Yankee Boy Basin in Colorado rates five out of five stars on Trip Advisor and is listed as the number one attraction to see in the region of Ouray. A definite “must do” when traveling through the area, Yankee Boy Basin is below a portion of some breathtaking peaks.
Some of these include Teakettle Mountain, Cirque Mountain, Stony Mountain, Potosi Peak, and Gilpin Mountain. Yankee Boy Basin is also home to popular Mount Sneffels, which reaches more than 14,000 feet. The gravel county Camp Bird Road to Yankee Boy Basin traverses breathtaking alpine scenery, waterfalls and fields of wildflowers. Additionally, visitors can check out a rock wall canyon, old town sites and historic mining ruins.
Upon arriving in Yankee Boy Basin, RVers can visit Wright’s Lake. Or, other outdoor activities include walks on the toe of a glaciers and hikes to The Blue Lakes. The more adventurous, with the proper vehicle, may want to consider side trips to Imogene Pass and Governor Basin. Here, visitors can find more photogenic mining ruins and spectacular mountain views.
Although RVers shouldn`t pass up Ouray, Colorado, and its townsite, some other points of interest in the area include:
- Atlas Mill (N37 58.650 W107 45.431)
- The rock overhang where miners blasted the road through a rock face. (N37 58.348 W107 44.012)
- Twin Falls (N37 59.211 W107 45.770)
Further, Camp Bird Mine (N37 58.496 W107 43.430) is worth special mention. It was one of the most famous and best producing mines in the area. Discovered in 1896 by Thomas Walsh, miners produced approximately 1.5 million troy ounces of gold and four million ounces of silver by the time it shut down in 1990. At today’s prices, the minerals extracted would be worth more than $1.5 billion.
Enjoy Everything Yankee Boy Basin has to Offer
Directions to the Basin: The lower section of the Camp Bird Road from Ouray to the Twin Falls area can be negotiated by a two-wheel drive vehicle that has a decent clearance. Once within ¾-mile from Twin Falls, you will need a four-wheel drive vehicle with a high clearance. Or, park your vehicle and walk the rest of the way. The turn off to Camp Bird Road (County Road 361) is at the outskirts of Ouray at N38 01.063 W107 40.475 as you head out of town on Hwy 550 (The Million Dollar Highway towards Silverton, Colorado).
When to visit: Wildflowers peak in late July, while RVers can also plan a rocky mountain fall color adventure in September. The waterfalls run year-round, except in the winter when they are frozen. “Jeeping” to the historic and stunningly beautiful Yankee Boy Basin in your tow vehicle or dinghy is just another adventure in RVing.
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.
Kim Fenske says
I hope no one attempts to take an RV up the road to Yankee Boy Basin. I went as far as my low-clearance vehicle could go, then backpacked a few miles up to the basin to climb Mount Sneffels twice. I hiked forty Fourteeners that year. My description of Yankee Boy Basin is in “Colorado: Summiting Sneffels.”
Correct, I would not recommend taking a RV up the road. As noted in the article, you can drive a two wheel drive vehicle with reasonable clearance a little was past the Atlas Mill. The road to the basin becomes steep and rough at approximately N37 58.761 W107 45.542
Been there and done that, but in a Hummer. No RVs or trailers advised.