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How long for the Elk Park-Needleton backpack loop?

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Re: How long for the Elk Park-Needleton backpack loop?

Postby BlindDrunk » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:45 am

I was going off some other information about a trail from Elk to Needleton. Not so much a trail but following the train tracks. After looking over the TOPO again. Of course I haven't been up there yet so not sure if following the tracks is possible. It seems like it would be and the hike would be a gradual decent to Needleton. So i apologize for the misleading info.

Jason

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Re: How long for the Elk Park-Needleton backpack loop?

Postby Presto » Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:09 pm

by rijaca » Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:43 pm

What trail? There is a trail that goes along the east side of the Animas from the Needleton bridge as far north as No Name Creek, but I'm not aware of a trail going further north than that.


Nor am I, rijaca, and we've done a LOT of backpacking and climbing up most of those drainages. The only way to accomplish that, with the goal of being along side the Animas, would be to hike on the train tracks. Happy trails!
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

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Re: How long for the Elk Park-Needleton backpack loop?

Postby rijaca » Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:18 pm

Presto wrote:
by rijaca » Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:43 pm

What trail? There is a trail that goes along the east side of the Animas from the Needleton bridge as far north as No Name Creek, but I'm not aware of a trail going further north than that.


Nor am I, rijaca, and we've done a LOT of backpacking and climbing up most of those drainages. The only way to accomplish that, with the goal of being along side the Animas, would be to hike on the train tracks. Happy trails!


I haven't ever ridden the train between Needleton and Elk Park, so I can't comment whether there is room to hike besides on the RR tracks themselves, but I would think that the RR would discourage (prohibit?) people from hiking on the tracks themselves.
"Spent a little time on the mountain
Spent a little time on the hill"

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Re: How long for the Elk Park-Needleton backpack loop?

Postby MtHurd » Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:31 pm

The tracks are on private property and I guarantee you it is not allowed.

Why not start at Molas Pass and go down to Elk Park, do the loop from Elk Park to Needleton, then hike up to the Purgatory Creek Trailhead from Needleton and then hitchhike back to Molas Pass? You could hike the road if you are uncomfortable hitchhiking. It's not that far. The Purgatory Creek Trail will add 11 miles hiking to your round trip total though.

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Re: How long for the Elk Park-Needleton backpack loop?

Postby Presto » Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:54 pm

That's a good point, Barry (and rijaca) ... I was only considering the logistics of getting from one point to another ... not the legality of the act. Thanks for bringing that point to light and I fully agree that it would be frowned upon by the train people. :D
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

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Re: How long for the Elk Park-Needleton backpack loop?

Postby scottrappold » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:42 pm

I came across a nice, rather detailed account, with lots of photos, of this loop: http://thomascrawfordphotography.com/2008/08/32/

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Re: How long for the Elk Park-Needleton backpack loop?

Postby Presto » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:57 pm

by scottrappold » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:42 pm

I came across a nice, rather detailed account, with lots of photos, et al ...


We've done that before (with some side excursions) ... indeed a nice trip. :D
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

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Re: How long for the Elk Park-Needleton backpack loop?

Postby MtHurd » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:19 pm

Sweet photograph from that trip report!

Image

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Re: How long for the Elk Park-Needleton backpack loop?

Postby BlindDrunk » Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:50 pm

Ok so here is another thought.... how is the animas river in this section. I have seen Animas river up in Silverton but between Elk Park to Needleton is the river tame enough for a good float?

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