Colorado Map

Request Free Visitor Guides

American Basin Trail

Basics
Location:
75 miles southwest of Gunnison near Lake City
Setting:
Mountainous
Length:
6.4 mile roundtrip
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Time:
4 to 5 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
11300 feet
Elevation Change:
2748 feet
Season:
July - October

Description

American Basin Trail offers views of one of the most scenic basins in the San Juan Mountains. It is especially spectacular from late July through mid-August when showy wildflower displays form a colorful carpet in the basin. Scenic Sloan Lake, home of the threatened Colorado cutthroat trout, can be reached by way of the American Basin Trail. Hiking can continue up to Handies Peak, one of five l4,000 foot peaks in the area.

Impressive scenery in American Basin attracts jeepers throughout the summer. For those with 2 wheel drive vehicles, park along the side of the main road and an easy 3/4 mile walk can be made to the trailhead near the site of an old mine. From there, the trail climbs to Sloan Lake to offer magnificent views of Handies Peak and the surrounding basin. The trail to Handies Peak continues on from Sloan Lake. Please be careful to stay on the trail to avoid erosion on the fragile tundra. The peak, at 14,048 feet, offers a panoramic view of the San Juan Mountains.

Be prepared for typical July and August afternoon thundershowers. Avoid the peak, ridges and open areas during a storm. It is best to get an early start. Plan to be off the peak by noon or 1:00 p.m. Be sure to bring along sunscreen, raingear and drinking water. Remember, hiking at high altitude requires more time and energy. Take your time, enjoy the scenery and avoid overexertion. Be sure someone knows where you are going and when you plan to return.

Parking is available at the trailhead and a few small places along the side of the main road. Minimum Impact Camping is permitted near the trailhead.

Details

Location:
75 miles southwest of Gunnison near Lake City
Setting:
Mountainous
Length:
6.4 mile roundtrip
Handies Peak 14,048 ft.
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Time:
4 to 5 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
11300
Elevation Change:
2748
Season:
July - October

Map + Directions

Basic Directions

Lake City is 60 miles southwest of Gunnison on Hwy 149.

From Lake City take Highway 149 south, 2.5 miles. Turn right onto the road to Lake San Cristobal. Follow paved road approximately 4 miles, then continue on dirt road for about 16.3 miles. The American Basin road begins at a fork where a sign reads "Cinnamon Pass/American Basin. American Basin is to the left. It is a rough 2-wheel drive road to the American Basin turnoff and a 4-wheel drive road to the trailhead. No motor vehicles are allowed beyond the trailhead.


Copyright © 1997 - 2017 The Go Travel Sites. All Rights Reserved.

Email Page Link

Complete the form below to email this page to a friend or family member's email. You can send yourself an email as well. Your email and your recipient's email will NOT be shared with anyone. See our full Privacy Policy for details.
:
:
:
 
 
 
:
Copy Yourself on the Email Yes No
:
:

1

Select one or more Free Visitor Guides below

2

Complete the form to receive your guides by mail

Below are the Free Visitor Guides for Orange County. More Visitor Guides are available in Colorado. Click here to view them all!

Carlsbad Carlsbad Carlsbad
Southern CaliforniaCarlsbad is known as "The Village by the Sea," due to its proximity to the glistening Pacific Ocean. There is a European feel to the town where visitors can enjoy a variety of unique events and activities. Yes, I’d like to receive regular email updates on activities, events, deals and more from Visit Carlsbad!
Request this Free Visitor GuideRequested! You're all set! Request a few more Visitor Guides, or complete the form below to receive your guides by mail.
Temecula Valley Temecula Valley Temecula Valley
Southern California Wine CountryThe vineyards of California have produced some of the best wines the world over. A sampling at a local winery in Stockton is a great way to experience what is special about this beautiful part of California.
Request this Free Visitor GuideRequested! You're all set! Request a few more Visitor Guides, or complete the form below to receive your guides by mail.
Newport Beach Newport Beach Newport Beach
Southern CaliforniaVisit sunny Newport Beach, California! Named one of the cleanest beaches in the United States, Newport Beach is a paradise for beach-going visitors. With over 10 miles of beaches ideal for families, surfing, body boarding or just sunbathing, Newport is the ideal OC beach destination.
Request this Free Visitor GuideRequested! You're all set! Request a few more Visitor Guides, or complete the form below to receive your guides by mail.
Costa Mesa Costa Mesa Costa Mesa
Southern CaliforniaKnown as the "City of the Arts", this area of Southern California is home to the famed Orange County Performing Artscenter as well as the South Coast Repertory. Art, theater, fine dining and the shimmering sea provide visitors with a memorable and delightful experience.
Request this Free Visitor GuideRequested! You're all set! Request a few more Visitor Guides, or complete the form below to receive your guides by mail.
Oceanside Oceanside Oceanside
Southern CaliforniaOceanside is a classic California beach community with its warm sandy beaches, historic wooden pier and Cape Cod-style harbor village complete with unlimited water sports and recreation. Offering a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle, visitors still experience the casual spirit that made Southern California’s beach culture legendary.
Request this Free Visitor GuideRequested! You're all set! Request a few more Visitor Guides, or complete the form below to receive your guides by mail.
Visit Buena Park Visit Buena Park Visit Buena Park
Southern CaliforniaWith thrilling attractions, interactive dining experiences, and plenty of shopping options, Buena Park offers fun on just about every corner. A vacation hot spot, the lively city of Buena Park is not only known for it's premier location in Orange County but for its world famous entertainment - including Knott's Berry Farm®, Soak City USA Water Park, Knott’s Independence Hall, Medieval Times, and Pirate’s Dinner Adventure.
Request this Free Visitor GuideRequested! You're all set! Request a few more Visitor Guides, or complete the form below to receive your guides by mail.
Catalina Island Catalina Island Catalina Island
Southern CaliforniaDiscover the magical island of Catalina, just off the coast of Southern California. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a place to bring the entire family, or just need a few days to unwind, Catalina Island is the perfect destination.
Request this Free Visitor GuideRequested! You're all set! Request a few more Visitor Guides, or complete the form below to receive your guides by mail.