Yankee Boy Basin Road

MODERATE 53 reviews

Yankee Boy Basin Road is a 18.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ouray, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

18.6 miles
4,750 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly



horseback riding

mountain biking

off road driving

rock climbing

scenic driving


trail running








wild flowers




The first half of the trail is fairly easy. After that it gets a little more dificult, but a car with good clearance with a good driver will be able to make it. There are a few steep dips and some high points so a car with a long wheelbase or bad approch and departure angles would have a hard time. Once you make it to the rest rooms at the bottom of the basin it gets to be a moderate 4X4 road. A stock SUV with decent clearance and 4-low mode can make it if you drive carefully and pick the right lines. One of the most popular destinations in the Ouray area due to its stunning natural beauty, rich history and colorful wildflowers. At the height of spring color, photographers flock to the area. Popular landmarks include the Drinking Cup, Twin Falls, Atlas Mill, Camp Bird Mine and the rock overhang. Because the area is used so heavily, camping is restricted to designated areas and a fee is charged to camp. High Point 12,400 ft., Best time to go: Mid July-Sept. Located in Uncompahgre National Forest. For current conditions call Ouray Ranger District (970) 240-5300. The lower portion of the trail is easy. Beyond the toilet, the trail gets rocky, narrow and steep, but is suitable for aggressive, high-clearance, stock SUVs. A gate for the upper portion of the trail is closed until the snow melts, usually in late June or early July.

off road driving
8 days ago

Great views. Can be tricky with loose rock and off camber sections. Worth the time.

9 days ago

Great trail. Scenic and a good trail for your first one.

off road driving
12 days ago

Went early and avoided tourist traffic. Easy 2wd until the last ¼ and hen aired down and put in 4 hi most of the time. A few spots needed 4 low and we stayed in low most of the way down during the steep part. Great hiking and views at the top. Next time we are there we’ll try some of the basins to the south of the trail. Stock Sahara, 32 AT no lift.

1 month ago

My husband took the Jeep up, no problem and I hiked to the lake with the dog. Easy hike, gorgeous views

off road driving
1 month ago

Drove to the trailhead in mostly stock 02 Dodge Dakota QC Shortbed. Took a ding or two to the undercarriage, but I was rushing. No problem if you’re more patient than me.

1 month ago

Did this trail yesterday, June 28, 2018. Wild flowers were in full bloom, absolutely beautiful. Trail goes from easy to moderate the higher up you go. My F150 4x4 had no problems. Highly recommend this trail. Stoped in Ouray at the hot springs for a swim on the way back to Telluride.

1 month ago

Gorgeous views, lots of water and wildflowers!! We took our Tacoma and it did great up the 4x4 roads!

off road driving
7 months ago

Fairly easy trail but one of our favorites in the area. We did it in a stock jeep unlimited sport with no problems. Great views. Passes by the waterfall they use in the Coors commercials.

off road driving
10 months ago

Gorgeous scenery. Easy for high clearance Jeep.loved it.

11 months ago

A little creepy in the dark! We drove up at 5am in an Acura sedan, made it just fine!

off road driving
11 months ago

Had a great trip and amazing scenery. Took the Jeep all the way to the top with no problems. Beautiful trail with Twin Falls and many other sights along the way.

off road driving
Thursday, August 10, 2017

This IS the place for taking pictures. We will go back with that in mind. We prefer the Ouray to Yankee Boy to Imogene to Telluride route. Late lunch in Telluride. Then your preference back.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Amazing views and gorgeous wildflowers

off road driving
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Hopefully, I'm headed up there 7/11. Will a long bed 4X4 truck make it?

off road driving
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Fun drive. First time four wheeling. Own a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, no lift. Got high centered on a snowy patch at the top and needed some friendly folks from New Mexico to help pull me out. Flowers were not in full bloom though. Looks like they are going to be great in a couple of weeks. I'm new at it, but I'm guessing this drive is not too tough for the experienced drivers. Definitely gets more challenging and fun at the top. My kids (teens) loved it. Lots of great places to stop and take photos.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Beautiful basin. Still snowed in a the top, can't reach the last quarter mile or so with vehicle and would need to hike trough snow. Only small flowers, while I've never seen the full bloom, I expect it's still a couple weeks until the larger flowers open. Was a great afternoon picnic for the family.

off road driving
Monday, June 12, 2017

Can anyone let me know if some wildflowers are out yet or is it still full of snow?

off road driving
Sunday, June 11, 2017

good trail. probably 1 until Governor Basin Tugn-off. passed that it is a steep one lane climb.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Heaven on Earth ❤️❤️

off road driving
Saturday, October 01, 2016

Drove and hiked portions of this trail in September 2015. Portions are rocky with high clearance a must. Fun driving, fun hiking, elevation kicked my butt, and beautiful scenery.

Friday, September 09, 2016

we got pretty close with our rental car. but I wouldn't recommend that for everybody. the road is one lane in sections so take turns passing other vehicles. a white knuckle drive!

off road driving
Sunday, September 04, 2016

What a trail! We did it in a Toyota Tacoma 4x4 and it was challenging after night of rain but fun. The view on the top is worth it.
Busy with jeep travelers. That care, drive slow and safe.

off road driving
Thursday, August 04, 2016

Definitely the star of short jeep roads around the area. The waterfalls and flowers are amazing, and it's great for photography.

off road driving
Monday, June 27, 2016

Not too technical of a trail but worth the drive. The scenery is amazing

Friday, May 06, 2016

It doesn't get much prettier than this in summer or fall. Must do trail in Ouray.

off road driving
Friday, June 27, 2014

This is not that difficult of a trail for a stock 4x4 with a little ground clearance, but the landscape is one of the best! The water falls are breath taking this year in June. A must see if off roading in the area!

off road driving
Sunday, March 23, 2014

An awesome offroad drive to a basin below Mt. Sneffels . You can see shelf roads,wildflowers,waterfalls,and trails,one that goes to the top of a 14er.

off road driving
Friday, July 12, 2013

Easy trail and can be done with any decent truck or SUV. I ATV'd it. There is only a couple sections that get rocky toward the end. Real nice views along the way. IF you are on ATV or Jeep, you can do Imogene pass from there.

off road driving
Thursday, July 11, 2013

We ATV'd this trail. It is quite easy, but you'll see some beautiful scenery to include Twin Falls. You can also access Imogene Pass from here for some more technical ATVing.

off road driving
Friday, March 01, 2013

Awesome drive! Fairly rough past the public toliet. . A seasonal gate controls access to the end.

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