Summer camping/backpacking in Chicago Basin, Colorado
Last month, I went on a trip to Chicago Basin with Mitch and Travis. Mitch and I left from Austin and spent a night in Abilene where Travis currently lives. The next day three of us left Abilene and headed to Durango.
It was a long drive, probably took about 12 hour from Abilene to Durango. We stopped on the way to check out a random abandoned house and a church. The ruins were so interesting and I could tell there were stories before they were left behind.
We also stopped to capture some weather changes on the road, and photographed the sunset after having dinner in Albuquerque.
It was almost midnight when we arrived in Durango. We spent the night at United Campgrounds of Durango and took a train to Needleton from Durango. The ride to Needleton was really scenic, the Animas river that runs along the train track was spectacular!
Once we were dropped off at Needleton train station, we went across a bridge and started our 5-6 hr hike! With our bags averaging 40-50 pounds, the hike was certainly not easy! It felt like we could never reach our destination…. At one point we even ran out of drinking water, fortunately we were able to find a place where we could retrieve some water from the stream.
We didn’t camp at the main camping area in Chicago Basin. We found a secluded place near the river and set up our tents.
The next day we were just relaxing in the morning and photographing our visitors, the mountain goats. After taking a nap in the early afternoon and having a cup of coffee, we started to hike up to Twin Lakes. The hike was probably less than one mile, but it took more than 2 hrs to reach the lakes. Twin Lakes is about 12,500 feet elevation, and it was a good place to photograph the beautiful landscape of Chicago Basin.
After the Twin Lakes hike, I was completely wiped out! I was so tired that my stomach started to get upset and I wasn’t able to each much dinner.
We woke up early in the second morning, quickly packed up and got ready to head down. It was much quicker heading down as anyone could expect. We arrived at the Needleton train station before twelve. Although the train ticket asked us to be there at 2:30 p.m., the train actually came after 3:30 p.m.
It was around evening time when we arrived in Durango. We decided we needed to have a “Real” meal after couple days on the mountain. After a good meal, we got on the road and spent a night in Albuquerque before dropping off Travis in Abilene.
The trip was quite eventful with the things we saw on the road and on the mountain. The hike was extremely challenging for me and I am not sure when I am going to take up another hiking challenge. Anyway, I am just glad I made it there and the landscape was beautiful and unforgettable!