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Re: Vallecito TH or Purgatory TH for Chicago Basin?

Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:07 am
by mpz220
Ptglhs wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:03 am
Vallecito TH will be busier than Purgatory, but after a few miles the trail should be less busy. The train dropping people off can make the 6 miles and 3k of gain into the basin a bit crowded (for the back country). I'd opt for the Vallecito approach, so long as you don't mind the creek crossings. I don't have any romanticism about trains. Purgatory flats has great crossings over the river, and decent cell service west if the animas.

I will agree with what another poster said that coming up over Columbine pass get you some pretty impressive views of the area. Vallecito is more up and down, (about 2k more feet of gain) but probably worth it.

Tldr: Vallecito is harder but the prettier option
Thank you! Yes, I definitely want to see Columbine pass. Even if I opt for Purgatory I will probably hike up to Columbine one day just to see it.

Re: Vallecito TH or Purgatory TH for Chicago Basin?

Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:39 am
by supranihilest
An option not yet brought up is to start from Endlich Mesa Trailhead and go over Trimble Pass and then Columbine Pass. The one time I've been to Endlich Mesa I was only there for the 13ers along the southern wall of Chicago Basin and Vallecito Basin, but it was gorgeous, unique, and almost completely devoid of other people. I know that wasn't either of the two starting trailheads you mentioned but thought I'd throw another potential option into the mix!

Re: Vallecito TH or Purgatory TH for Chicago Basin?

Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:57 am
by mpz220
supranihilest wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:39 am
An option not yet brought up is to start from Endlich Mesa Trailhead and go over Trimble Pass and then Columbine Pass. The one time I've been to Endlich Mesa I was only there for the 13ers along the southern wall of Chicago Basin and Vallecito Basin, but it was gorgeous, unique, and almost completely devoid of other people. I know that wasn't either of the two starting trailheads you mentioned but thought I'd throw another potential option into the mix!
I am quite intrigued by this idea. Seems like a route far less people take. Thank you for sharing.

Re: Vallecito TH or Purgatory TH for Chicago Basin?

Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 12:09 pm
by supranihilest
mpz220 wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:57 am
supranihilest wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:39 am
An option not yet brought up is to start from Endlich Mesa Trailhead and go over Trimble Pass and then Columbine Pass. The one time I've been to Endlich Mesa I was only there for the 13ers along the southern wall of Chicago Basin and Vallecito Basin, but it was gorgeous, unique, and almost completely devoid of other people. I know that wasn't either of the two starting trailheads you mentioned but thought I'd throw another potential option into the mix!
I am quite intrigued by this idea. Seems like a route far less people take. Thank you for sharing.
I'll be posting a couple of TRs for the Endlich 13ers next week so if you want some additional photos and whatnot keep your eyes peeled for those. I should warn you though, the road to Endlich Mesa Trailhead is awful. Once you leave Lemon Reservoir it's 10 miles to the trailhead and very rocky and bumpy. It can be done with high clearance, 4WD probably isn't required (I used it because why not), and will take between one and two hours. It's worth it in my opinion, as my Endlich sweep was by far one of my favorite trips last year, but the road deserves special mention. If you want more info feel free to send a PM!

Re: Vallecito TH or Purgatory TH for Chicago Basin?

Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:10 am
by mpz220
supranihilest wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 12:09 pm
mpz220 wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:57 am
supranihilest wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:39 am
An option not yet brought up is to start from Endlich Mesa Trailhead and go over Trimble Pass and then Columbine Pass. The one time I've been to Endlich Mesa I was only there for the 13ers along the southern wall of Chicago Basin and Vallecito Basin, but it was gorgeous, unique, and almost completely devoid of other people. I know that wasn't either of the two starting trailheads you mentioned but thought I'd throw another potential option into the mix!
I am quite intrigued by this idea. Seems like a route far less people take. Thank you for sharing.
I'll be posting a couple of TRs for the Endlich 13ers next week so if you want some additional photos and whatnot keep your eyes peeled for those. I should warn you though, the road to Endlich Mesa Trailhead is awful. Once you leave Lemon Reservoir it's 10 miles to the trailhead and very rocky and bumpy. It can be done with high clearance, 4WD probably isn't required (I used it because why not), and will take between one and two hours. It's worth it in my opinion, as my Endlich sweep was by far one of my favorite trips last year, but the road deserves special mention. If you want more info feel free to send a PM!
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I will check in on your profile for the TRs in the upcoming weeks.

Re: Vallecito TH or Purgatory TH for Chicago Basin?

Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 11:13 am
by cottonmountaineering
supranihilest wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 12:09 pm
mpz220 wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:57 am
supranihilest wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:39 am
An option not yet brought up is to start from Endlich Mesa Trailhead and go over Trimble Pass and then Columbine Pass. The one time I've been to Endlich Mesa I was only there for the 13ers along the southern wall of Chicago Basin and Vallecito Basin, but it was gorgeous, unique, and almost completely devoid of other people. I know that wasn't either of the two starting trailheads you mentioned but thought I'd throw another potential option into the mix!
I am quite intrigued by this idea. Seems like a route far less people take. Thank you for sharing.
I'll be posting a couple of TRs for the Endlich 13ers next week so if you want some additional photos and whatnot keep your eyes peeled for those. I should warn you though, the road to Endlich Mesa Trailhead is awful. Once you leave Lemon Reservoir it's 10 miles to the trailhead and very rocky and bumpy. It can be done with high clearance, 4WD probably isn't required (I used it because why not), and will take between one and two hours. It's worth it in my opinion, as my Endlich sweep was by far one of my favorite trips last year, but the road deserves special mention. If you want more info feel free to send a PM!
i hope to get that way this summer after seeing photos of that area, looks awesome