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Yankee Boy Basin Trailhead
Added by BillMiddlebrook

Location:  San Juan Mountains
14ers Served:  Mt. Sneffels
Road Type:  Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Easy 4WD to the restrooms. 4WD to the upper TH.
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. Start measuring mileage from the start of this road. Your mileage may vary slightly, but the following list describes the turns and milestones:
- At 3 miles: The road has some shelf sections with exposure to the left.
- 4.7 miles: Stay right on CR 26.
- 5.3 miles: The road is cut into the cliffs like a "C" so there is rock hanging over the road.
- 6.1 miles: Stay right on CR 26 at the junction for Imogene Pass.
- 6.3 miles: Pass through the empty Sneffels townsite.
- 6.8 miles: Stay right and pass a Yankee Boy Basin info sign.
- 6.9 miles: Stay right onto the "853 1B" road. The remaining drive is 4WD and 2WD cars should park below this junction.
- 7.7 miles: Reach the lower "trailhead" where many people park. There is a restroom here.
Driving beyond this point requires 4WD
- 100 yards after the restroom parking area, pass a large rock and stay right at a junction.
- 8.2 miles: Stay right.
- 8.5 miles: The road gets much worse after this point and there’s a sign that recommends only 4WD, high-clearance, short-wheelbase.
- 4WD vehicles (short wheelbase, good clearance, 4WD low) can continue another mile to the signed, upper trailhead at 12,460’.
Winter Access:  Usually closed low on the road.
14er Trailheads on Google Maps
Date Status Information Posted By  Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2014-07-11 There was a patch of snow that blocked the road at 12,200\‘ that could only be crossed with ATVs or sufficient knobby tires. Due to our efforts getting our Landrover unstuck after two hours, the snow had completely melted by the end of the day. The TH is now clear to the top for more normal 4WD cars. ezabielski         
2014-06-15 We were able to drive a Jeep about half a mile past the restrooms until we had to stop because of a snow drift. The snow is melting fast, though. esagas         
2014-06-08 No snow on the road to the 2WD TH, but there are a few tricky sections where streams have cut deep ditches across the road. I took them slow and still lightly dragged my hitch on the ground (Xterra Pro-4X). Longer wheelbase and low clearances vehicles can still make it, just take it slow. Plenty of snow on the road past the 2WD TH (I had to pull a guy out of the snow just past the big rock). If you plan to sleep in your vehicle at the TH, beware of an aggressive porcupine! I woke up at 11:30 to the sounds of a rodent trying to eat the undercarriage of my truck. I spent the rest of the night running him off (mothball crystals under the vehicle did not deter him). Lesson learned: don‘t be the only vehicle parked at the TH. KTC88    3      
2014-05-18 Same as previous - good 2wd to the Imogene turnoff, rough 2wd to the Governor turnoff, and high clearance recommended up to the bathrooms. A loader went to town on the upper road - rougher condition and deeper channels than I remembered. Monster5  1       
2014-05-15 Road has been plowed and is open to the outhouse about 7.5 miles from HWY 550. The road up to the Yankee Boy/Governor‘s Basin fork is excellent and may be traveled by any vehicle. Past that, high clearance 4WD suggested. All of Yankee Boy is 100% snowcovered. Spring snow conditions up to 12,000‘. Wentzl  4       
2013-11-02 The road was plowed to the mine at ~10600‘ as of 11/2. I drove my 4Runner to the Y junction at 10760‘. The road was tracked later in the day to the 2WD TH, but the next major storm may close the road to the Senator Gulch winter closure 9200‘, although not sure how long they plow to the mine. Kevin Baker         
2013-10-20 Had to fight and claw my way to the 2WD TH in a Nissan Xterra in 4Lo. Anything past that will require a snowmobile or an ATV at this point. Somewhat of a Prick         
2013-09-24 drove a chevy impala to the 853 1B sign, maybe a little farther. walked on the road to the wrights lake spur. the road was clear and mostly dry. many, many 4WD went on to the upper trail head and returned. Moboy56         
2013-09-23 Morning after 9/22/13 snow, the ~4-6" of snow on the road kept us from going beyond the 853 1B Road junction (~.7 miles below the lower TH), where there is room for several cars to park. We were in a 2WD Toyota Venza. High clearance rental Jeeps made it easily through the snow to the Lower TH, and there were tracks in the snow from modified 4WD Jeeps to the upper TH. jchapell         
2013-09-05 Overall, the road is in very good shape. There were several landslides (one big) from the rain but they were almost cleared today. Although the road is relatively smooth, you need short wheelbase because there are many deep dips where the small streams cross. Even with an XTerra, my nose almost scraped. Just past the large rock in the route description, there is a difficult obstacle where a creek crosses. If you get past it, the road is fairly good to the very top (for truck-based vehicles). It didn‘t seem as bad as the route description said. I did not try to get past the obstacle and parked after ‘the rock‘ (just past the second restroom TH). zsmith         
2013-07-20 Drove a Ford Focus station wagon to the TH. Taking it slow and a little confidence will get you through the rougher patches. After the bathrooms at the TH parking area, the road gets considerably rougher. Many 4-wheelers and short wheel based 4WD trucks made it to the top TH at 12,460. jefwerner         
2013-05-04 Road is plowed up to the lower trailhead. epacalicious         
2013-04-28 Same as last report. Closed at Revenue mine, about 1/3 mile past Imogene pass turn. cjw         
2013-04-21 There is a sign at Senator Gulch that says "Road Closed till May 1st" but there were at least three climber vehicles parked at the end of where it has been plowed. As of today that is just about 400 yards short of the Yankee Boy/Governor Basin split in the road. Snow shoe or ski from there. Tons of snow! Wentzl         
2012-12-21 We hiked up the road today almost to the upper TH. There is a gate across the Camp Bird Mine Road at 8800 ft. that says "road closed until May 1st 2013". The mining activity there keeps the road cleared past the Imogene turn off, we were on snowshoes not long after that. We think it was about 4 miles from the gate to the lower TH and the toilet schrund         
2012-11-28 Road is clear up to toilet. No snow at all on the south facing slopes all the way to the summit of Sneffels. Road has been graded this past summer. Hugh improvement. Go ahead and take the family station wagon, seriously. Wentzl         
2012-11-04 Road and trail are snow free. Work on the road may cause delays during the week. Alpineair         
2012-09-27 Still open to the summer 4wd trailhead. Wentzl         
2012-08-27 As the previous member noted, you can drive a Toyota Yaris all the way to the restrooms at the TH at 11,700. I have a Jeep Patriot and was hoping to get all the way to the upper TH. However, there is a set of nasty rocks, just beyond the restrooms after you cross the creek, that are spaced just close enough to make for a very difficult pass. You‘ll need 9-10" of clearance at a minimum to get over these. Also, it requires some careful driving due to the awkward spacing and angle that you take them at. If someone could please dig up the rock on the right we‘ll be all good! That one feature is the most difficult so if you can get over that you should have smooth sailing to the upper TH at 12,450‘. Antonio         
2012-08-27 I was able to drive a Toyota Yaris car all the way up to the rest rooms at the TH. My climbing partner drove his car up their also with not much issue. Can‘t go any further than rest rooms with a car. CR 361 is a little rough in spots but easily drivable in a car. Road 853.1B is very rough, but if you drive at a snails pace and are careful, you can maneuver around or go over the bad spots fairly well. This road is not as wide as CR 361. Park at the clearing about 100 yrds. below the restrooms. bking14ers    1    
2012-05-28 The road is clear to within 3/4 of a mile of the upper trailhead at the first Blue Lakes Trail turn off. Approximately 11,860 elevation. CO Native  1       
2012-05-07 The road is open all the way to the large pull out area immediately below the Coffee Pot. PKelley         
2012-02-18 The gate is locked at the winter closure, but the road beyond the gate is plowed all the way to the Revenue mine...just past the Imogene Pass junction. Not sure what elevation this is. I would guess it‘s around 10,500‘. There is one impressive section where they plowed through a huge debris pile. The walls are at least 15‘ high. From the end of the plowed road, there is now a decent track to the base of Teakettle. Snow was in the forecast though. Dad Mike         
2011-08-11 Road is passable to 6.9 miles for passenger vehicles, although it is rough and you‘ll want to pick your lines on a few spots. We spotted just below the road junction. The sign for 853 1B road is there, but is small and hard to see in the dark. There is a Ruby Mine sign at this junction. Tornadoman         
2011-07-06 Still can not drive to upper trail head 12,460. Road is chained shut at 11,700 (see photo) with snow drifts just beyond this point. Room for a few vehicles here. Road is good to lower trailhead at 11,350 but there is much more runoff than normal cutting accross and through the road changing it daily. YEONDERIN  1       

The outhouse at the Yankee Boy Basin. (Added by: warg on 2008-06-06)Driving down Yankee Boy Basin, just below the "road closed" sign (7/3/ (Added by: Aubrey on 2009-07-07)

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