Yankee Girl
Difficulty Moderate
Length of hike 5.0 mi. RT
Starting Elevation 10320 ft.
Top Elevation 11020 ft.
Type of Vehicle Regular
Distance to Trailhead 20.2 miles
GPS track download Yankee Girl Track
Hiking time up 2:20 hours
Hiking time down 1:40 hours

Directions to Trailhead
From the Traffic light in Ridgway, drive 20.5 miles south on Highway 550 towards Red Mountain Pass. Go past Ironton and look for Cty. Rd. 31 on the left. There is a green sign. Park at the turnout.

 

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Highlights

Very little guidance is needed for this trip in summer. A maze of roads in the Guston area could be a bit confusing, but the track just follows County Road 31. A ski trip in winter, for those unfamiliar with the area, could pose some challenge. You can turn this into a shuttle loop, parking a car at the bottom or top (close to Red Mountain Pass), or just return the way you came. Either way, on a brilliant winter day, this ski tour is unforgettable.

 

A ski or snowshoe trek following a storm that dumped fresh snow may benefit from a bit of guidance. Starting the trip on the north side is preferable because you can glide back down to the starting point after having worked your way to the top.

 

Caution is required in the Guston area at times when the avalanche danger is high. The track crosses a slope with a critical gradient that could provide a fast and unpleasant ride down into the gulch.

 

The Guston area and the Red Mountain Mining district were once bustling places, much different from the solitude you can experience now. Winter is a uniquely peaceful time.

 

While you are in the Ironton area, consider stopping for a visit. There are many fine hiking trails leading out of the valley, and the town itself has a fascinating history. You can still visit a few of the buildings that have been stabilized and give you an impression of the life of the miners during the time the place was bustling with activity.

 

You can even admire environmental installation art in four of the remaining structures in Ironton.  The exhibition clearly is not as famous as the “Gates” in New York’s Central Park or the “Umbrellas” on Tejon Pass.  But while the work promoted by the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude always attracts crowds of thousands, and the construction efforts run into many millions of dollars, Ironton has had its own art quietly and inexpensively on display for a number of years.

The exhibit in Ironton is called “Images without Images” by its creator, German artist Mario Reis.  Learn more about the installation in Mario’s own words.