Alerts

Trips to the Braun and Friends’ Huts 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.

Avalanche Cancellation Policy:
Because the Alfred A. Braun Huts and Friends’ Hut are located in areas of serious avalanche terrain with recurring avalanche cycles, an additional opportunity to cancel due to avalanche danger exists for these huts. Groups with reservations in these huts may cancel on the scheduled day of their trip (or the next business day) if the avalanche danger is higher than what their group feels comfortable with. These groups will be given a full hut credit for a future hut trip. This credit is not transferable between huts in the Braun Hut system (including the Friends’ Hut) and huts in the 10th Mountain system. No refunds will be given at any time, for any reason. Visit Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s website: https://avalanche.state.co.us for up to date avalanche information. If you or members of your party are generally uncomfortable travelling in serious avalanche terrain, consider alternative huts in the 10th Mountain system.

Backcountry Risks:
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:

  • Hazardous mountain environments with serious avalanche terrain where avalanches occur and where additional wilderness hazards exist that may not be obvious or visible (such as cliffs, hidden streams, etc.) where weather is changeable and unpredictable and can be extreme.
  • Route finding and skiing in a wilderness environment where routes and slopes are not marked, maintained, controlled or patrolled, where snow conditions vary and change, and where above tree-line travel can be extremely difficult or impossible.
  • Altitude sickness and exposure, especially if your groups become lost, delayed, or separated and members do not reach the hut.
  • Travel in remote areas and use of simple huts where outside help will be slow to arrive, cannot be communicated with, or is unavailable due to conditions.
  • Human factors, especially those related to group decision making and perceptions of expertise and differences in physical condition and skills.

The Huts > Alfred A Braun Hut System > Opa’s Taylor Hut

Opa’s Taylor Hut

The Opa’s Taylor Hut is part of the Alfred Braun Hut System is located in the Elk Mountains between Aspen and Crested Butte. You can learn more about Colorado’s first hut system and how to support its work at www.braunhuts.org.

Named for Fred Braun, the German-born namesake of the Braun Hut system, Opa’s Taylor Hut is a fitting legacy for this hard-bitten, old mountaineer. Opa is a nickname for “grandpa,” by which Fred was known. Braun not only founded the hut system, he ran it with an iron fist. Attesting to his humanity, however, Braun also founded Aspen Mountain Rescue and answered many calls for mountain emergencies through Aspen’s early backcountry ski days.

Artfully built in the style of a fashionable mountain home, Opa’s is a showcase for functional beauty. The views from the decks and windows make Aspen real estate brochures pale by comparison. Opa’s can be difficult to find, perched as it is on a nondescript promontory. But once found, it’s hard to leave no matter how good the skiing. And there is plenty of good skiing right out the door.

Opa’s access is most popular from Ashcroft, up Express Creek and over Little Italian Pass. From the hut, one may ski to the Goodwin-Greene to the east and the Friends’ Hut to the west. But caution must applied because there are terrain perils and route-finding challenges in both directions. And when the weather closes in with whiteout conditions, it’s best to stay put, stoke the stove, and heat up a pot of tea.

Hut Information

Owned By

Alfred A Braun Hut System

Open

Winter

Closest Town

Aspen

Hut Elevation

11,850'

Elevation Max*

0

Layout

The hut sleeps 8 and has 3 private rooms, each of which sleep 2 people, and 2 day beds out in the common area.

Amenities

Heat

Wood

Oven

Propane

Refrigeration

No

Water

Snow Melt**

Toilet

Outhouse, Covered Walkway

Ada Accessible

No

Sauna

No

Fire Ring

No

Grill

No

Dogs

No

Charging

None

Gear Cart

No


** Winter only

Details

  • Firewood, starter paper, matches, axes
  • Propane for kitchen burners and oven
  • Cooler for cold food storage
  • Snow collection buckets and large pot for melting snow on wood-burning heat stove (bring your own filter)
  • Pots, pans, potholders, dishware, cooking and eating utensils, percolator or French press, salt & pepper
  • Paper towels, dish soap, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, trash bags, toilet paper
  • Solar powered lighting
  • Mattresses, pillows
  • Crocs

Book This Hut

Capacity

8

Price

$310/night

Visit our Online Booking Platform to search for availability and book this hut.

Location

39.000612, -106.7492584

Official 10th Mountain Division Map

CalTopo

Winter Map : Braun Huts Map

View / Print

National Geographic

Map : Aspen, Independence Pass

Trailheads/Routes

The Opa’s Taylor Hut can be accessed via Express Creek and is also equidistant from the Goodwin Greene, Lindley and Friends huts. Routes are not marked or maintained. The route into Opa’s Hut in particular presents serious route finding and terrain challenges and should only be attempted by experienced backcountry travelers.

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.

Braun Huts & Friends’ Hut Winter Information PDF

Routes

Opa's Taylor Hut from Ashcroft Trailhead

Total Mileage

6.5

Trailhead Elevation

9,498'

Weather

Current Condition

Overnight

Snow Showers And Patchy Blowing Snow
4˚ F

Snow Showers And Patchy Blowing Snow

15 to 20 mph
Winds

Snow showers likely before 4am, then snow showers and patchy blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 4. Wind chill values as low as -12. West wind 15 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Saturday

Snow Showers And Areas Of Blowing Snow
16˚ F

Snow Showers And Areas Of Blowing Snow

20 to 25 mph
Winds

Snow showers and areas of blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 16. Wind chill values as low as -16. West northwest wind 20 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Saturday Night

Snow Showers And Blowing Snow
6˚ F

Snow Showers And Blowing Snow

20 to 30 mph
Winds

Snow showers and blowing snow. Cloudy, with a low around 6. Wind chill values as low as -15. West wind 20 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.

Sunday

Snow Showers And Blowing Snow
24˚ F

Snow Showers And Blowing Snow

20 to 30 mph
Winds

Snow showers and blowing snow. Cloudy, with a high near 24. West wind 20 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

Sunday Night

Chance Snow Showers
12˚ F

Chance Snow Showers

15 mph
Winds

A chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 12. West northwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

Monday

Slight Chance Snow Showers then Mostly Sunny
34˚ F

Slight Chance Snow Showers then Mostly Sunny

10 to 15 mph
Winds

A slight chance of snow showers before 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 34. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Monday Night

Mostly Clear
11˚ F

Mostly Clear

10 to 15 mph
Winds

Mostly clear, with a low around 11.

Tuesday

Sunny
40˚ F

Sunny

10 mph
Winds

Sunny, with a high near 40.

Tuesday Night

Mostly Clear
16˚ F

Mostly Clear

10 mph
Winds

Mostly clear, with a low around 16.

Wednesday

Sunny
42˚ F

Sunny

10 mph
Winds

Sunny, with a high near 42.

Wednesday Night

Partly Cloudy
17˚ F

Partly Cloudy

10 mph
Winds

Partly cloudy, with a low around 17.

Thursday

Mostly Sunny
39˚ F

Mostly Sunny

10 to 15 mph
Winds

Mostly sunny, with a high near 39.

Thursday Night

Partly Cloudy then Slight Chance Snow Showers
15˚ F

Partly Cloudy then Slight Chance Snow Showers

10 to 15 mph
Winds

A slight chance of snow showers after 5am. Partly cloudy, with a low around 15.

Friday

Chance Snow Showers
35˚ F

Chance Snow Showers

10 to 15 mph
Winds

A chance of snow showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 35.

Raw Data

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