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Best time to visit Colorado

Chicago Basin

A popular hiking destination with access to four fourteeners


Last updated: by Olha Savych
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The Chicago Basin located in the Weminuche Wilderness, in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado receives around 100,000 visitors every year due to its scenic beauty and incredible hiking opportunities. Chicago Basin is an excellent multi-day destination for backpackers that can be reached by a 15.2-mi (24.5-km) trail located near the town of Silverton, Colorado. The trail can be accessed only by The Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The best time to hike this trail is from late June through mid-September when it's snow-free. The peak season is from July 4th through Labor Day.

There are plenty of campsites in the area to choose from. Several of them are located along Needle Creek, near Twin Lakes and Columbine Pass trails. In the summer, Chicago Basin is covered with wildflowers. Hikers can see picas, marmots, and semi-wild mountain goats. The main highlight of the hike is the possibility to conquer fourteeners—Mt. Eolus, North Eolus, Windom Peak, and Sunlight Peak. Some hikers have managed to complete all these peaks in just one day. Check out the area around Twin Lakes, one of the most popular in Colorado.

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