Getting out on Colorado trails in May is always a gamble, especially near Central City. The day was sunny and fairly warm for spring, and there wasn't even a little snow on the ground at our meeting place at William C. Russell Park. The roads were dry, and we hoped the trail would be, too.
We started up the Yankee Hill trail and didn't see many people. It was a weird day from the start as we were all wearing masks and trying to keep six feet away from each other. It was almost like a game, dancing around each other as we moved away, only to find ourselves too close to someone else. But we made it work. It was really nice to see everyone.
Monica hadn't had her Jeep on a trail in a couple years, but she remembered how to do it. When we got to the first major intersection, she asked if anyone wanted to do a new trail. Naturally, the answer was "yes" so we detoured off of Yankee Hill to run down Hamlin Gulch and back up. Then we only went a short distance before deciding to add the Columbine Cutoff to our list of trails new to us. A couple of us had been on that trail before, and it was definitely time to add it to the site. We ran down that one and back up again. The end of that road was closed because the campground was closed as a coronavirus response.
It was already mid-afternoon and we were just making our way north on Yankee Hill. We saw a few other people on dirt bikes, but that was it. When we got to the mud hole area, we were going to just drive by but Niko had to get in it. The hole wasn't too deep, and he walked right through.
Then we all had to get in the ditches to flex our suspensions and get good photos. Matt found a snapped bolt, but it wouldn't prevent him from getting home.
The sun felt good and the trail was dry. But that didn't last long. We started to see snow next to the trail, and then we were in it. Monica forgot how to deal with springtime, icy snow and dove right in instead of keeping tires on the dirt where possible. She ended up sideways, and then backed into a tree. She ended up having to winch a short distance, which is still fun in its own way.
The rest of the group went by, and then we were all together going through snow on the driver's side and dirt on the passenger's side. But then we found too much snow to deal with and ended up having to turn around. We made it just a short distance past the Miners Gulch trailhead but not as far as the playground.
We turned around and did the short loop to get to the poser rocks and had a good time playing there. Then we headed back to the park to air back up and head for home. It was a great day!
Reports from Other Days: 6
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Yankee Hill. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.