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Chicago Basin access.

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Chicago Basin access.

Postby CastillejaMiniata » Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:12 am

I'm looking for a way to access Chicago Basin that doesn't involve the train or coming from Purgatory. Has anyone ever come over the Lime Mesa Trail and down the creek from Emerald Lake? For some reason the trail from Lime Mesa TH in my Nat. Geo map stops for a mile between Emerald Lake and the Needle Creek Trail. I'm not worried about off-trail travel, as it's actually my specialty, but is there a gorge or cliff system that impedes progress? It's strange a trail would disappear for only a mile. According to the view from Arrow Peak this morning, access from the north looks rather off-putting.
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Re: Chicago Basin access.

Postby iceisnice » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:57 pm

Lime Mesa Tr is a possiblity, but, its a rough road getting up there with lots of spur roads. Also the hike isn't obvious and you'd really have to pay attention to where you were going. Dropping in from the lake is possible, but there is a shorter way. Too hard to explain on here....look at a map and you may figure it out. Otherwise just go up Vallecito Cr and up and over the pass. For some reason the name is escaping me right now, but I think it is Cumberland Pass???? Again, look at a map and it'll be obvious. There is no way to get there from the north except to drop DOWN into the top of vallecito creek and go over that same pass....
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Re: Chicago Basin access-route from the south

Postby mlandman » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:42 pm

This is part of a high traverse of the wilderness from south to north. The southern section ends up at Columbine pass, but heads east down Johnson creek where you want to go west.

http://bp2.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip.aspx?tripId=43747

TO TRAILHEAD:
From Main Street in Durango, turn north onto 15th South Street near the Animas River bridge. This funnels you onto Florida Road. Continue 13.8 miles on Florida Road, then turn left to Lemon Reservoir on County Road 2431/FR 596. Twenty-one miles from town, turn right onto FR 597, which quickly becomes a high-clearance road. Continue 10.6 slow, uphill miles to the Endlich Mesa trailhead.
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Re: Chicago Basin access.

Postby steppendonk » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:14 am

Endlich Mesa Trail leads over Trimble Pass into Chicago Basin from City Reservoir.
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Re: Chicago Basin access.

Postby CastillejaMiniata » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:05 am

High-clearance isn't going to work for me. :(
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Re: Chicago Basin access.

Postby PreClovisMan » Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:10 pm

I know this is an old post but I have a little old information. I hiked from Vallecito Lake up V. Creek and Johnson Creek into Chicago Basin in 2003? Hiked out of C. Basin via Trimble Pass and came out through City Reservoir and west down the gulches along Lime Mesa Tl. It appeared at THAT time we may have been the first party to hike out that way in quite some time. The section you mentioned was a fairly straightforward off-trail bushwhack. easy actually. But that's been over a decade ago now. The trail ended at a horse park? at the end of a logging road. Very nice hike, all in all as I remember it.
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