It was another perfect day so we put the CRV to the test again. I don’t think we have found it’s limit yet but we came close to what I am willing to subject it to.
The road to Yankee Boy Basin starts at the south end of Ouray and heads west, climbing from 7800 feet to 11,200 feet in 9 miles.
The road just out of town is in really good shape as there are houses along the side.
Then it gets steeper and goes to single lane with pullouts but the surface is still in great shape.
Very narrow and a long way down.
There is an old mine that is now a gravel pit.
The gravel pit is still in use and the brochure said that you could meet large trucks on the road. Thankfully the only time we saw one was at the very bottom, on the wide part of the road, as we came out.
The last 2 miles were, shall we say, “interesting”. Very steep, very narrow with lots of rocks and sharp turns.
As we were heading up a motorcyclist was coming down. I asked his opinion. Initially he said no because we did not have a Jeep but then after a closer look at the CRV he said we could probably make it and that there were lots of places that we could turn around if we felt like it.
The worst spots for me were the dips whenever we crossed a stream. They always had a small rise on each side before you drop down into the stream. Thankfully the CRV is very short and tall enough that I didn’t hang up going over the bump. This picture is from going down but you get the idea.
We stopped part way up to check out a waterfall.
Looking back down the road.
There were some spires on the mountainside above us.
I didn’t like where we stopped because we were blocking the road so we went up a bit farther to a pullout. Still pretty steep.
There was a short trail that went to the waterfall from here. As we get farther away, the CRV gets tinier and tinier and you get a better idea of the angle it is on.
The CRV is just barley visible in the center.
We got to a point where there were some Jeeps and a Forerunner parked. If they didn’t want to go on, we figured that it would be a good place to stop as well.
It was a very civilized parking lot at 11,000 feet in the middle of nowhere. It had an outhouse.
It was only about another 1/2 mile before the road was snowed in so we walked. There were a lot of streams to cross. Jennie managed to keep dry but I got a wet foot as I was less careful.
We got passed by a Jeep and another motorcycle that weren’t deterred by the even worse road.
As we climbed we could see the Jeep parked up where the road was snowed in.
They must have had a great view.
After a while Jennie started to not feel very well. We think it was a combination of waiting too long for lunch and the altitude. Just at that moment the yellow Jeep came back down. I asked them if they would give Jennie a lift back down to the car. They said sure and cleared out a spot in their back seat.
Jennie said it was a really bumpy ride as he didn’t slow down for much. I continued on for a bit.
I thought I had given Jennie the car keys but I suddenly realized that they were still in my pocket so I turned around and hurried back. When I got to the car she was worried that I had given them to her and that she had lost them. Relief all around.
We went back down to the spot by the waterfall for lunch.
Other people headed up (in much tougher vehicles) as we ate and enjoyed the scenery.
Back down we go, in first gear and riding the brake.
Back out on the “easy” section. A couple were walking up. We didn’t see a parked car anywhere near by. He looked pretty beat.
We stopped at a pullout where the water was coming out from under the snow.
Looking downhill from the pullout.
Some ATV’s heading up.
Near the bottom we got another good overview of Ouray.
Right at the bottom of the road is a short side road to Box Canyon Falls. You have to pay $4 a person admission but it sure was an interesting place.
We never really saw much of the falls but the walkway in and the canyon was great.
This was really tough for Jennie but she really likes moving water. The floor of the walkway was a see through metal grate and in some spots you could see all the way down to the water.
She made sure everything was secure.
It was low in spots. I had to watch my head.
You can just barely see the waterfall as that white slit in the rock, even with the level of the walkway.
A nice double rainbows from the spray. It only lasted a short while when the sun was in just the right spot.
They had a stairway (of the same grating) that went down to water level. Again, kind of scary, even for me.
Here is the view from the bottom up, in a distorted stitched vertical panorama.
Jennie’s view back out of the canyon.
There was a steep, very rocky trail that went up to a bridge that overlooked the top of the falls. The first sections was stairs.
The view towards town. The waterfall is directly below the bridge. Even here we couldn’t see it.
The bridge is part of a long loop trail that goes all the way around Ouray. To continue the loop you must go through a tunnel.
To get back to the car we had to go back the way we had come.
We had thought about going to the hot springs that are in town but it was hot outside and the thought of going in a hot pool didn’t have much appeal just now so we headed home.