Yankee Hill - The Actual Hill

Idaho Springs, Colorado (ClearCreek County)

Last Updated: 06/11/2017
4.7 /5 ( 3 reviews )
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 4-4
Length: 1.3 miles
Highest Elevation: 11245 feet
Duration: About 45 minutes
Shape of Trail: Loop
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Idaho Springs
Nearest Town w/ Services: Idaho Springs
Official Road Name: 175.3H and 175.4A
Management Agency: Arapaho National Forest
District: Clear Creek Ranger District
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Highlight: Yankee Hill - The Actual Hill

Situated in the Arapaho National Forest and close to Denver, Colorado, the Yankee Hill 4X4 network is filled with many four-wheel drive trails, but Yankee Hill itself is the crown jewel, and hence, the area's name. This is an excellent off-road trail for either beginners or those just looking to escape the city while being in the heart of mining country with high altitude views. While many refer to the area as Yankee Hill, this is the actual route that gives you the thrill of a moderate hill climb along with views of James Peak, Mt. Bancroft, as well as Mount Evans.



7 day forecast for Yankee Hill - The Actual Hill

Route Information

Advanced Rating System (BETA)

Recommended Vehicle:
Lightly Modified 4X4 (Small Lift and Larger Tires)

Technical Rating: 4-4

Typically, more rock or undulated road surface. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 18" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 18" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 36" inches. Tire placement becomes more difficult. Can be steep and off-camber.

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The route can be run in either direction. To take the uphill approach start at where 175.1 and 175.3H meet. The uphill is steep with loose rock and then turns into a dirt and rocky road. Parts of the road may pinstripe wider full-size rigs. A high clearance four-wheel drive vehicles should do just fine. This route is described taking the trail uphill and counter clockwise.


1. Trailhead and Hill Climb (0.00 mi)

Climb uphill. Be sure to take the forks that are on the right/east. This will prevent you from taking the furthest west fork, which is closed at the top.

2. Top of Hill (0.25 mi)

Continue to follow the trail to the west. Camping can be found around the top of the hill.

3. Short Spur and 175.4a (0.64 mi)

Turn left/south to head back down following the loop, or take the dead end spur right/north which leads to nothing.

4. End of Spur (0.75 mi)

Although it looks like the trail continues, it technically stops here according to the Forest Service. There is no point taking this dead-end as it doesn't lead to anything exciting.

5. View (1.07 mi)

View of Mt. Bancroft and James Peak to the east.

6. End or Start 175.4a (1.31 mi)

Travel west to return to St. Marys Glacier or turn west to enjoy more of the network. If starting here, you will travel down the main hill to complete the loop.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 39.826667, -105.624102



There are several dispersed camping locations just west of Yankee Hill near where 175.3H and 175.4A join. However, there is no water near these locations, so bring water and pack out more than you packed in.

Camping: Yankee Hill - The Actual Hill

Trail Reviews (6)

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Had a fun and challenging time climbing through the snow to Yankee Hill. Snow packed on the way up and slippery in spots. At the plateau near the top of Yankee Hill, it was snowy and windy with drifts approaching 2 feet in areas. Attempted climb in 4WD vehicle with rear locker on 32.2 inch tires. Needed a pull from buddy's rig (front and rear locked with 37" tires) in two places. Did not attempt to climb that last steep incline to the top of Yankee Hill. It was full of snow and there is loose gravel underneath. On the way down, the wind had blown the snow off much of the trail. It was easy on the way down.

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Trail is all clear. Keep in mind that there is a large dip (8-10ft deep) at the top of the hill. Easily passable in a stock rig, but take it easy. It's impossible to see over the crest for oncoming vehicles at that point, so make sure there isn't anyone coming over the crest at the same time as you are. There was a bit of snow on the trail at the top but it was all getting sun so I would imagine it'll be melted within the next few days if sunlight in that area continues)

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Had a blast on the Hill today. The fall colors were in full effect, and it was nice to get out of the overcast/cloudy weather in Denver. Super friendly fellow trail riders, and some fun rock obstacles made for a perfect day. Stock vehicles welcome, but watch your tire placement over some of the rocky parts - the ruts have gotten a bit deeper after massive use over the summer.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Snow free for the entire loop.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Not Reported
Offroaded on:
Before waypoint 2 the snowdrifts are still in the gullied out area you drive up, access available via the west side.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Did a nice run up here today with the Colorado FJ Cruisers, and the trail is in great shape. Fun run.A lot of dust. A little snow at the very top in the shade spots. Ready for the season.

Questions & Answers (0)

Writer Information



Todd is an avid wheeler who loves to explore new trails whenever and wherever he can. They say necessity is the mother of all invention and that holds true for Todd. His want and desire to find passable trails and new nooks and crannies of the Great American West to explore were his reasons behind starting Trailsoffroad.com. On any given weekend you can find Todd on some obscure 4x4 trail or using his legs to hike to an alpine lake.
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