Alfred A. Braun Hut System & Friends Hut

The Alfred Braun Hut System and the Friends Hut are located in the Elk Mountains be-tween Aspen and Crested Butte. They are independently owned and operated by two small local nonprofits. You can learn more about Colorado’s first hut system and how to support its work at You can learn more about the all volunteer run Friends Hut here, Friends Hut History.

These intimate huts provide a unique human powered experience in the heart of one of Colorado’s most rugged mountain ranges. All beds in the huts are booked by a single party and groups often spend several days at one hut or link the huts together in hut to hut tours through the dramatic and challenging alpine terrain of the Elks. This hut experience emphasizes simplicity and self reliance for the experienced backcountry skier/rider.

Trip Planning, Avalanche Information, and Backcountry Risks

hut interior
Friends Hut

Trips to the Braun and Friends are a serious backcountry endeavor which demand careful planning, and the trained skills of travel and decision making in remote, avalanche terrain. These trips are not to be taken lightly even for the most experienced backcountry skier/rider. If you and your group do not have the equipment for and substantial experience with: decision making, and travel in serious avalanche terrain, and the use of navigation skills and tools in difficult conditions, choose another hut system or hire a professional guide.

Warning: In addition to the backcountry risks described below, the Alfred A. Braun Huts and Friends Hut are located in areas of serious avalanche terrain with recurring avalanche cycles. Routes to and between the huts are not marked or maintained.

Trip Planning

Review all of the trip planning information on with your entire group Here are aded information and tools for your trip.

Avalanche Information

Access to all of the Braun Huts and the Friends Hut travels under or through serious avalanche terrain. (The only exception where skilled travelers can avoid exposure to avalanche terrain is accessing the Barnard Hut via the Aspen Mountain Gondola and Richmond Ridge Road). Information regarding avalanche danger and snowpack is found at:

Backcountry Risks

Castle Creek Avalanche
Castle Creek Avalanche

Skiing and wilderness travel in the Elk Mountains have inherent risks, hazards and dangers that cannot be eliminated; they are very real and not to be taken lightly. People have died or been seriously injured traveling and recreating in this area. A partial list of risks, hazards and dangers a backcountry user can encounter using these huts include: