“An epic day covering all four of Chicago Basin's challenging 14ers.”
— Tyler Prince
This hike must be accessed via the Chicago Basin Trail, which is in turn accessed either by train (summer only) or by a long hike in (Animas River Trail
While portions of this hike can easily be explored by fit dogs, the peaks above it are generally too technical for them.
Camping high in the basin is generally frowned upon. See Twin Lakes Approach
for further information; camping along the end of Chicago Basin Trail is preferred.
This truly epic hike summits all four Chicago Basin 14ers in one fell swoop. While seemingly short and with surprisingly little vertical, hikers should know that all of these peaks are at least somewhat technical, and this day is sure to exhaust everyone short of Ueli Steck. Starting at camp, it takes hikers up the Twin Lakes Approach
, up Sunlight and Windom
, back down and over to the Eolus Group
, and finally back down Twin Lakes Approach
. Between 14er finishers, completing all these mountains in one day is a big deal, and offers some pretty awesome bragging rights.
Features: Fall Colors — Lake — River/Creek — Swimming — Views — Waterfall — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Need to Know
While similar in distance and elevation gain to many Sawatch 14ers or to 14er quadruple DeCaliBron, this hike is a whole other beast.
This is a hell of a trip. From camp off the Chicago Basin Trail:
Hike up Twin Lakes Approach
. From here, it's recommended you summit Sunlight and Windom
first, as the rock on Sunlight is slightly more technical and prone to getting slippery. It's easier to escape from the Eolus Group
should the weather change later in the day.
So, hike Sunlight and Windom
. Come back down to the Twin Lakes and hike the Eolus Group
. From here, all that's left is a descent back down Twin Lakes Approach
Flora & Fauna
From world class alpine views and vegetation to unique alpine critters, Chicago Basin's got it all. Wildflowers down low are stunning. Marmots and pika are everywhere, and mountain goats love it up high, especially near Twin Lakes.