The Barnard Hut

Barnard Hut

Standing on the knoll of a forest glade on the rolling terrain of Richmond Hill, the Barnard Hut is a rustic reminder of the roots of the Braun Hut system. Built by founder Fred Braun, the hut straddles the gently undulating timbered and gladed ridge with easterly views of the Continental Divide and the Sawatch Range.

Typical access is from the Sundeck atop Aspen Mountain where skiers launch from the terminus of the Aspen Mountain gondola and follow snowmobile and snowcat tracks south along the ridge at an average elevation of 11,000 feet. Views are dramatic on this high contour, which is also popular for motorized recreation.

The Barnard is often a stopover to the more remote Goodwin-Greene Hut, further south at the head of Difficult Creek. An alternate route to Opa’s Taylor Hut is also found along the ridge beyond the head of Express Creek on an haute route traverse of the Elk Range. By this high route, Ashcroft is nine miles from the hut.

The Barnard Hut, named for past Aspen resident Marsh Barnard, may also be accessed via Little Annie Road off Castle Creek a few miles south of Aspen, though parking is an issue there. The seven-mile trek to Barnard appears straight forward on the map, but there are several descents and climbs that, at altitude, combine into a rigorous tour, which makes the site of the hut a relief to tired skiers.

Layout and capacity: All Braun huts have propane burners for cooking, photovoltaic lighting, mattresses and pillows, eating and cooking utensils, toilet paper, matches, and cleaning supplies. Hut users melt snow for water. Barnard hut is a one-level structure with loft and sleeps a total of 8 people (2 doubles, 4 singles). NO DOGS!

Hut Location: Barnard Hut is located on Richmond Hill, about seven miles south of the top of Aspen Mountain Ski area or 9 miles from Ashcroft at 11,480'. [locator map]

Snowmobiles: Snowmobiles are not allowed near the Braun Huts. Since 1963 the Braun Huts have been operated as a backcountry ski hut system. Many of the routes to the huts pass through avalanche prone terrain, loose unpacked snow, steep sidehills, and areas restricted to snowmobiles. More information about snowmobiles is available HERE and on the "Winter Trails & Info" tab below. PLEASE DO NOT RELY ON A SNOWMOBILE TO GET YOURSELF OR YOUR EQUIPMENT TO A HUT.

Warning: The Alfred A. Braun Huts and Friends Hut are located in areas of known avalanche terrain with recurring avalanche cycles. Routes are not marked or maintained.

  • More Info
  • Winter Routes & Trailheads


  • Official 10th Mountain, Winter: Braun Huts North & South (routes also on Star Peak) [example]
  • USGS Map: Aspen and Hayden Peak Quadrangle
  • USFS Forest Visitor's Map: White River National Forest

Dates Open: Winter: Thanksgiving through the end of May

Owned By: Alfred A. Braun Hut System Oven: No Sauna: No

The Barnard Hut is most commonly accessed from the top of Aspen Mountain Ski area by skiing out along Richmond Ridge via the Richmond Ridge Road. The ski out is a approximately 7 miles and follows the rolling contours of the ridge. Be aware that this area is very popular with snowmobilers and various trails and tracks may intersect and branch off the main road so solid navigation skills are recommended.

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 RELY ON A SNOWMOBILE TO GET YOURSELF OR YOUR EQUIPMENT TO A HUT.

Snowmobile Restrictions: 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. Snowmobiles are not allowed at the hut itself. Please call for more information. [boundary map]

Winter Trail Access

  • Trailhead: Aspen Mountain Sundeck Elevation: 11,212' Route: Via Ridchmond Ridge Road Total Mileage: 7.2
  • Trailhead: Ashcroft/Express Creek Elevation: 9,422' Route: Via Taylor Pass Road and Richmond Ridge Road Total Mileage: 9
  • Trailhead: The Goodwin-Greene Hut Elevation: 11,680' Route: Via Richmond Ridge Road Total Mileage: 3

Winter Route Description

A note on Braun and Friends Route Descriptions: These descriptions are overviews and general in nature and intended for trip planning purposes. They generally describe the frequently used routes from the trailhead and not such routes between the huts, which may or may not overlap these routes. These descriptions are no replacement for the use of proper mountain navigation tools and skills, such as maps, GPS devices, compasses and the like. Navigation in poor weath-er or darkness has added challenges. These frequently used routes have been devel-oped over the years by users. Given the mountainous terrain and severe avalanche hazard, all such routes are subject to objective hazards that cannot be avoided. The route selections to access the huts are generally limited by terrain. There can be user choices within such routes that may reduce but not eliminate such hazards.

Most Frequent Route Description:

  • Distance: 7mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1600ft
  • The most frequented route to the Barnard Hut starts from the top of the Gondola on the Aspen Mountain Ski Area (11,212’) and follows the rolling Richmond Hill Road South for 7 miles. The Barnard Hut is located on a forested knoll to the North of McArthur Mtn. Single use tickets for the Gondola can be purchased at the base of Aspen Mountain. This route crosses a snowcat skiing operation and areas popular with snowmo-bilers. Various tracks and trails may intersect and may proceed along the main road. The Barnard Hut can also be accessed from Ashcroft via Express Creek. This route is about 8 miles with 2,860’ feet of elevation gain. This route is continually exposed to serious backcountry avalanche terrain and involves difficult above tree-line travel that can present extreme navigational challenges and exposure especially in poor weather and darkness. Warning: The Alfred A. Braun Huts and Friends Hut are located in areas of se-rious avalanche terrain with recurring avalanche cycles. Routes to and between the huts are not marked or maintained.
Barnard deck in winter