Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Yankee Boy Basin

Jellystone Park of the Black Canyon
Montrose, CO
July 25, 2014

Yankee Boy Basin is an alpine basin located in the Uncompahgre National Forest. Access to the basin is by a dirt road 4X4 trail.
This trail is rated moderate. Most of the road is easy just like Ophir. It's the last mile that gives the trail the moderate status...it is  rocky, steep and narrow. This is a 9.3 mile trail one way.
A narrow spot under a rock overhang...

We started out on Camp Bird Road...0.4 miles (going south on Hwy 550) from the Beaumont Hotel on Main Street in Ouray.

Camp Bird Mine today....
The famous Camp Bird Mine...a highly productive gold and silver mine was discovered in 1896 by Thomas Walsh.
He sold his mine in 1902 for $5.2 million.

Another interesting tid-bit...Camp Bird Mine was named after the "Camp Birds" probably Rocky Jays that ate the miner's lunch.
Another highlight of this trail is Twin Falls...two beautiful waterfalls along Sneffels Creek. We did park and I enjoyed myself... trapsing thru the narrow trails lined with wildflowers, flowing water and climbing the rocks.
Twin Falls from the trail...

Narrow walking path lined with wildflowers...

Rosy paintbrush...common in moist meadows 10,000 to 12,000 feet

What a hoot to play on the rocks...and yes, the water is freezing!

Tall Bluebells...about as tall as my waist...
with soft, hairless leaves glistening with dew.
 After the falls, the trail continues for about 2.2 miles where it ends at about 12,000 feet elevation. There is a small area for parking and turning around.

Last mile looks like this which is why it is rated moderate.

King's Crown...in the Stonecrop family...the roots of this plant are good for physical and mental fatigue. Might come in handy next time you are hiking at 12,000 feet!

 Yankee Boy Basin is well know for its wildflowers. The week days are less congested than the week-ends. Best time of year is mid July thru September. A gate for the upper trail is closed until the snow melts in late June or early July. Many stock SUVs make it to the end of the trail.

Another must do trail if you are visiting in this area!

Until next time,

 happy trails!

 Up next: Imogene Pass...our highest climb to date!



  1. You sure get to see some wonderful scenery, really enjoy your photos.

  2. Another great trail for you to explore. You certainly find them all over.

  3. Gay, beautiful photos!!
    We jeeped, YEARS ago, The Black Bear, which runs from Ouray to Telluride and also Engineer Pass. Have fun!

    1. We wanted to both of those trails Sheila...next time! I am sure we will be back to this area...I am in love with this place!

  4. What a lovely drive. Everything looks so crisp, clear & clean. All the lovely wildflowers & the waterfall just add to the beauty of it.

    1. Oh and I wish you could enjoy the smells too Gayle...fresh evergreen!

  5. We were just there yesterday…hiking in the rain and clouds :))
    Box Canyon Mark

    1. Dang...I bet that was one sweet hike! Next time...I'm tagging along Mark!

  6. Look at that incredible waterfall picture with the water just sparkling. I love it. I was also thinking our truck could make it up that trail.

    1. Yep Sandie...we saw trucks on the trail! There are lots of turning around spots if you don't want to go all the way to the end...
      The falls are so pretty and I liked being able to get close enough to them to feel the splash!

  7. Love all the wildflowers, and thank you Gay for the hint of when is the best time to visit this wonderful scenery. The flowers are coming to life, great shots.

    1. The wildflowers have been absolutely stunning...I have never seen so many kinds and colors MonaLiza!

  8. Jeep trail, wildflowers, water, and playing on the rocks...doesn't get much better:) Those wildflowers are gorgeous.