Mount Sneffels Classic Route - Yankee Boy Basin

HARD 56 reviews

Mount Sneffels Classic Route - Yankee Boy Basin is a 6.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Ridgway, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

6.8 miles
3261 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly





nature trips

off road driving

rock climbing



trail running







wild flowers







washed out

8 months ago

Lots of elevation gain for an absolutely breathtaking view on top. Ran into a red fox, which was cool. Most challenging and rewarding hike I've done so far.

9 months ago

Gorgeous trail-completely worth the climb. My husband and I did the Blue Lakes Pass route, which, although longer, has incredible views and is well worth the extra couple of hours. I wrote a complete trip report if you're interested in seeing photos and getting more information on trail conditions, gear, and general tips and tricks :

9 months ago

This was our first 14er, and to be honest it was the most difficult thing we have accomplished yet. We started early at 540, very dark out and lights were necessary. This is mostly uphill and the trail is mostly rocks, very much a workout. It was worth it, but don't underestimate it!

9 months ago

Was an epic adventure going up to the peak. And coming down was a blast sliding down the dirt and rocks!

9 months ago

Mentally challenging
A great physical work out

Definitely a class 3. Only 1.2 miles from TH to summit but also a 2,000ft elevation gain. Hands and feet bouldering all the way to the top. And the boulders are your friend. The V notch isn't bad...people help you through it. And the summit is completely worth it. It is very steep and exposure at the V notch and a little after up to the summit!
It was my first 14er...definitely a challenge!

There is a great video on YouTube that shows the V notch...

10 months ago

The views are beyond a 5-star rating - completely out of this world and so different than any other 14er. I have to give it 4 stars though because I don't think I could ever push myself to do it again - it was by far the most mentally challenging climb I've done to date - many "life or death" moments with steep steep uphill scree shifting beneath every step you take up to the ridge and then again up to the summit. The V-Notch was a test of true grit, be sure you research this part well so you're not surprised when you see it. The summit wasn't crowded at all, we even had about 5 mins of it completely to ourselves. It was hardly windy either which was a plus and a surprise. But all we could think about was the journey down, and it certainly was difficult. Had to use 3 points of contact minimum for most of the stretch. Great experience but one should really assess their mental stamina and physical capabilities before daring to attempt this one.

10 months ago

10 months ago

I gotta be honest, we hike a ton! We live in Ridgway and had been wanting to do this hike for awhile. Let me tell ya, it's probably the last time we will do it. We hiked it 8-6-17 and it was way more work than fun.
We parked at the bathrooms the normal spot, about 2 miles away from the trailhead. Take the trail when you see it, skip the road. It's more scenic and takes you around wrights lake with great views.
The trail... started on packed down scree, easy, no problem. Then once it started straight up, there was no trail, just crazy slick rock and dirt. This climb was shitty. We have had a ton of rain so I don't know if that affected the "trail" but it was basically just pick a line and take it. This portion easily took us an 1.5 hours each way.
At the top of that, you climb straight up a boulder field for around 300 feet or so. Of course the views were incredible but we definitely felt like we missed out on some of the fun by how focused we had to be. There are other hikes that offer these views without the risk of death. Lol! But really. Very tough on the knees, especially coming down. We were surprised by how we felt after about not wanting to do it again but we aren't trying to die on a hike. Bring a helmet.

11 months ago

Snow blocked the last part of the trail, but great views to that point.

11 months ago

It was my first 14er. The views and surrounding wilderness are worth the difficult climb at the end. We were in the clouds at the top, so we couldn't see the view of the mountains at the top, but still beautiful regardless. Coming down from the top is a little scary because of the loose rocks, so have make sure to have good supportive shoes and take your time. I would do it again!

11 months ago

This was a beautiful and moderately challenging hike! We started out hike at the lowest end of the four wheel drive road. Ten miles of hiking from start to finish. We started at 6am, reached the summit at noon and then returned to our starting point at 3pm. The pictures do not do this scenery justice. It is a must do in my opinion! Plan for weather around mid day. The clouds moved in around 1130. We were fortunate that the rain didn't start until we reached our vehicle.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Note as of 6/9/17 there is too much snow to finish the hike. We were able to hike to 11,500. You can't find the trail after this. Very hard from a cardio standpoint. Beautiful views.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

My favorite CO fourteener never disappoints! Nice moderate hike. The scree can make things a bit interesting so trekking poles are a good idea for the descent.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Definitely difficult. Especially skree field but worth it. Spectacular views!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

amazing view worth the hike

Friday, August 19, 2016

TREKKING POLES. You'll need them for the steep scree section both going up and coming down. Absolutely beautiful views and the V notch near the summit makes you feel all the more accomplished when summiting.

Friday, July 29, 2016

We actually completed the topgun approach which links the ridgeline between Yankee boy and sneffels. The scree was as expected at 40 degrees -ish but there was absolutely nobody else on it until it linked up with the classic route. There was Little bit of snow still left in the couloir but easily manageable with basic skills. take care if you are completing the topgun approach because it contains class 4+ navigation in sections depending on your route.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

One of the most beautiful summit views in Colorado in my opinion. Great starter 14er... one that is a comfortable day hike without technical pitches. This is a great choice for those that are wanting to take on their first 14er with a bit of a challenge. The trail is established, but you still want to research the route before you go.

The scree field is steep, so be ready for the scramble. There will be snow in shaded areas for most of the summer, but you can avoid most of it by mid to late summer. There is a more technical route available... just FYI. This is a great day's adventure!

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Did this in August 2015 and it has been my favorite 14er so far. The basin is gorgeous and the views from the top are amazing. Very steep climb through scree and then some scrambling near the top. It's a pretty short hike if you can make it to the upper lot but we started pretty low and had to tack on a few more miles.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

This was a truly unforgettable trek for me.
If you can tough it through the scree field up to the saddle, you should have an easy time making it to the summit.
I recommend going early in the morning if you plan on summiting after July, as the monsoons come in around noon and the view will not be clear.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

I've renamed this 14er Mt. Doom. My husband picked out this 14er for us to do while on a road-trip vacation and passing through Ouray. We had a park a bit of ways from the lower trailhead because we weren't in a 4WD vehicle. Started making our way up and first 3/4 were great. Beautiful views, really well maintained trail, challenging elevation gain but in a good way. The last bit is just a straight up rock slide. Complete rock scramble over very loose shale. You have to be super careful about your footing or else you will start sliding back down the mountain. When you finally reach 14000 ft., you have to climb up and through this V notch to get the actual summit. Extremely beautiful views at the top. However the way back down on that loose shale and at such a steep angle was just a little too far out of my comfort zone to be enjoyable. My husband on the other hand was loving life, so it all depends on what you like. I will continue to call it Mt. Doom.

Friday, July 10, 2015

TAKE GOOD GLOVES. First time I did it I had no gloves and learned my lesson. Take leather or some kind of thick rock climbing gloves. You will slip and you don't want to cut your hand on a rock. The ascent and decent is all shale, which can have sharp edges. The way up is hard; nearly every rock you try and hold onto moves a little as you pull or step on it., the way down is fun; you can basically ski down the shale or slide on your butt.

As someone else mentioned, there is a V-shaped rock you have to pass through near the peak that is a little treacherousness but nothing you need gear for. I've done it by myself before and felt pretty safe but probably wise to have others around if you're uncomfortable

All that said, the effort is worth it and it is one of the best views I've ever had plus a sense of accomplishment that comes with a 14ker. And though it's difficult, I've seen a half-blind man in his 60's do it; to be fair he was quite the avid hiker. However, my mom did it twice in her mid 40s out of shape so it can be done. It just takes time.

Highly recommend.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

This has to be one of my favorite mountains. It's a nice mix between hiking, scrambling, and even has a tiny bit of very intense climbing, but still manages to remain pretty safe overall. We started at the lower trailhead. My dad and our dog had to stop at the notch at about 14000 feet because they couldn't climb up the 10 feet or so that you need to clear the notch. My brother and I made it to the top and had some great views when the clouds cleared up. There were also cute pikas all over and a beautiful lake at the bottom of the rock glacier that you pass on the way up.

Monday, September 23, 2013

This 14er is no joke. Lot of climbing with a scary pass through at the top through a v notch rock. Started at lower trailhead.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Looking forward to doing this train this year on our travels, I will be taking my Cisco books with me as I am currently studying for the

Monday, March 12, 2012

Looking forward to doing this trail this year on our travels.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It is by far and away the most complete trail you could ever ask for. Wildflowers, raging river, scrambling, exposed climbing, and the 360 summit view on the tiny peak is GLORIOUS!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

After weeks of researching for a camping spot to spend a few days having a birthday party for his two-year-old daughter, my brother, Kris found Mt. Sneffels Wilderness Area. We took an afternoon a few weeks prior to the scheduled date and scouted out the area, returning home with excitement about finally finding a good site. In all, our party consisted of four adults (one of us being actively epileptic) and five children, ages: 8 yrs, 4 yrs, 3 yrs, 3 yrs and 10 mos. We arrived late Monday afternoon, and claimed a really nice area at the base of the mountain.. Being early in the season and a non-weekend, we didn't have much company to contend with. On Tuesday, we hiked up the trail about a mile, but once again, being early in the season, there were increasing amounts of snowy patches on the trail and having four inexperienced children with us and a baby on my back, we decided to turn back and try again later in the season. (This year, we are experiencing record levels of remaining snowpack for this late in the season.) Even though we didn't continue to climb, we all did have a very wonderful time camping. We only spent two nights out there and the weather was very camper-friendly! I opted to not use a tent, but rather, I chose to string a rope between two trees and laid a tarp over it, staked it down and slept in a mummy bag on the ground. I am anxious and eager to go back soon, maybe with less children next time as to be able to navigate further up the mountain and get some better photographs. This weekend though, I am off to find Lost Lake!

Friday, August 13, 2010

We started our hike a little late in the day. Left Black canyon of the Gunnison at 8:00 am and we were just going to check out the jeep road to the trail head because we heard it was closed a few days earlier and it was supposed to rain that day again. We made it to the trail head about 11:00 and the weather was beautiful so we hiked the trail that day. Traffic was low, probably because the forcast was bad, we only saw about 5 other groups all day on the trail. Clouds were trying to roll over the ridge from the north most of the afternoon but never made it very far. When we summited the clouds broke over the top of the ridge. Everything was covered by the clouds except the SW ridge for about 15 minutes then disappeared completely. The veiw from the top when the clouds were gone was amazing! The distance of the hike will very depending on how far up the trail you can drive. From the top of the jeep trail it's only just over a mile to the summit. The last mile is steep and the footing isn't always good. The last couple hundred feet is pretty exposed and steep. The notch will get your nerves going if you're not used to heights, but it's well worth it at the top.

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