Welcome to SP!  -
Minnehaha Basin
Route
Contribute 
 
Geography
Parents 
Routes
 

Minnehaha Basin

 

Page Type: Route

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 37.89000°N / 107.62°W

Object Title: Minnehaha Basin

Route Type: Hike

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Walk-up

Route Quality: 
 - 0 Votes
 

 

Page By: nader

Created/Edited: Jul 27, 2003 / Nov 20, 2014

Object ID: 158388

Hits: 3554 

Page Score: 72.08%  - 2 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote

 

Approach

See Getting There.

Route Description

Trailhead Elevation: 10617 ft
One way distance per my GPS: 2.9 miles (1.9 miles on a moderately rough 4WD road that can be driven to shorten the hike to 1 mile)
Approximate Hiking Time: 3 hours (one way uphill)
Maps: US Geological Survey, Colorado (you will need both "Ironton" and "Handies Peak" grids), call 1-800-HELP-MAP or buy the entire state of Colorado on CD-ROM "www.maps.nationalgeographic.com/topo/". I also recommend Drake Mountain Maps, "Map of the Mountains of Silverton, Telluride & Ouray" (scale 1:60000), (505) 988-8929 (This map shows the 4WD roads more accurately than the USGS map).


At the trailhead, you will find two 4 wheel drive roads: one heading north and one south. The north road is signed as San Juan County Route 53 (the numbers are not shown on the Drake Map). Hike 53 about 100 ft till you reach Route 51 to the right. Turn right on this road and follow it up a couple of switchbacks through a Pine forest till you reach the junction of a nameless 4 wheel drive road on the left below the Minnehaha Basin (11500 ft). Turn left on this road and follow it up into the left (north) side of Minnehaha Basin where you reach an abandoned mine/mill (11850 ft). At this point, you have come 1.9 miles from Gladstone. You could have driven to here on the road which is classified as moderately rough.

At the mine/mill, the road makes a switchback and goes around a ridge on the north side of Minnehaha Basin to enter a drainage below the summit of Bonita Peak. The road here is much rougher but it is easy to hike. You will find a few abandoned shacks on the ridge. Once below the summit (12300 ft), you should leave the road and head straight up the very steep grassy slopes (the road eventually dead ends at Upper Gold King Mine). I approached the rocky summit of Bonita from the southwest where I was able to climb it without any difficulties.



Essential Gear

Hiking boots.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.