Why you should Definitely Check Out Yankee Boy

One of the most beautiful places in the San Juan Mountains!

Wildflowers and waterfalls are just the beginning when you travel to Yankee Boy Basin. The dramatic scenery takes your breath away but isn’t overwhelming. For first time explorers to the majesty of the high country, Yankee Boy is an excellent choice.


Yankee Boy is considered a short trip, taking only about an hour, and rated a level one on a five point difficulty scale. Most of the drive can be comfortably traveled in a two wheel drive vehicle, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it is boring. Far from it, in fact!

It is hard to imagine as you peer at the remains of buildings and mines that this area was once populated by thousands of people.If you look closely, there is a ruin of the bunkhouse for one mine virtually hanging off of a cliff! These hardy souls would ride virtually in a bucket lift down to work in the mornings, and back the same way at the end of a twelve hour shift, no matter what the weather!

A short trek in four wheel drive, or a little hike if you park at the base of the hill, takes you to the basin itself. Wildflowers cover the world in a rainbow of violet, red and yellow, to name just a few colors, and the twin falls roar with joyous splendor.

Off in the distance, Governor’s Basin and Imogene trails beckon through snow capped peaks. The road continues if you choose, taking you to the trailhead for Sneffels, our very own fourteener, A hike to the top of the world. To the left, the Upper Blue Lakes Trailhead; a drab looking trail above timberline, covered in shale, but so worth it when you reach the summit and gaze down at the perfectly round, clear blue, high country lakes.

Something magical happens when people stop at the waterfall. It is as if all of the worries of the world float away. Strangers chat like old friends. Life feels more simple. Laughter and conversation is as natural as the magnificent surroundings, a connection with nature and everyone sharing the moment.

Take the drive to Yankee Boy, or let the staff at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs reserve a seat on one of the many jeep tours waiting to take you to the top of the world. These companies specialize in creating an experience that is above and beyond all expectations. As you lean forward with your camera ready, the driver will point out things you may not have noticed otherwise.

Learn about the history of the mines and the people who built the road you are riding on.

Meet fellow travelers, and marvel with them at the absolute perfection of Southwest Colorado.

Come home to the Box Canyon Lodge for a long soothing soak in our natural hot springs tubs.

Experience the beauty and wonder of Ouray!




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