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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    
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       
2011-07-03 Open to summer TH and about 1 mile above that towards Upper TH. Snow drifts block the remainder of the 4x4 road to the upper TH. rleclair         
2011-06-03 Open to the summer trailhead! May need a high clearence vehicle to get there. Beachrodney         
2011-05-06 Road is closed by snow at point 3.5 miles from turnoff from main highway, a few miles shy of the Camp Bird. Dozer parked at closure point . . . a good sign? Deep snow from cut out portion of shelf road onward, talking 3+ feet, short of that dozer working, going to be a while before anyone gets past the cut out shy of skis or snow shoes. Wyoming Bob         
2010-08-02 Made it to the lower trailhead with the permanent bathroom in my Subaru outback. Road is somewhat rough on the way in and I struggled with having enough power on some of the steeper hills when they were wet. Just after the section that recommends parking 2wd there is a large roller which I was hesitant to cross, but was able to do so without bottoming out too badly. I would be very cautious of taking any lower clearance vehicle past that section as the possibility of getting high-centered seemed high. Road is definitely rough but passable if you have decent clearance and 4wd though. crossfitter         
2010-06-26 Open all the way! PKelley         
2010-06-09 The road is cleared to a small parking turn off at 11,700 just below the switchbacks at the 4WD sign at 8.5 miles. There is a road closed sign and a snow drift covering the road at 8.2 miles - HOWEVER, but turning left at 8.0 miles instead of staying right, you can follow a rougher 4WD road over 2 river crossings (high water right now but not impassable) and bypass the section. Kevin8020         
2010-05-30 Hi clearance 4WD's made it to about 300 yards beyond the outhouse today. Snow is melting fast up there. scotthsu         
2010-05-13 The road is clear all the way to the upper TH at 11,420 joe4186         
2010-05-02 Road is closed a little after Weehawken TH around 9400 ft at a gate closure (next to a bridge and waterfall/creek). We didn't really understand why till we got to the C-rock along the road. Covered with BIG and about to break ice daggers. Lots of remnants of rockfall as well. We skinned up 4 miles to right under Stoney Mtn. LOTS OF SNOW back there. Watch out though, some asshole smashed in my rear window, pried open my hood, disconnected my battery and sorted through my interior. Epitome of amateur hour if you ask me. lordhelmut  1       
2010-04-04 CR361 Gate closed at 3.5 miles (9,300‘) Sign says Avalanche Danger extreme. The road is actually plowed for the next 4 miles where you split right to go up to Yankee Boy. You will not need snowshoes for those first few miles but definitely necessary after. Bring a helmet because human sized ice chunks are breaking off from above and crashing intot the road everywhere. At the lower TH, the snow is over 8‘ deep and there was tons of fresh natural avy activity on Saturday Night. mountainmicah83         
2010-01-12 Road is plowed to the right fork past the Sneffles townsite. Actually it is plowed further up the road to Virginius Pass, past where you would turn off for Sneffels. However, the shelf section of Yankee Boy is almost impassable by vehicles due to a large stretch of ice on the road, some 4wd w/ chains were unable to get through. So you can drive to the shelf and then walk a plowed road to the snow closure, where you leave the main road and go up the valley to the right. tmahon         
2009-07-07 I‘ve driven to the end of this road many times over the past five years, but this was the roughest I‘ve ever seen it (above the bathrooms). Not far up from the lower trailhead (at that one switchback), there‘s a "road closed" sign. I didn‘t go up any farther because I could see a Jeep stopped above me and I figured it was at the closed section. Regarding the road‘s roughness: I imagine it is due to all the heavy rain the San Juans got this spring, which probably washed away a lot of soil, leaving behind a bunch of big rocks and ruts in the road. Still, it‘s doable (up to the closure); it‘s just a bit rougher than it was before. Aubrey         
2009-07-06 Road is dry until about 1/2 mile above the Wrights Lake Spur trailhead (appx 12,200‘). At this point there is a "road closed" sign. This seems to suggest the uppermost part of the road is permanently closed, but it is not gated at this time. Chicago Transplant         
2009-05-17 The road is free snow until the restroom. 2 wd cars can drive until 6.8 miles where is the first small paring area. 4 wd cars can drive to the trailhead at the mileage 7.8. javy20040         
2009-05-12 2wd cars can make it 6.8 miles up the road to the Yankee Boy Basin sign, beyond that high clearance and 4wd (preferably low gear) are necessary. The road is snowed in at the outhouse 7.7 miles up the road. When we arrived on 5/6/09, the road was in far better shape than when we left on 5/11/09 because the road was rapidly eroding due to snowmelt. We were driving a stock Tacoma and occasionally scraped lightly when crossing the waterbars. realhillboarding         
2008-10-17 Two large trees have fallen and completely block the road about 1/2 mile below the restroom. Each tree is 18-24 inches in diameter so moving them is not an option. Another large tree is also down and across the road less than 1/2 mile above the restroom. thetoddman         
2008-09-07 I Drove my ‘07 Toyota Yaris up to the 2wd Restroom TH on 3 SEP 08. Everyone kept asking if it was a rental. I had to stop and stack rocks at one point, but I made it with zero frame bumps, but did smack a wheel rim once, (it‘s fine). No other cars there, but a bunch of jeeps, and SUV and the 4x4 tours joined me the next day. It‘s a hell of a road for a 2wd car. It was dry, otherwise I‘d been walking. MUni Rider         
2008-07-24 On Tuesday 7/22 a couple of jeeps had plowed through (and beat the hell out of) the remaining snow that was blocking the road to the upper trailhead. However, on our hike out, we also watched as one Jeep got stuck. This should speed the melting and it should be fully open soon. E-dorvs         
2008-07-17 The road is clear to maybe 0.2 miles of the end, where snow blocks the way. We only had to walk a few switchbacks and maybe 100 ft of vertical. Matt         
2008-07-07 Road is closed at the parking area a little above 11,400ft as of July 4th. Snow shortly after the gate would block passage anyway. Carl         
2008-06-14 Road is plowed to the outhouse and is in pretty decent condition. Lots of snow in the basin after that. roozers42         

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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