Engaging the services of a professional guide may be the best way for you to enjoy your backcountry adventure to the huts. If you are unsure of your backcountry skills, unfamiliar with the area, or desire the added services of a guided trip, consider using a guide service to access the hut system.
In winter, a guide’s knowledge of the hut system and the mountain environment can enhance your backcountry experience. A guide service can provide education and instruction in winter backcountry travel and safety. Traveling with an experienced guide service will expand your own skills in navigation, avalanche awareness, hut operations, and the knowledge needed to travel safely and efficiently in winter environments.
In summer, a guide service can help you plan an excursion that will provide a memorable experience for your family or friends. Guides provide trip planning, transportation, food, gear rentals, and instruction on a variety of topics. The huts provide access to alpine peaks, streams, and high mountain lakes, along with fields of wildflowers and an environment teeming with flora and fauna. Whether hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, or llama trekking, there is a guide service that can assist you in discovering Colorado’s 10th Mountain Division Hut System.
Un-Authorized Guides and Other Illegal Support Services
Only permitted guide services can be legally hired to provide commercial support on US Forest Service (USFS) lands. “Commercial” in this case is loosely defined as “Any use or activity where compensation of any sort is received in exchange for services or goods.” 10th Mountain huts and most suggested routes are located on USFS lands so these laws are applicable across most of the hut system.
For example, the USFS has not issued permits authorizing commercial snowmobile support of hut trips, which means it is illegal to hire an individual or business to transport hut gear or hut visitors by snowmobile across USFS lands. USFS permits are also required for caterers, chefs, instructors, and others who receive compensation for services provided on USFS lands. This means that hiring a favorite chef to prepare meals at the hut is legal only if that favorite chef is working under a USFS permit, which is available through authorized guide businesses or by obtaining a Temporary Special Use Permit from the USFS. Please contact permitted guide services to learn more about available services.
Guides and Outfitters for Winter Trips
- Aspen Expeditions – Aspen (970) 925-7625
- Colorado Backcountry Guide Service – Crested Butte. (970) 209-7594
- Irwin Guides – Crested Butte (888) 475-1851
- Paragon Guides – Vail (970) 926-5299
Guides and Outfitters for Summer Trips