The road to the famous Camp Bird Mine is a compact dirt surface leading back into an area that was heavily mined for gold and silver. Immediately south of Ouray, just past the first switchback on Hwy 550, turn right at the sign for Box Canyon Falls and, at the immediate “Y” in the road, continue left. Follow the Yankee Boy Basin sign. Most cars can manage this road as far as the Camp Bird Mine, approximately 5 miles. It is not suitable for cars with low clearance or low profile tires.
Do not attempt to drive much beyond Camp Bird. The road doesn’t look bad but it can turn rugged quickly. There is plenty of space to turn around at the Camp Bird junction. Some guests like to park their car and hike the remaining 3 miles into Yankee Boy Basin. Be sure to pull your car completely off the road in a safe place where it is out of the way of traffic.
Take a picnic. There are some great places to stop and enjoy a meal.
Round Trip Time: Round-trip driving time, without long stops, should be about 1 hour. This does allow time for photos. **This is a one lane road with a lot traffic including heavy equipment and large trucks. Please pay attention and share the road. Do not attempt unless you are prepared to back up if necessary to allow traffic to pass. Traffic traveling in the uphill direction generally has the right of way, but State Law requires that if vehicles cannot pass on a narrow road, whichever vehicle can more readily back up must do so, and that may be a smaller vehicle traveling uphill.**