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Elk Park and Chicago Basin in Early August
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Slaton Whatley

Locale: Catalinas, Saguaro, Grand Canyon
Elk Park and Chicago Basin in Early August on 07/14/2013 14:40:12 MDT Print View

Hey everyone!

I know this area is probably one of the more done semi loops or trips in the San Juans but the ease of getting to the trail head via train, beautiful terrain, and length make it an ideal choice for my group of 3 (2 being very very novice backpackers).

I've gotten the guide book and a good topo map of the area and connecting the trails needed to create the loop (starting at Elk Park and finishing at Chicago Basin) seems pretty straight forward. I do have a few questions though if anyone's free to help shed some light on them:

1. Any recommendations on areas to camp? I think most of it's camping at large but just curious about recommended mileage (we are doing it in 5 days 4 nights) and maybe some general areas that are ideal for camping.

2. The last thing I read in the guide book said you don't need to obtain a permit to camp overnight in these that still the case?

3. Any must see sights? Areas to watch out for or just any other helpful hints that will help this trip be a success?

Thanks in advance everyone and let me know if you need more information about our trip to answer the above questions!

Jon Leibowitz
(jleeb) - F - MLife

Locale: 4Corners
Howdy on 07/16/2013 16:39:00 MDT Print View

I'll see ya out there! Got a 6 day trip planned first week of August but going the opposite direction as you with a bit more off-trail walking! I'm eager to hear some responses because this will be my first time there, too.

I have a red beard and an HMG Windrider, if ya see me say hi!

Edited by jleeb on 07/16/2013 16:39:48 MDT.

Slaton Whatley

Locale: Catalinas, Saguaro, Grand Canyon
Hi John! on 07/16/2013 22:47:43 MDT Print View

Hey! Thanks for the head's up. I'll look for you for sure out there. Be awesome to meet a fellow BPL'er in person. I'll in a group of three, be a really tall white, blonde guy, and be carrying a HMG Porter! HMG all the way! See you on the trail!

Slaton Whatley

Locale: Catalinas, Saguaro, Grand Canyon
Any other tips? on 07/20/2013 07:55:09 MDT Print View

Anyone have any insight into recommended mileage per day? Great areas to camp? Or just any helpful tips for the route I should know?