Jessica and Stephan | Yankee Boy Basin Engagement
Savannah Chandler Photography | Telluride Engagement Photographer
Jessica and Stephan’s Alpine Basin Engagement |
How they selected Yankee Boy Basin
When looking at a location for their Colorado engagement portraits – Jessica and Stephan knew that they wanted a high alpine basin. The two of them have hiked together quite a bit, and are both fond of Colorado’s mountains.
Yankee Boy is an accessible basin near Ouray, Colorado that offers some of the best views in the area. Driving to Twin Falls is a relatively easy drive (this year, the road had quite a bit of rain damage – but we both had 4×4 vehicles and were able to make it to the falls with no issues).
After hiking Mt. Sneffels a few years back, Jessica and Stephan decided that a sunrise session in the basin just beneath the infamous 14,000′ peak would be perfect for their vision.
Yankee Boy Logistics
Photography sessions in Southwest Colorado are much easier than a good portion of the rest of the state. Many places don’t require permits and are less crowded due to the distance away from the larger cities. As always, be a good steward of the land and practice LNT – be sure to pack out all that you’ve packed in and leave the area better than you found it.
Permits for Yankee Boy Basin: None
Best time of year: Late May – Early October
Accessibility: AWD or 4×4 recommended
Closest Town: Ouray
Best time of day: Both Sunrise and Sunset are stunning
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Governor’s Basin (4×4)
Imogene Pass (4×4)
Silver Basin (4×4)
Wright Lake (4×4 or hike)
Blue Lakes Pass (4×4 or hike)
Surrounded by large volcanic mountains, most notably Mt. Sneffels, Teakettle Peak, and Potosi Peak.
Twin Falls waterfalls
Alpine tundra with trails leading through them
Wildflowers in July
About Jessica and Stephan’s Sunrise Adventure Elopement
Just before sunrise, I met Jessica and Stephan up at the parking lot for Twin Falls. The Ouray area has been getting pounded with (much needed) rain this summer, and the road was rather rough. Not knowing what kind of car they would be driving – I waited down a little lower until right at the time we were meeting and decided to see if they made it to the upper lot. Not only did they make it to the lot, but Stephan is one heck of a 4×4 driver and even climbed over a rock my brain said NOPE to at the end of our time together.
Just as the sun started to break the horizon, we headed down the pathway towards the falls and river. The views looking back to the northeast were absolutely stunning – Potosi Peak and Teakettle were both glowing red with Alpenglow.
After some time on the river and the rocks, we headed to the falls themselves. After hearing about some of the hikes that the two of them have done (and notably the crazy-exposure hikes Stephan has completed) – I knew that some scrambling in dress attire would be no issue at all for them.
As we headed up further into the valley – we made a few stops along the way looking for the best views with the best lighting. I’m a sucker for an alpine valley where the peaks behind are aglow while the field is still in the morning shade.
At the end of our time together, we went to head up towards Wright Lake – but there was one gnarly rock in the middle of the 4×4 road that made my heart jump knowing I was in the vehicle solo, and we decided to end at the overlook instead of heading up to the lake. At this point – all 4 of their puppers (one of which was on vacation with them on loan from a parent) joined for a few photos. I’m pretty amazed that we were able to get all 4 dogs looking at the same time!
Congratulations again, and I can’t wait to see more of your Epic Mountain Adventures!