Chi basin from Missionary ridge road

Colorado peak questions, condition requests and other info.
Forum rules
  • This is a mountaineering forum, so please keep your posts on-topic. Posts do not all have to be related to the 14ers but should at least be mountaineering-related.
  • Personal attacks and confrontational behavior will result in removal from the forum at the discretion of the administrators.
  • Do not use this forum to advertise, sell photos or other products or promote a commercial website.
  • Troll posts will be removed.
For more details, please see the Terms of Use you agreed to when joining the forum.
HikerBox
Posts: 45
Joined: 5/21/2016
14ers: 58  4 
13ers: 90  2 
Trip Reports (3)

Re: Chi basin from Missionary ridge road

Post by HikerBox »

HikerGuy wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 8:34 pm
HikerBox wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 7:42 pm I think my stats were ~7 miles and <2k gain on the way in, same distance and maybe 2500 gain on the way out.
That jives with the track I drew in CalTopo, https://caltopo.com/m/E0M18.
Yup that's it. IIRC the distance and gain from purgatory to the same point were almost double but with less gain on the way out.
User avatar
Jorts
Posts: 823
Joined: 4/12/2013
14ers: 51  3  1 
13ers: 61  9  4 
Trip Reports (9)

Re: Chi basin from Missionary ridge road

Post by Jorts »

Amazing. Thanks everyone.
Traveling light is the only way to fly.
IG: @summityinzer
Strava: Brent Herring
User avatar
tortilla
Posts: 76
Joined: 9/21/2020
14ers: 58 
13ers: 37 

Re: Chi basin from Missionary ridge road

Post by tortilla »

Jorts, perhaps try to check fishing sites for beta. Webb, emerald pear and ruby offer good fly fishing.

I recently spoke with a Durango local who’s husband/son were on a fishing trip there. She mentioned that they accessed the “easy way” (from missionary ridge.) This implies that there is another way to access the lakes, presumably from below.

Sat images on Google maps show a trail segment east of emerald but it then enters the trees and is no longer visible on sat.

Please update if you try this, after my conversation with the local I was mulling over this too. Getting back to your car seems to be the issue.
User avatar
tortilla
Posts: 76
Joined: 9/21/2020
14ers: 58 
13ers: 37 

Re: Chi basin from Missionary ridge road

Post by tortilla »

DaveLanders wrote: Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:03 pm On the descent from Webb Lake back to Needle Creek, I found quite a bit
of an old switchbacked trail, but it wasn't continuous at the bottom. The trail was all on the west side of the outlet creek from Webb Lake,
and came out just across Needle Creek from New York Creek. I've read elsewhere that the trail shown on the topo going to Ruby and Emerald
Lakes from Needle Creek doesn't actually exist.
@Jorts
User avatar
Jorts
Posts: 823
Joined: 4/12/2013
14ers: 51  3  1 
13ers: 61  9  4 
Trip Reports (9)

Re: Chi basin from Missionary ridge road

Post by Jorts »

tortilla wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:35 am
DaveLanders wrote: Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:03 pm On the descent from Webb Lake back to Needle Creek, I found quite a bit
of an old switchbacked trail, but it wasn't continuous at the bottom. The trail was all on the west side of the outlet creek from Webb Lake,
and came out just across Needle Creek from New York Creek. I've read elsewhere that the trail shown on the topo going to Ruby and Emerald
Lakes from Needle Creek doesn't actually exist.
@Jorts
Thanks. I'll let you know... but I'm leaning towards "Kennedy Pass". It's all above treeline until the base of the gully so it seems it should be easier route finding and others on the forum have had good experience with that route.
Traveling light is the only way to fly.
IG: @summityinzer
Strava: Brent Herring
User avatar
Bigfoot
Posts: 51
Joined: 6/25/2008
14ers: 58 
13ers: 11 

Re: Chi basin from Missionary ridge road

Post by Bigfoot »

Here is my GPS track zoomed in on the "Kennedy Pass" to Needle Creek section. There is a good goat trail down to treeline. I crossed the first creek and paralleled the second creek down just inside the trees. That worked for a while, but then the deadfall made it tough. Eventually I ended up in the creek bed before making a push through the willows to get back to the meadow. In hindsight I probably should have continued further north under the cliffs (into the shadow) and down somewhere along the 3rd creek or even further north, but it looks like there are some cliffs.

Image

To confirm what was previous posted, there is no longer a trail below Emerald lake:
PlayGneiss wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 10:46 pm There's a trail down to Ruby, faint to Emerald (private helicopter sign for private inholding there), then to the lake below that before it's lost to nature despite what USATopo says having followed the RubyEmerald drainage all the way and across Needle where trail should have crossed twice. You can also drop from the saddle E of Aztec to the mine, as well as cut up the saddle S of Bullion before Trimble.
You can also avoid the last 2 miles of rough 4WD road to Lime Mesa TH by taking a hunter trail along the side of the mesa.
PlayGneiss wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 10:46 pm No need to go to Lime Mesa TH, rather park on the W side and go up that side of the mesa -- there's a high "trail" shelf and a low one used by hunters, and they'll link up to the Ruby/Overlook trail. This avoids the worst of the 4x4 road and arguably keeps it at 2WD.
User avatar
Boggy B
Posts: 622
Joined: 10/14/2009
14ers: 58  7 
13ers: 584  78 
Trip Reports (39)

Re: Chi basin from Missionary ridge road

Post by Boggy B »

Jorts, did you try this?
HikerGuy wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 8:34 pm
HikerBox wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 7:42 pm I think my stats were ~7 miles and <2k gain on the way in, same distance and maybe 2500 gain on the way out.
That jives with the track I drew in CalTopo, https://caltopo.com/m/E0M18.
We finally checked out this approach Oct. 1. There's basically a trail to the W Kennedy pass, or so we perceived in the snow, and down to treeline as mentioned. From there we hugged the N face of Kennedy with minor talus hopping, which the linked map approximates pretty well. From the upper Lime Mesa TH to the Chi Basin trail at roughly the Kennedy-Aztec drainage intersection with Needle Creek, I get 7.8 mi. and +1640' / -2430'.

Conservative (not an actual track) stats from Purg to the same point are 13.6 mi. and +3530' / -1586'.

If running, Purg is probably the better option since the drop into Needle Creek isn't very runnable, the delta in RT gain is barely noticeable over the difference in mileage, and the drive up Lime Mesa takes forever even if you don't go to the upper TH. But for sticking it to The Man I like this way.
User avatar
Jorts
Posts: 823
Joined: 4/12/2013
14ers: 51  3  1 
13ers: 61  9  4 
Trip Reports (9)

Re: Chi basin from Missionary ridge road

Post by Jorts »

Boggy B wrote: Mon Oct 24, 2022 11:01 am Jorts, did you try this?
HikerGuy wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 8:34 pm
HikerBox wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 7:42 pm I think my stats were ~7 miles and <2k gain on the way in, same distance and maybe 2500 gain on the way out.
That jives with the track I drew in CalTopo, https://caltopo.com/m/E0M18.
We finally checked out this approach Oct. 1. There's basically a trail to the W Kennedy pass, or so we perceived in the snow, and down to treeline as mentioned. From there we hugged the N face of Kennedy with minor talus hopping, which the linked map approximates pretty well. From the upper Lime Mesa TH to the Chi Basin trail at roughly the Kennedy-Aztec drainage intersection with Needle Creek, I get 7.8 mi. and +1640' / -2430'.

Conservative (not an actual track) stats from Purg to the same point are 13.6 mi. and +3530' / -1586'.

If running, Purg is probably the better option since the drop into Needle Creek isn't very runnable, the delta in RT gain is barely noticeable over the difference in mileage, and the drive up Lime Mesa takes forever even if you don't go to the upper TH. But for sticking it to The Man I like this way.
Thanks for the info. I haven't given it a try yet. This last weekend was my window and I opted to go up to the Twilights Saturday instead.
Traveling light is the only way to fly.
IG: @summityinzer
Strava: Brent Herring
Post Reply