Yankee Boy Basin Trailhead


Range: San Juan Mountains
Coordinates: 37.995, -107.78472
14ers: Mt. Sneffels
Elevation: 12,460'
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Road Difficulty

Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Easy 4WD to the restrooms. 4WD to the upper TH.

Driving Directions

Take US 550 to Ouray. 1/4 mile south of town, turn west onto Country Road (CR) 361 (2WD, Dirt) toward Yankee Boy Basin and start measuring mileage from this point. Your mileage may vary slightly, but the following list describes the turns and milestones:
  • 4.6 miles: Stay right on CR 26.
  • 5.2 miles: The road is cut into the cliffs like a "C" so there is rock hanging over the road.
  • 5.9 miles: Stay right on CR 26 at the junction for Imogene Pass.
  • 6.7 miles: Stay right at the junction for Governor Basin. The remaining drive is 4WD and 2WD cars should park at or near this junction.
  • 7.5 miles: Reach the lower "trailhead" where there's a restroom.
Driving beyond this point requires high-clearance 4WD
  • 100 yards after the restroom parking area, pass a large rock and stay right at a junction.
  • 8.0 miles: Stay right.
  • 8.2 miles: There's a sign that recommends only 4WD, high-clearance, short-wheelbase. 4WD vehicles can continue another mile to the signed, upper trailhead at 12,460'.

Winter Access

Usually closed low on the road.

More Info

Parking: Room for ~15 vehicles at the lower (restroom) parking. Some pull-offs and parking higher and room for 5 vehicles at the upper, 4WD trailhead.
Camping: Dispersed camping along the road.
Restrooms? Yes
Fees? No
Trailhead added by BillMiddlebrook
Status Updates 
Posted By: s_tuning
Info: Road closed (temporarily?) by the Forest Service due to the recent storms.
Posted By: sisyphus
Info: 6-17-05: Road is clear to the outhouse just above 11,000 feet. Just beyond the outhouse, the road has raging torrents of water, and in some places, the road is totally under water. Snow begins about 1/2 mile from the outhouse, and at least one jeep made it this far to park.
Posted By: doumall
Info: Still open to 11,200 (solar powered outhouse). High clearance is needed to get further than a few miles up CR361.
Posted By: cjw
Info: Open to solar powered outhouse, ~11,200
Posted By: s_tuning
Info: The road to Yankee Boy is open to the Ruby mine, about one mile from the trailhead.
Posted By: s_tuning
Info: Road is passable by 2WD to about 3 miles. I made it to 6.2 with my 4WD. Forest Service is plowing the last 2 miles and says that the road will be open all the way to Yankee Boy Basin by Firday, 5-20-05.
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