From the East Dallas side, trail use is heavy to Blue Lakes. There are minimal suitable campsites except at the lakes. Spectacular alpine scenery and good fishing are the primary attractions of this area. Walking time takes three to four hours in each direction.
Horse use is not recommended from Blue Lakes over the pass to Yankee Boy Basin due to slide rock over narrow trail. There is minimal horse feed at the lakes.
This trail begins at the Blue Lakes Trailhead off the Dallas Road. A turn around area, parking and horse ramp are provided. The trail begins at the closure gate and follows an old logging road for approximately 100 yards. A sign directs hikers from the logging road onto the trail. The first two miles of the trail climbs steadily and is moderately difficult. Just below the lower lake the trail crosses the east fork of Dallas Creek. The stream must be forded. Care should be used, particularly in the spring.
Fishing at Blue Lakes is described as "Hot or Cold". When the native trout are biting, fishing can be excellent.
The lower lake is located on the edge of timberline with spruce fir forests along the lower edge of the lake. From the lower lake the trail climbs past the middle and upper lakes. The trail switches back and forth climbing steeply up a talus rock slope to Blue Lakes Pass (1300 feet). The pass is the most popular route to climb Mount Sneffels.
The trail location on the Yankee Boy Basin is unmarked from its cutoff near Gilpin Lake.
Directions: From Ouray, Take Canyon Creek Road past Camp Bird Mine on the four wheel drive road to Gilpin Lake in upper Yankee Boy Basin.
Elevation: 8,350 feet
Ending Elevation: 11,220 feet
Elevation Gain: 2,870 feet
Distance: 5.7 miles
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Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests, Colorado
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