Yankee Hill - The Actual Hill

Idaho Springs, Colorado (ClearCreek County)

Last Updated: 05/16/2022
4.5 / 5 ( 13 reviews )
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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.


Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
Lightly Modified 4X4 (Small Lift and Larger Tires)
Loose and large cobble with a steep incline.

Technical Rating

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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Community Consensus

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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 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


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 (23)

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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.
For individual use only, not to be shared.