The Markley Hut

Markley Hut

Markley Hut is the shortest distance – 2.5 miles – from a trailhead of any hut in the Elk Range, but entails avalanche risk because of the typically weak Colorado snowpack. Starting at the Ashcroft cross-country ski area south of Aspen on Castle Creek, the hut route is a gradual climb up Express Creek where the hut sits hidden among trees below the road at a low elevation, compared to other Braun Huts.

The Markley is quaint and cozy, a perfect shelter for a close group that wants to get closer. Ski touring is just out the door, but avalanche conditions are a constant concern among timbered basins and ridges of Green Mountain, with open slopes and regular historic avalanche runs.

Markley is often linked with the Goodwin-Greene Hut and access to Richmond Ridge several miles above. Skiers pass it on the way to Opa’s Taylor Hut, and day trippers note the smell of wood smoke as they pass by when the hut is occupied. For its proximity to the trailhead, the Markley feels remote, quiet and peaceful.

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. Markley hut is a one-level structure with loft that sleeps a total of 8 (2 doubles, 4 singles - 2 singles can be combined to make a double upstairs). NO DOGS!

Hut Location:Markley Hut is located in timber at 10,400' at the foot of Green Mountain, in the Express Creek drainage above Ashcroft and south of Aspen. [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 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 Trails & Info


Dates Open: Winter: Thanksgiving through the end of May

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

The Markley Hut is located just off of Express Creek Road approximately 2.3 miles above Ashcroft. The trailhead and parking for Express Creek Road is just a few hundred yards before the Ashcroft trailhead parking on the left. The ski in is fairly gradual but does pass under 4 major avalanche paths.

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: 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. [boundary map]

Winter Trail Access

  • Trailhead: Express Creek/Ashcroft Elevation: 9,498' Route: Via Express Creek Road Total Mileage: 2.3

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: 2.25mi
  • Elevation Gain: 900ft
  • The Markley Hut is typically accessed from the Ashcroft Trailhead (9,500’). Park-ing for hut users is in the lower lot on the East side of the Road. The most frequented route to the Markley Hut follows the Express Creek road for approximately 2 miles until it drops right and passes through a hut boundary gate and continues 1/4 mile up valley to the hut. This route is continuously ex-posed to serious backcountry avalanche terrain. Routes to and between the huts are not marked or maintained.