Can I bring horses or pack animals to the huts in summer?
August 7, 2023
10th Mountain welcomes horseback riders and the use of pack animals. In the interest of keeping the areas around the huts as pristine as possible, we ask that you read this information carefully.
Guidelines for Hut Trips with Horses/Pack Animals
- Since the hut system was originally designed with backcountry skiers in mind, some huts and routes are more appropriate for use with animals than others. We consider the Estin, Margy’s, Uncle Bud’s, and the 10th Mountain Division Hut to be the most suitable for horses and pack animals.
- Some huts have corrals and water sources nearby, while others do not.
- In order to preserve delicate high alpine vegetation, it is imperative that you create a staging area for arrival and departure at least 100 yards away from the hut and then carry your packs and necessary gear over to the hut.
- At huts without corrals, please highline horses/stock at least 100 yards away from the hut; highline should be tied from tree to tree, and then individually picket your stock to the highline.
- At no time should an animal be tied to a hut railing. We have seen accidents occur and railings torn up when this suggestion has not been followed.
- Most huts have water nearby. Walk or ride your stock to available water morning and evening.
- Supplemental food, such as grain or pellets, is strongly recommended.
- Do not haul hay into the National Forest without obtaining a “weed certified free” permit. Because even this weed-free hay can pose a potential seed problem, 10th Mountain encourages hut users to limit hay use.
- Please be considerate of other users that you are sharing the hut with, as well as users that will visit the hut after your departure. Low impact practices should be followed and every effort should be made to “leave no trace” of your stock. For more information on low impact backcountry horse and pack animal use, please contact the Leave No Trace program. LNT publishes a booklet entitled “Backcountry Horse Use” that is available through their online store.
- Remember, dogs are never allowed on hut trips.
Hut Specific Information for Horses and Pack Animals
- 10th Mountain Division Hut: No corral. Water nearby. To minimize impact, the Forest Service asks that you highline horses in a different location on each trip.
- Betty Bear Hut: No corral. Water nearby. Use southern access (Road 505 and Trail #1907). Northern route (Road 105) is a narrow road with large drop-offs and considerable vehicle traffic.
- Broome Hut: Contact 10th Mountain for more information.
- Continental Divide & Point Breeze Cabins: Contact 10th Mountain for more information.
- Eiseman Hut: Water source is 1/4 mile from the hut. Spraddle and Middle Creek trails are closed to horses per the Forest Service, all other routes are okay.
- Emmelyn Hut: Contact 10th Mountain for more information.
- Fowler-Hilliard Hut: No corral. Closest water source is 1.5 miles away. Water from pump inside the hut is not treated – recommended use is for washing only.
- Francie’s Cabin: Horses are not permitted.
- Harry Gates Hut: No corral. Water .5 miles away. All routes are okay, but some traffic.
- High Lonesome Hut: Contact 10th Mountain for more information.
- Jackal Hut: No corral. Closest water source is 2 miles away. Water from pump inside the hut is not treated – recommended use is for washing only.
- Janet’s Cabin: Horses are not permitted.
- Margy’s Hut: Corral. Water nearby. All routes are okay.
- Peter Estin Hut: Corral with intermittent water source. Additional water source 1/2 mile away. Reliable water from pump outside of hut (except in extremely dry conditions). All routes are okay.
- Polar Star Inn & Seipel Hut: Horses not permitted unless special permission has been received by the owners. Contact 10th Mountain for more information.
- Sangree M. Froelicher Hut: No corral. All routes ok. Closest water source is 3/4 mile away.
- Shrine Mountain Inn (Jay’s, Chuck’s and Walter’s): All routes are okay, but considerable vehicle traffic. Corral. Running water is available from the well house near the corral but bring your own trough.
- Skinner Hut: Not recommended for horses. No corral. Only water source is 1.5 miles back down the access road, which is narrow with large drop-offs and considerable vehicle traffic.
- Uncle Bud’s Hut: No corral. Water nearby. To minimize impact, the Forest Service asks that you highline horses in a different location on each trip.
Huts that are closed in summer include: Barnard Hut, Benedict Huts (Fritz & Fabi), Friends’ Hut, Goodwin-Greene Hut, Green Wilson Hut, Ken’s Cabin, Lindley Hut, Markley Hut, McNamara Hut, Opa’s Taylor Hut, Section House, Sisters Cabin, Tagert Hut, and Vance’s Cabin.