Aaron and I left Highlands Ranch, Colorado, around 6:00 am on Saturday for the 6.5 hour drive to Silverton, Colorado, in order to catch the 2:45 pm train south to the Needleton Creek Trailhead. The drive went relatively quick and we were fairly pleased with how the weather appeared to be turning out. The forecast for the weekend was a lot of rain and we were concerned that our trip might be spoiled. Tom and Lyle wanted a bit more time to backpack in to Chicago Basin, so they drove to Durango, Colorado, the day before and rode the 9:00 am train north to the trailhead. The weather held until about five minutes before we got off the train when it started to rain heavily. As we got off the train, approximately 20 soaked hikers were anxiously waiting to get on the train and out of the rain.
Aaron and I quickly hiked over to an abandoned cabin across the river to put on rain gear and pack covers. We finally got hiking shortly after 4:00 pm as the rain was fairly constant but had let up to more of a drizzle for the approach. I contacted Tom via a radio at 7:00 pm, and we were only 30 minutes away from the camp they had already established at 11,000'. Upon arrival, Aaron and I set up camp, had a quick bit to eat, and then everyone retired for the evening.