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yankee boy basin

10,800 feet / lots of history / gorgeous scenery

A Fascinating Adventure into Ouray’s Yesteryear

As one of the most recognized areas in the San Juan Mountains,  Yankee Boy Basin is considered the gateway to the Sneffels’ Mountain Range. Framed by spectacular 13,000 and 14,000 ft peaks such as Pitosi, Teakettle, Cirque, Stony Mountain, and of course, Mount Sneffels, the trail is visually dramatic, yet offers a mild climb through colorful canyon walls, abundantly lined with Aspen and Pine. This trip is complete with vintage mining relics of a once booming mining era, as well as ghost towns, double waterfalls and frequent wildlife. Home to Colorado wildflowers such as Columbine, Paintbrush, Larkspur and Cow Parsnip, it is a wildflower enthusiasts’ haven.

This tour is best enjoyed in late Spring while the snowmelt feeds the creeks and waterfalls. Also one of our favorite late Fall choices as the prolific Aspen turn brilliant gold, amber and plum!


  • Wildflowers
  • Ghost Towns
  • Twin Waterfalls

  • Especially Beautiful Spring/Fall

  • 3-hour experience

Adult (13 to 99 yrs)


Child (5 to 12 yrs)



View into San Sophia’s Ridge

Yankee Boy Basin Atlas Mill

Atlas Mill

Yankee Boy Basin in Fall

Yankee Boy Basin in Fall


Fireweed in Bloom

Photo by P. Sherman

Sunshine Mountain



Trip Details & Logistics

Yankee Boy Basin
Depart from Ouray, Colorado. Cross the bridge over Box Canyon Gorge and continue up Canyon Creek road through steep canyons lined with waterfalls and aspen. Stop at various natural rock formations and historical sites for stories and narrative of days gone by. Pass the mining town of Lower Camp Bird and travel under a rock precipice known as ‘The Overhang’. In the spring, large icicles hang down from the overhang to adorn the rock walls. In the summer, water droplets create a light shower over this half-tunnel for a refreshing prelude to the beginning of Yankee Boy Basin itself. Once in the basin, see the contrast of a contemporary mining industry verses the vintage tram cars and boarding houses still standing at the Revenue Mine. Across from the mine entrance, look to see the old school house and general store for the Torpedo Eclipse. The Basin opens into a semi-circle of 13,000 – 14,000 ft mountain peaks inside the Sneffels Mountain Range to frame the beautiful Twin Falls.

Approximately 3 hours. AM and PM departures seasonally. Generally available from May 20th – October 7th. 

“Being a little sensitive to elevation and rough roads, the staff recommended this tour. We were very pleased with the scenery and experience”

D. Davis Chandler, AZ