Want to visit Colorado alpine country up close and personal? 4 wheeling Yankee Boy Basin Trail will satisfy any active boomer traveler’s longing for mountain scenery combined with a little adventure. Along the way, you’ll discover the remnants of old mines wedged into the sides of the canyon. If there’s been a good snow year, the waterfalls will be running. Arrive at just the right time in early summer and the basin will be wearing a dazzling wildflower display.
Yankee Boy Basin is located in the San Juan Mountains near Ouray, Colorado. The trail is a good introduction to 4-wheel-drives in the San Juans as it’s not that hard. However I do take a deep breath when we’re driving along the narrow ledge that looks down into the canyon. Just as you enter Yankee Boy Basin, a clearing houses restrooms and a bulletin board with brochures and other information. Most of the time, Alpine Hosts, volunteers from the Yankee Boy Conservation Association, are available to answer questions or dispense advice.
Alan and I have enjoyed both of our experiences 4 wheeling Yankee Boy Basin Trail. On our first trip, we entered the basin just as a late August thunderstorm turned the sky dark and stormy. But we still had time to park the jeep and walk around a bit. Surrounded by a 360 view of mountain peaks, I wanted to belt out a verse from the Sound of Music. Don’t worry. I didn’t.
On our second trip 4 wheeling Yankee Boy Basin Trail, we arrived in late June as the mountains were recovering from a record winter snowfall. Waterfalls streamed down evergreen covered hillsides while snow still decorated the higher peaks. Avalanche damage was evident but didn’t block our progress, although the trail was rough from winter damage. This time, walking in the basin was wet and muddy as we looked for the season’s first wildflowers.
Alan and I have shared the trail with 4-wheel-drive jeep jamborees, off-road motorcycles, ATV’s, even trail runners preparing for a race. If you’re not a boomer who’s into 4-wheeling, several companies in Ouray offer tours where they do the driving and you do the looking. Don’t miss the opportunity to travel deep into Colorado backcountry for a scenic ride.
A helpful tool for planning a San Juan Mountain trip. Southern Colorado 4-Wheeling, The San Juans.
Have you experienced 4 wheeling Yankee Boy Basin Trail? Post a comment to share your experience. This is one of our favorite boomer adventures.