As of September 20, 2019
- Lower Needle Creek Trail is clear and open, but there is some drainage issues causing significant tread erosion. There are a few trees across the trail, but navigable. The large avalanche path at the west end of the Basin has covered about 50 yards of trail with fairly big trees – also navigable. 8/13/19
- In the basin: 2 major avalanche slide paths/debris: #1 is all cut out minus 4 big trees that are easily navigable via foot; #2 still has a lot of snow but is easily navigable by foot; STOCK IS NOT RECOMMENDED. 7/29/19
- Avalanche debris along trail to Twin Lakes that require caution. Trail up from the Basin is snow-free. There is still quite a bit of snow on the trail as one gets within a half mile of the peak, but it is easily traversed.
- Do not camp around Twin Lakes
- For climbing Chicago Basin 14ers: Mt. Eolus, N. Eolus, Sunlight and Windom, please visit 14ers.com peak conditions
Ice Lakes Basin-July 29, 2019:
- Avalanche debris cleared by amazing volunteers!
- Trail in great shape, free of snow, until just below Upper Basin where there is some packed, muddy snow but not difficult to hike through.
- Both Ice lake and Island Lake have melted.
- Please remember Leave No Trace principles when traveling on this very popular trail.
- Make sure to stop by and say Hi to our Tiny Home volunteers who are there to encourage Leave No Trace, as well as to answer any questions you might have.
- There are four gnarly avalanche debris fields, 2 below the beaver ponds and 2 above. Please follow the red flags through the avalanche debris – social trails are not recommended in the wilderness. Crews have cut, carried and thrown debris to make rustic routes through all of them. They are still very difficult, but they are a lot easier than they were. Also, all of the normal annual trail work – downed trees outside of the slide paths across the trail have been removed. 7/29/19 Jerry Brown and Connie Wian’s Segment 24 adopter crew
- Per Colorado Trail Foundation, Segment 24, Seg 24 huge avalanche debris fields remain, now improved by CTF volunteers (many careful hikers have succeeded but they’ve emphasized the need to be cautious, go slowly and choose every step carefully; travelers have mixed views on whether passable by dogs but some dogs have succeeded; not doable by stock animals) . 8/13/19
- Extra caution when the logs are wet! Slick, easy to slip, quite treacherous. Backpacker reported that navigating through these avalanche fields, with wet log, added 2 hours to their Elk Park hike. (Kenneth Fannon 9/19)
Kenneth Fannon, a visitor who contacted our office before his trip, kindly sent a trip report and he reported on the degree of difficulty navigating the avalanche debris fields: (scale 1-10). Please keep in mind that these numbers are objective, but we want to give others a better idea of what they are in for (9/19).
Debris field 1 = 7
Debris field 2 = 6
Debris field 3 = 10
Debris field 4 = 8 (looooonnnnggg)
Additional Trail Info
- Columbine Pass: From Chicago Basin, the trail to the pass is clear, except for one small snowfield. 8/13/19
- Johnson Creek Trail: Navigable via foot
- Vallecito Creek Trail between Johnson and Hunchback: is all navigable by food but NOT STOCK. There is a slide debris pile near Rock Creek (but ok via foot).
- Vallecito Creek Trail: Vallecito Creek at the ford, where the bridge washed out years ago, and water is almost thigh deep. 8/13/19
- Emerald Lake to Moon Lake: Avalanche debris field with medium difficulty to navigate
Additional trail conditions websites: