Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ
- How long does it take to ski to a hut?
- Can I snowshoe to the huts?
- Are snowmobiles allowed to access the huts?
- Are snowmobiles allowed at the Alfred A. Braun Huts?
- What is the Vail Pass Fee?
- How many huts should my trip include?
- Are the suggested routes marked or maintained?
- What are some good huts for first-timers?
- Which huts are good for children?
- Where can I purchase maps?
- Are there detailed guidebooks for the huts?
- Can I hire a guide?
- Why are summer and winter routes different?
- Can I drive to a hut in the summer?
- Are any of the huts handicap accesible?
- Are there any huts along the Colorado Trail?
- Can I bring horses or pack animals to the huts in the summer?
- What do I do in an emergency?
- Will cost of a rescue be paid for if I have a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) card or a hunting or fishing license?
- Where can I take classes in first aid or backcountry safety?
- Is my car safe at the trailhead?
- Is transportation available to or from the trailheads?
- Will my cell phone work at the huts?
- What is the check in/check out time?
- What is the cancelation policy?
- Can I get a private room?
- Do any of the huts have hot tubs or saunas?
- Can I take my dog on the hut trip?
- Are firearms allowed at the huts?
- Are there general Hut Etiquette guidelines?
- What do we do for water?
- How far away from the huts are the summer water sources?
- Can we build an outdoor fire or cook out in the summer?
- What is the Reservation Lottery?
- What's the deal with the 10th Mountain Division License Plates?
- What is the Backcountry Snowsports Intiative?
- Who uses the 10th Mountain Division Huts?
How long does it take to ski to a hut?
Travel time varies greatly depending on the difficulty of the route, personal ability, and weather conditions. A general rule of thumb is to estimate one mile per hour and an additional hour for every thousand feet of vertical gain. On clear days, when a trail has already been broken-out, most groups will travel faster than this, but in low visibility or if there is no broken trail, it can take even longer.
You must evaluate your own capabilities. Strap a full pack on your back and take a test hike or ski tour. Keep in mind that route finding, water breaks, taking off or putting on layers, and adjusting gear often add considerable time to a trip.
Yes, traveling to the huts on snowshoes is an option. If you are not a confident backcountry skier or are new to traveling with a pack in the winter, snowshoes could be a good choice. Travel by snowshoes can be slower and more tiring than skiing, especially in deep, untracked snow. If you are not an experienced skier, however, attempting to ski with a pack in similar conditions could be even more difficult, making snowshoes a more enjoyable and efficient option. The choice is up to you!
Are snowmobiles allowed to access the huts?
10th Mountain strongly discourages the use of snowmobiles for access to the huts. The hut system was created for non-motorized travel and snowmobile use detracts from this unique experience. Most of the huts are located on U.S. Forest Service land, which is managed for a variety of recreational uses, including snowmobiling. Each hut, however, is surrounded by a USFS non-motorized envelope into which you cannot bring a snowmobile. Most envelope boundaries restrict access around the huts for 1/8 to 1/2 mile, although several huts have larger envelopes. Snowmobiles are not allowed in Wilderness Areas, or on private land without permission.
Relying on motorized support for a hut trip can be risky. Routes can be or become impassable to snowmobiles in deep, unpacked snow. Mechanical problems are also a concern. Please note that if a single snowmobile track exists to a hut, other snowmobilers will follow it, causing annoyance to hut users long after the original machines have gone. PLEASE DO NOT USE A SNOWMOBILE TO GET YOURSELF OR YOUR EQUIPMENT TO A HUT.
Don't think you can make it to the hut without motorized support? Consider the following ideas:
- Hire a guide to carry the heaviest load.
- Choose a less challenging route.
- Lighten your pack.
- Start a fitness program.
- Plan a trip in the future when you are more prepared.
If you would like to avoid areas with high snowmobile use, choose travel routes through Wilderness areas where snowmobiles are not allowed. You may also choose the Betty Bear Hut, Sangree M. Froelicher Hut, Jackal Hut, or Vance's Cabin, as portions of the suggested routes to these huts are inaccessible to snowmobiles, or are closed to snowmobiles. You might want to avoid huts in the Vail Pass area, especially on weekends, since this area has heavy recreation use including snowmobile traffic.
Are snowmobiles allowed to access the Alfred A. Braun Huts?
The Alfred Braun Hut System was designed to be a back-country SKI system. As such the Alfred Braun Hut System strongly discourages the use of snowmobiles for access to the huts. The hut system was created for non-motorized travel. As such, snowmobile use can often detract from this unique experience. Our huts are located on U.S. Forest Service land, and each hut has unique travel management restrictions as governed by Forest Service Travel Management Plans. Around the immediate environs of each Alfred Braun Hut is a USFS developed recreation site envelope with snowmobile restrictions. Access to and from each hut is managed within the Developed Recreation Site Boundary. Snowmobiles should not drive to the front door of any hut. There are no snowmobile play areas within the Developed Recreation Site boundaries. Snowmobiles are not allowed in Wilderness Areas, or on private land without permission. In the winter of 2010-2011, the fines for snowmobiling in the Wilderness Areas were $550 per snowmobile. You must know where you are if you expect to remain legal and safe. PLEASE DO NOT USE A SNOWMOBILE TO GET YOURSELF OR YOUR EQUIPMENT TO A HUT.
The unique constraints upon snowmobiles at each of the Braun Huts:
Lindley Hut: Forest Service Special Order Closure to motorized traffic on the Iron Mine Road (except for administrative uses or adjacent landowners). The route is therefore closed to snowmobiles for the last 2 ½ miles to the hut. The Iron Mine Road begins at the bridge over Castle Creek, where there is a locked (for vehicles) gate.
Markley Hut: Express Creek Road is crossed by numerous active avalanche paths from Ashcroft Mountain, often resulting in steep, hard side hills which make snowmobile travel extremely tenuous. Consequently, the area is not a popular snowmobile destination or route. The Markley hut is surrounded by a developed hut site boundary envelope which extends approximately a half mile from the hut.
Tagert and Green-Wilson Huts: Located a hundred yards apart, these huts are protected by a winter-time motorized use closure of the Pearl Pass road from its intersection with the Montezuma basin road (a ¼ mile below the huts). In addition, the Maroon Bells Wilderness area is adjacent to the Pearl Pass road (within 10 feet of the road). Snowmobiles may be encountered on the Castle Creek/Montezuma basin portion of the access route.
Goodwin Greene Hut: This hut sits on a “cherry-stemmed” road surrounded by the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area. It is further protected by a developed hut site envelope, which begins at the saddle the road crosses above the hut, a ¼ mile south of the hut. With the Wilderness Boundary and the terrain surrounding the hut, snowmobile travel from the ridge down to the hut is not possible without incursion into the Wilderness.
The Barnard Hut: This hut sits near the Richmond Ridge Road, which is open to snowmobile use from the Aspen Mountain Ski Area. The road parallels the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness boundary, which lies east of the road. There is a Developed Hut Site Boundary envelope in the immediate vicinity of the hut. Of all the Braun Huts, this is the hut at which you are most likely to encounter snowmobiles along the Richmond Ridge Road. If you have a situation which requires snowmobile support due to age or a disability, this is the one Braun system hut which could accommodate such a use. Snowmobiles are not allowed at the hut itself. Please call for more information.
If you encounter snowmobiles in restricted areas (Wilderness, within the developed hut recreation sites around the huts, or on the administratively closed roads like the Iron Mine road or the Pearl Pass Road) please get a photograph, a name of the operator and the registration number from the snowmobile, if possible. This information can then be used to follow up with future enforcement actions. For maps of specific hut boundaries for the Alfred A. Braun Huts please click on the individual huts on the Braun and Friends Hut homepage here.
The Vail Pass Fee is a use fee charged for winter recreation in the Vail Pass area. This area includes the following huts: Janet's Cabin, Shrine Mountain Inn (Jay's, Chuck's, and Walter's), Fowler-Hilliard Hut, and Jackal Hut. If you are booking a winter trip to any of these huts, the fee will be charged at the time you make your reservation.
Hut users pay one fee per night of hut booking, instead of per day as area day users do. For example, if you were going to spend Friday night at the Jackal Hut you would only have to pay once, instead of paying for Friday and Saturday. The fee is for use in the area, not for parking at Vail Pass. It does not matter which trailhead you use to access the huts in this area, or where you park your car. The fee is $10.00 per adult. Children 15 and under are free.
10th Mountain supports the fee program and believes that it has helped to protect the rights of non-motorized users. The money collected goes directly back to the Vail Pass management area to pay for maps designating specific areas to be used by each user group, trail signs, and U. S. Forest Service rangers who patrol the area.
Public comments about the fees and program are critical to evaluating the success of the program. Contact Holy Cross Ranger District for comments and further information such as maps designating the specific areas.
USFS Vail Pass Field CoordinatorInformation about 10th Mountain's support of the Vail Pass fee program.
The Holy Cross Ranger District
PO Box 190
Minturn Colorado 81645
How many huts should my trip include?
Most groups spend one or more nights at the same hut, though experienced groups can link multiple huts in one trip. Each hut in the system is accessible from its own trailhead or trailheads. While many of the routes to the huts are moderate in difficulty, most of the routes between the huts are longer and more difficult. In winter, a hut-to-hut trip can require very advanced navigation and route finding skills in addition to good skiing ability and physical strength. If you are unfamiliar with the huts, we recommend spending multiple nights at one hut instead traveling between huts, especially in winter. This way, if the route was harder than you had anticipated or you get blisters, you aren't faced with an even harder second day. More experienced hut users planning long, hut-to-hut trips often schedule layover days for rest or to take advantage of the surrounding terrain for skiing, hiking, and biking.
Are the suggested routes marked or maintained?
Summer routes are not marked. In the winter, suggested routes are only intermittently marked with blue diamonds, except within Wilderness Areas where they are intermittently marked with tree blazes. From one trail marker, the next marker is usually not visible, so route finding may be the most important skill you'll need for a successful trip. Many alternate routes also access the huts - these are usually unmarked and are not designated on 10th Mountain brochures or official maps.
Routes are not maintained in the winter, so do not expect to find a broken or groomed trail. Even shorter trips with minimal elevation gains can become very challenging in whiteout conditions or if you have to break trail through fresh snow. Map and compass skills are essential. Detailed topographic maps are available through local mountain shops or the 10th Mountain Store (use menu on this page). If you are interested in taking a class to improve your map and compass skills, 10th Mountain and other organizations occasionally offer navigation workshops at the huts.
What are some good huts for first-timers?
While it is impossible for us to evaluate your group's skill-level, experience, fitness, etc, there are some huts that have shorter approaches and more straightforward route-finding that lend themselves to beginning hut users. Shrine Mountain Inn, Continental Cabin, Point Breeze Cabin, Vance's Cabin and the Sangree M. Froelicher Hut all have approaches that are 3 miles or less. The 10th Mountain Division Hut is 4.5 miles in but it is a gradual approach without much steep climbing. Francie's Cabin also has a shorter approach that is approximately 1.5 miles, but it is a steep 1.5 miles. Feel free to give us a call at (970) 925-5775 to go over some of your options. We can't plan your trip for you, since only you can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your group, but we may be able to provide further details or compare new routes to trips you have done in the past to help you make a final decision.
Which huts are good for children?
Family & Kids Trips Planning Page
10th Mountain produces topographic maps specifically for hut use. These maps are available from our reservations office at 970-925-5775 and from the 10th Mountain Store. Official 10th Mountain maps are also sold at a variety of outdoor retailers in Colorado including Front Range REI stores.
Are there detailed guidebooks for the huts?While 10th Mountain staff cannot plan your trip for you, guidebooks offer a good option for hut users seeking expert advice and suggestions on itineraries. These books are an excellent resource for learning about different route options and researching trips. The authors also provide estimations of route difficulty and travel time, as well as many helpful hints and suggestions.
The Official Guide to Hiking and Mountain Biking the Hut System by Scott Messina.
This detailed book includes history of each 10th Mountain Division Hut Association Hut, complete route descriptions to and between the huts, must-do adventures from the huts reservation information, suggested multi-day hut trips, great single track rides, day hikes, rock climbing and more!
The 10th Mountain Division Hut Book by Warren Ohlrich.
A winter guide to all 10th Mountain and Summit huts. Contains route descriptions, maps, photos, trip information, checklists and more.
For a huge amount of info, you can visit Lou Dawson's backcountry skiing website, Wild Snow. Lou Dawson also authored the original guidebook for the 10th Mountain Division Hut System and a backcountry skiing guidebook for the Elk Mountains that covers the Braun Hut System, and has published his book on the web as his online 10th Mountain Division Huts Guidebook.
Several guide services offer trips to the huts. These businesses operate under special use permit with the US Forest Service. Hiring a guide can be a great way to experience the huts, especially if you are a first time hut user or someone looking to experience more interesting routes and challenging hut-to-hut trips. In addition to guiding you on your trip, these services can also deal with logistics such as car shuttles and meals. It is not legal to pay someone to accompany you to the hut, deliver your equipment, prepare your meals, etc. if they do not have a US Forest service permit. Please see the Guides section of this site for a list of permitted guide services (see menu on the right).
Why are the summer and winter routes different?
Winter routes to the huts often contain sections of cross-country travel, whereas summer routes follow established roads and trails. Winter snowpack makes off-road, off-trail travel more feasible. Obstacles such as water and dense vegetation can make winter routes impassible during the summer. Summer routes are not marked, however, they are indicated on summer maps produced by 10th Mountain. Winter routes are intermittently marked with blue diamonds, except in Wilderness Areas where they are intermittently marked with tree blazes.
Can I drive to a hut in the summer?10th Mountain strongly discourages the use of motorized vehicles for access to the huts, except as group support vehicles for hikers or bikers. The hut system was created for non-motorized travel and we encourage everyone to reach the hut under their own power. If your group does use a support vehicle, be advised that each hut is surrounded by a Forest Service enforced, non-motorized envelope into which you cannot bring a vehicle. Most envelope boundaries restrict access around the huts for 1/8 to 1/2 mile, although several huts have much larger envelopes. There is a cart at each gate that can be used to ferry gear from your vehicle to the hut.
If you must drive, four-wheel drive vehicles with high clearance are recommended for all routes. The one exception is the Shrine Pass Road, which is usually passable for all vehicles. The roads to the Jackal and 10th Mountain Division huts are particularly steep and hazardous and 10th Mountain does not recommend driving to these huts.
Vehicle access to the huts is not always possible. After storms, mud can make many routes impassable. Be prepared with backpacks, hiking boots, raingear and warm clothes, in case you have to hike into or out of a hut due to road conditions or mechanical problems. The U. S. Forest Service, not 10th Mountain, controls the gates on the roads that lead to the huts. Gates are sometimes locked, especially early or late in the season, due to road conditions and snow. Hagerman Pass in particular tends to open late and close early. After winters with heavy snowfall it has opened as late as mid-August. Additionally, the road to the 10th Mountain Division Hut is periodically closed in the summer season due to road damage and bad conditions. Please keep all of this in mind when planning your trip and be prepared to travel to the hut under your own power. 10th Mountain does not encourage or guarantee vehicle access to the huts.
Are any of the huts handicap accesible?During the summer season the Betty Bear Hut, the Fowler-Hilliard Hut, Francie's Cabin and the Skinner Hut are all handicap accesible. Please call us at (970) 925-5775 for more details.
Are there any huts along the Colorado Trail?Janet's Cabin, The Continental Divide Cabin and Uncle Bud's Hut can all be directly accessed via the Colorado Trail. The 10th Mountain Division Hut also sits near the trail but does require a short hike up a side route to access the hut. You can visit the Colorado Trail homepage to find out more information about the trail itself as well as reroutes, trail maintenance and trip planning.
Can I bring horses or pack animals to the huts in the summer?
Please see Guidelines For Horses and Pack Animals.
Self-rescue is the responsibility of your group. If a member of your group is injured on the trail or at the hut, you cannot rely on outside help. Your group must be prepared and equipped for a bivouac, rescue, evacuation, equipment repair and any other unexpected mishap. Every group should have complete first aid and repair kits. The County Sheriff should be contacted in the event of an emergency. County Sheriff phone numbers.
Before your trip, leave the following information with a responsible friend or relative:
- Your automobile make and license plate, the trailhead you will be parking at and the appropriate county sheriffs phone number (see below).
- Your exact travel plans, including dates, huts to be used, ski routes and your plans in the case of an emergency.
Will the cost of a rescue be paid for if I have Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (CORSAR) card or a hunting or fishing license?
If you are involved in a rescue and are in possession of one of these cards or licenses, the rescue group that comes to your aid is eligible for reimbursement from the Colorado Search and Rescue Fund. 10th Mountain strongly recommends that anyone who visits the huts purchase a CORSAR card if they don't hold a current hunting or fishing license. In addition to providing reimbursement in the event you are involved in a rescue, the cost of these cards supports search and rescue groups and outdoor safety education programs in the State. Please remember the CORSAR cards and stickers are not insurance, do not reimburse victims, and do not pay individual medical expenses. The proceeds from card and sticker sales help to ensure that county sheriffs and volunteer search and rescue teams are reimbursed for costs they incur in a search or rescue. CORSAR cards are available in a $3.00 annual card or a $12.00 five-year card and can be purchased from 10th Mountain directly, from the CORSAR website as well as at most sporting goods stores and some supermarkets. More CORSAR details.
Where can I take classes in first aid or backcountry safety?
You can get adequate first aid training by taking the requisite courses for an American Red Cross advanced first aid certification. Contact your local chapter of the Red Cross for details. Hut users who frequently travel in the backcountry should consider training that goes beyond standard first aid. The Wilderness Medicine Institute is a good place to start if you're looking for such training. Also check your local college. For example, Colorado Mountain College provides the Aspen area with quite a bit of first aid training, and includes a variety of programs.
Is my car safe at the trailhead?
A few acts of vandalism and theft have been reported at some of the hut trailheads. The Crane Park and Turquoise Lake Trailheads near Leadville have been the hardest hit. We are also aware of incidents within the last few years at the Tennessee Pass, Pando, Camp Hale, and South Turquoise Lake Trailheads. 10th Mountain has been working with the Lake County Sheriff's Department in Leadville (719-486-1249) for a number of years to address this problem. Patrols have been increased and the Turquoise Lake trailhead was moved to a more visible location with lighting.
Do not leave valuables in your car, and try to park your group's oldest or least conspicuous vehicle at the trailhead. Consider parking in a populated area, then using a shuttle service or having someone drop you off at the trailhead. Also, make sure to park at the designated trailhead. Driving in and parking along the road puts your vehicle at greater risk for vandalism and it may be plowed-in or towed. If your vehicle is broken into or damaged, please report the incident to both the local Sheriff's Department and 10th Mountain.
Is transportation available to or from the trailheads?Yes, a number of companies offer transportation services. See our transportation page.
Will my cell phone work at the huts?
A cellular phone can be extremely helpful in the event of an emergency but cannot be relied upon. Communication is available only on some segments of the trails and only at some of the huts. From our experience, reception can vary, depending on location and quality of the phone. We ask that you keep the phone in the bottom of your pack, and that you respect others by not using it inside the hut. Most people go to the huts to get away from phones! We have included a chart below which shows a rough guide of cell service at each of the huts. Even if the "confidence" is listed at 100% that is a not guarantee of cell service. Huts for which we have no reliable cell service info are left blank on the chart.
What is the check in/check out time?
Hut turn around time is 1:00 pm. Please be considerate of other hut users by not arriving before 1:00 pm, and by having the hut clean and your bags packed before this time on the day of your departure.
What is the cancelation policy?
Payment and Cancellation Policy: Full payment by Visa, MasterCard or American Express is due at the time of reservation (including trips reserved through the lottery). After booking your trip, you will receive a packet via e-mail that includes a confirmation letter detailing your itinerary. It is your responsibility to review this information upon receipt. If there appears to be an error in your itinerary, call 10th Mountain immediately. Group Leaders: Additional responsibility and liability is being placed on the group leaders. In the Waiver and Release Agreement, group leaders will agree to indemnify 10th Mountain and other hut owners/operators for any liability for injuries, paralysis or death to any member of his/her group that does not sign a Waiver and Release Agreement. We trust this will encourage all hut users to sign releases. Be aware that any changes or cancellations require a 30 day advance notice for an 80% hut credit applicable towards a future hut trip. This credit is not transferable between huts in the 10th Mountain system, Braun Huts, and Friends hut. Cancellations made less than 30 days prior to your trip start date will result in forfeiture of your payment. No credit is available within 30 days of a trip start date. No refunds.
Special Avalanche Cancellation Policy for the Braun Huts and Friends Hut: Because the Alfred A. Braun Huts and Friends Hut are located in areas of known avalanche terrain with recurring avalanche cycles, an additional opportunity to cancel due to avalanche danger exists in these huts. Groups with reservations in these huts may cancel on the scheduled day of their trip (or the next business day), if the avalanche danger is higher than what their group feels comfortable with. These groups will be given a full hut credit for a future hut trip. This credit is not transferable between huts in the Braun system, the Friends Hut, and huts in the 10th Mountain system. No refunds will be given at any time, for any reason.
Going to the huts is an experience in communal living, and there are often several different groups at a hut each night. When you make a reservation, you are reserving sleeping space in a hut, not specific beds or rooms. You'll choose a place to sleep or work out sleeping arrangements with the other people at the hut when you arrive. Some huts have a few bedrooms with more privacy, but you cannot reserve these specific rooms in advance.
Do any of the huts have hot tubs or saunas?
None of the huts have hot tubs, but Francie’s Cabin, Janet’s Cabin, Polar Star Inn, Seipel Hut, and Shrine Mountain Inn have wood burning saunas. Polar Star Inn and the Seipel Hut share a sauna that is located between the two cabins. The sauna at Shrine Mountain Inn is located closest to Chuck’s but is shared by all three cabins (Jay’s, Chuck’s and Walter’s).
Can I take my dog on the hut trip?
No. Dogs are not permitted on summer or winter hut trips, nor are dogs allowed in the huts or in the area around the hut.* Since you must melt snow for water at most of the huts, dogs present a serious health hazard. In addition, we are very concerned about the problem of dogs harassing wildlife. 10th Mountain and the U. S. Forest Service take this rule very seriously and we ask that hut users help us encourage compliance. Failure to abide by this policy can result in fines up to $1000. Please notify 10th Mountain if a party brings a dog to any of the huts.
*The only exception to this policy is the High Lonesome Hut which is owned and operated privately, requires whole hut reservations, and provides water from a well, not snowmelt.
Below is a list of some of the other CO huts & yurts that do allow dogs:
- Blue Lakes Hut (San Juan Huts) 970-626-3033
- Bull of the Woods Yurt (SW Nordic Center) 575-758-4761
- Burn Hut (San Juan Huts) 970-626-3033
- CO Trail Friends Yurt (Hinsdale Haute Route) 970-944-2269
- Emma Yurt (Leadville Backcountry) 719-486-0092
- Grays & Torreys Hut (Owner Operated) 303-807-0420
- Jon Wilson Memorial Yurt (Hinsdale Haute Route) 970-944-2269
- Last Dollar Hut (San Juan Huts) 970-626-3033
- Lost Wonder Hut (Owner Operated) email
- Marceline Yurt (Leaddville Backcountry) 719-486-0092
- North Pole Hut (San Juan Huts) 970-626-3033
- Opus Hut (Owner Operated) 970-708-0092
- Pass Creek Yurt (Wolf Creek Backcountry) 970-731-2486
- Pearl Lakes Yurt (CO Parks & Wildlife) 970-879-3922
- Phoenix Ride Yurt (Owner Operated) 303-565-6787
- Ridgeway Hut (San Juan Huts) 970-626-3033
- Snow Survey Cabin (US Forest Service) 307-326-5258
- Tundra Hut (Owner Operated) 303-279-4759
Are firearms allowed at the huts?
No, firearms are not allowed at the huts or within the hut's permitted boundary area.
Are there general Hut Etiquette guidelines?
People visit the huts for all kinds of different reasons; outdoor recreation, celebrating, getting friends and family together or unplugging and enjoying the wilderness to name just a few. When sharing a hut with other groups a little common-sense courtesy can go a long way towards making sure everyone at the hut has a pleasant and memorable experience. We would suggest you read over our "Hut Etiquette" document for some helpful suggestions on how to make sure everyone has a great hut trip.
Winter hut users will find large pots at the huts for melting snow. We advise that parties clean and refill snowmelt pots upon arrival at the hut, and snowmelt water should be treated or filtered before drinking.
In the summer, water backpacks are provided for collecting water from springs and streams. All water should be treated or filtered before drinking. Distances to water sources vary from hut to hut (see below). All huts have water sources within two miles and many have sources much closer. Consult a topographic map of the area for water source locations.
The Shrine Mountain Inn (Jay's, Chuck's and Walter's Cabins) is an exception and has potable hot and cold running water year round.
The Benedict Huts, Eiseman Hut, Fowler-Hilliard Hut, Jackal Hut, 10th Mountain Division Hut, Uncle Bud's Hut, Skinner Hut, Betty Bear Hut and Sangree M. Froelicher Huts have pumps in the kitchens which bring up water that is collected from the roof and stored in cisterns below the floor. This water is recommended for washing only and should not be used for drinking or cooking. Availability of this water is dependent on precipitation and conservation by previous users, so please do not rely on there being water in the cistern.
How far away from the huts are the summer water sources?
Approximate distances to water sources are as follows. These distances are to the sources nearest to the huts that typically are available throughout the summer. In cases of severe drought, sources could be unavailable. Similarly, in very wet years or early in the summer, additional water sources may be available. Please see the individual hut descriptions in the Huts & Routes section (see main menu above) of this site for more specific information.
Water at or very near the hut: Shrine Mountain Inn (Jay's, Chucks & Walter's) Polar Star Inn, Francie's Cabin, Peter Estin Hut
- 1/4 mile: Margy's Hut, Betty Bear Hut
- 1/2 mile: Vance's Hut, 10th Mountain Division Hut, Uncle Bud's Hut, Eiseman Hut, Sangree M. Froelicher Hut
- 1.5 miles: Harry Gates Hut, Fowler-Hilliard Hut
- 2 miles: Jackal Hut, Skinner Hut
Can we build an outdoor fire or cook out in the summer?
All of the huts that are open in the summer have metal fire pits with grates, except for Francie's Cabin, the Continental Divide Cabin, the Point Breeze Cabin and the Broome Hut. Colorado summers can be very dry and the US Forest Service will issue a fire ban when conditions become dangerous. It is your responsibility to find out in advance if there is a ban in effect. Forest Service Ranger District numbers are provided on the summer information sheet sent out with all summer reservations. 10th Mountain will occasionally close the fire pits at the huts. In extreme fire conditions, additional restrictions, such as closure of the wood burning stoves inside the huts, may be in place. Please respect any closure signs.
The process of buying, delivering, cutting, splitting, and stacking wood is expensive and takes the time of many volunteers. With the help of hut users, the maintenance costs and environmental impacts of cutting and burning firewood can be reduced. Please help us conserve wood!
What is the reservation lottery?
The lottery is a system of early reservations intended to fairly allocate limited winter hut space. The lottery occurs each March for the following winter season. All 10th Mountain members are eligible to submit one lottery entry form each year for the opportunity to book one trip itinerary. One member may book an itinerary that consists of multiple consecutive nights and may reserve for a group of people. You can find more information on the reservations lottery here, and more info about memberships here.
What's the deal with the 10th Mountain Division License Plates?The 10th Mountain Specialty License Plates are issued by the State of Colorado on behalf of the 10th Mountain Division Foundation, a veterans organization that promotes the history and legacy of the 10th Mountain Division. Until January 1st of this year these specialty plates generated no funds to promote the history and legacy of the 10th Mountain Division. This has now changed, and the new program will dramatically further the mission of the Foundation and –to a lesser degree –benefit other 10th Mountain-related causes, including the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association which would typically receive about 20% of the collected donations.
10th Mountain Division plates now require a $45 dollar donation to the 10th Mountain Division Foundation. Current 10th Mountain plate holders are exempt from the donation but will be required by the State to replace their current plate with a new, slightly re-designed plate when the vehicle’s registration renews. All funds collected by this program will be used to help 10th Mountain-related causes. If you are interested in purchasing 10th Mountain Division Plates or are a current plate holder, please visit the 10th Mountain Division Foundation website; they have an excellent explanation of the program’s history, as well as the necessary forms for the purchase or renewal of plates. Please note: if you are interested in fully supporting the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association, a direct donation is preferred.
What is the Backcountry Snowsports Intiative?
The Backcountry Snowsports Initiative (BSI) of the non-profit Colorado Mountain Club was formed to protect the interests of human-powered backcountry snowsports like skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. The BSI’s mission is to preserve quiet, non-motorized areas on public land for non-motorized winter users. BSI works collaboratively with land management agencies, other advocacy organizations and user groups to find policy solutions at Vail Pass, Rabbit Ears Pass, Red Mountain and other popular areas around Colorado. For more information, visit BSI Blog, or their Website.
Who uses the 10th Mountain Division Huts?
A great variety of people use the huts. Some groups use guides, others travel on their own with family and friends. Because the huts are used communally, please show respect for the people sharing the hut with your group. If you prefer a private trip, please reserve one of our smaller huts that sleep 6 guests, or reserve an entire hut. 10th Mountain works closely with not-for-profit groups, the young, and the elderly. For more information on 10th Mountain's support of these groups, please check out our Backcountry Exploration Program in the Community section of this site (see menu at the top of the page).