Meetup is cancelled

Chicago Basin - The Train and Full Loop Route - Exploratory

  • to

  • Durango Train Station

    479 Main Avenue, Durango, CO (map)

    37.268131 -107.882523

  • At the Durango train depot.
  • Posting Trip Note: This trip is also being posted on the CO Backpackers meetup site.

    Train Departure Time: 8:00am;however, you have to have your backpack loaded on the train at least 45 minutes prior to the train leaving.

    Who Should Attend: Only experienced backpackers that are physically fit and capable of backpacking at least 8-10 miles per day.  Overall mileage: Approx. 40 (which includes a side trip) Overall elevation gain: 8,000+.

    Hike Description: This is an EXPLORATORY backpacking trip.  Exploratory means that I have not been to this area. I will have a map, compass and GPS. NOTE: If unexpected adventures and detours make you nervous, then reconsider attending this trip.  This incredible adventure will entail backpacking the entire Chicago Basin loop.

    Day 1: Board train and then get off at the Elk Creek stop, which will begin our five day trek.  We will hike about 6-8 miles on the Elk Creek trail.

    Day 2: Continue to the CDT to the Vallecito Trail with a Nebo Trail side trip. We will backpack about 8 - 10 miles.

    Day 3: Continue on the Vallecito Trail.  We will backpack about 8 - 10 miles.

    Day 4: Continue from the Vallecito Trail to Johnston Creek Trail.  We will backpack about 8-10 miles.

    Day 5: Continue on Johnson Creek Trail to the Needleton Trailhead to catch the train. We will backpack about 6 - 8 miles.

    Train Fare: $87.98 roundtrip.  Additional reservation information will be provided once confirmed for the trip. See Other Notes.

    Backpack Luggage Fee: $10

    Parking Fees: $7.00/day at the train depot.

    Other Notes: 1) Please send me a quick email telling me a little bit about your backpacking experience and capacity to backpack 40 miles. 2) Once confirmed for the trip, I will share with you the details regarding how to make your train reservations.  3) Then you will need to email me your ticket confirmation number, in order to be moved from the waiting list to the attending list. As of right now, I plan to limit the group to six people. We will not be hiking any 14'ers on this trip. Additional updates will be posted regarding this trip.

    I plan to arrive and stay in town the day before to enjoy Durango.

    Dogs: Not allowed this time.

    Waiver Info: Anyone attending our trips must have a signed Waiver & Release form on file with us. This waiver covers all trips and activities so you only need to sign it once. If you have not already signed this form it can be downloaded from our "Files" section and turned in to the organizer when you arrive for the trip.

    Deadline Info: The deadline for changing a "Yes" RSVP to a "No" RSVP is August 14, 2013. If you RSVP "Yes" for this trip, please plan on attending. Please read our RSVP Policy located in our "Pages" section.

    Trip Dates: Wednesday, August 28 - Sunday, September 1

    Drive Time to Durango: Approx. 3.5 hours from ABQ to Durango

    Trip Rating: Difficult

    Trail Length: Approx. 40 miles which will include a side trip

    Elevation Range: 8,800ft - 11,700ft

    Expected Temps: Could be anything from 80 degree days, to 35 degree nights to a potential snowfall.



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  • Stephanie M.

    Injury is keeping me off the trail for a few more weeks.

    August 10, 2013

  • Keith Schuyler D.

    Hi Sharon!
    Any plans to tag Windom or Eolus while we're out there??

    May 2, 2013

  • Mark

    I've done most of this hike at some point or another, and it is FANTASTIC. Chicago Basin, Vallecito, Elk Creek, Johnson Creek, Columbine Pass, all winners. If you have any questions or want beta or side-hike ideas I'm happy to help. Wish I could go!

    May 2, 2013

  • Elizabeth B.

    Hi Sharon. Let me know if you have any questions regarding this well known loop. Here is my video of our loop. Loved it !!!
    rains is to be expected daily. thunderstorms
    Hugs !

    May 1, 2013


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