I am planning a trip starting and ending at Needleton in the Weminuche. Here is the idea:
-head up to Chicago Basin
-over Columbine Pass, down Johnson Creek to Vallecito Creek
-up Vallecito Creek a ways, and then head west up Sunlight Creek
-head for the pass north of Jagged Mtn, and head down into Noname drainage
-head up to the Noname-Ruby pass, just SE of Monitor Peak
-down Ruby drainage back to Needleton
My question is, which direction for the loop? I can see bonuses both ways. It'd be nice to go up the groomed trail to Chicago Basin with a full pack rather than the sketchy Ruby Lake trail. But how hard is it to find the Ruby Lake trail from above. And the Sunlight Trail, is it easier to find it from above or below? If I was heading down the Needle Creek trail at the end of the trip, it's easy to know how much time to allow to catch the train, but how much time will it take to descend the Ruby Lake trail to Needleton?
For the record, I have been up in Chicago Basin and Noname Basin before, but the rest will be new to me.
Thanks for all the help.