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Rank Yankee Boy Basin and Animas Forks Drives in July 2009

Dallas
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Rank Yankee Boy Basin and Animas Forks Drives in July 2009

Can someone rank these drives in scary factor and safe passage ability if you are driving in a suv or a mini van?

1. Animas forks starting in silverton via County road 2

2. Ouray to Yankee Boy Basin via County Rd-26

3. Ouray to Animas forks via County Rd-17 and County road 2

4. Is there a easier way of getting to Yankee Boy or Animas Forks that 1-3?

Thanks

Ouray, Colorado
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1. Re: Rank Yankee Boy Basin and Animas Forks Drives in July 2009

1. Yankee Boy Basin is County Rd 361. County Rd 26 takes you up and over Imogene Pass. It is not passable in a mini van.

2. You can get to Animas forks from Silverton in a passenger vehicle. You head east on CR 2.

The easiest way from Silverton to Ouray is over US 550. It is safe passage but those with a fear of heights are not always happy. However, the road is fully paved and maintained by the Colo Dept of Transportation.

Do you have a name for CR 17? Ouray County Rd 17 isn't anywhere near there, I am wondering if you are thinking of San Juan County Road 17.

You can read which ghost towns are accessible by passenger car (or mini van) at http://www.OurayColorado.com/Ghost+Towns

Dallas
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2. Re: Rank Yankee Boy Basin and Animas Forks Drives in July 2009

Thanks for the info. I got the routes from maps.google - Basically it is as follows

1. Is the normal route from Silverton to Animas forks that passes through Howardsville and euraka.

2. Ouray to yankee boy basin, I think too is the normal route that people take. Maps.google says camp bird road, to CO-361, then to County rd 26...

3. Ouray to Animas turns off 550 going south onto County highway 18, then to County highway 17, then to County Highway 2. (using maps.google)

I just would like to rank those in difficult/scary factor with easiest being, "I would do that" to worst being "don't attempt that you flat lander" :)

I will be in a 2wd suv most likely.

Thanks for any information!!!

Dallas
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3. Re: Rank Yankee Boy Basin and Animas Forks Drives in July 2009

I thnk I forgot to mention that we will be traveling in Mid July.

WestSlope,CO
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4. Re: Rank Yankee Boy Basin and Animas Forks Drives in July 2009

You can get part way up the Camp Bird Road (Canyon Creek) in a 2 WD car or SUV easily, say about 3 miles. Years ago we drove it all the way in a car, (DH says he still could, but I sure wouldn't recommend it!) but the road has deteriorated and is pretty rocky, even if the one lane road, steep dropoffs and overhanging cliff don't deter you. Another part of the scariness factor is that this is such a popular route that you are almost guaranteed to have to deal with two way traffic on a one lane road. If you don't have much mountain driving experience and a high clearance 4WD vehicle, I would highly recommend this as a jeep tour, or drive part way up and hike. It is spectacular!

Here's what Wayne Griffin says in Southern Colorado $ Wheeling: "At 3.7 miles the road becomes a narrow shelf road with steep dropoffs on the left, as it winds along the cliff wall....At 6.2 miles the road becomes extremely narrow as you travel under overhangin cliffs...with the road becoming fairly rough as you climb the hill.At 8/1 miles, the junction with Governor Basin Road, the road is definitely 4WD from this point on."

Ouray, Colorado
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5. Re: Rank Yankee Boy Basin and Animas Forks Drives in July 2009

County Rd 26 -- You can't take any part of that road in a passenger vehicle. You have a big creek crossing at the start of it.

I agree with MissP... consider a jeep tour company like Switzerland of America (http://www.soajeep.com)

You will get much higher into the basin without all the scariness of wrecking your own vehicle. Let a professional wreck theirs!

Be skeptical of Google Maps in this area as I have had several phone calls from folks in passenger vehicles trying to come from Lake City to Ouray ... just isn't that possible without a major gash on your car!

The last possibility is that you can actually rent Jeep Wranglers from companies out of Ouray and I think Silverton too. (http://www.soajeep.com for example)

Then, you would not need to worry. They give you a bunch of info and suggestions of where to go based on your experience and then you always have the clearance you need.

Dallas
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6. Re: Rank Yankee Boy Basin and Animas Forks Drives in July 2009

Which of the three routes might I do myself in my own SUV?

Ouray, Colorado
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7. Re: Rank Yankee Boy Basin and Animas Forks Drives in July 2009

In your own SUV, you can go into Yankee Boy Basin (CR 361) out of Ouray. Do not take the CR 26 over Imogene Pass. Continue straight as far as you want to go. The road will be rough and there are some scary sections where the road is carved into steep ledges. Amazingly, you do see cars up there... It just wouldn't be my vehicle without proper clearance.

You can go from Silverton to Animas Forks in your own SUV. It won't be that scary and it won't be that rough, but, some may not appreciate the rough road.

Ouray & Silverton are connected by Red Mtn Pass and it is paved.

WestSlope,CO
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8. Re: Rank Yankee Boy Basin and Animas Forks Drives in July 2009

If you're going to try Yankee Boy, you will need to park near the junction of the Governor Basin road or thereabouts and walk the rest of the way in to the basin, IMO. There's a pretty deep washed out gully and DH barely makes it in his pickup with pretty high clearance.

9. Re: Rank Yankee Boy Basin and Animas Forks Drives in July 2009

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