Alerts

Road Work Notice September 2 through October 16, 2024

IMPORTANT! Polar Star Inn and Seipel Hut guests: A portion of East Brush Creek (aka Forest Service Road 415) will be closed to all motorized travel from SEPTEMBER 3rd, 2024 to OCTOBER 15, 2024 for a culvert replacement project. Suggested alternate route: Follow signs from Eagle to Sylvan Lake State Park, then proceed on the Eagle Thomasville Road 400 to Crooked Creek Pass. From the pass, follow Hat Creek Road 416 to Yeoman Park. Turn right on to Forest Service Road 415 for approximately 1 mile, then take a hard left on to Forest Service Road 418 for approximately 9 miles to the parking area for the huts. From the closure gate on the hut access road to the hut, the hike is about 1/4 mile.

Colorado is known for its avalanche prone snowpack. A number of the suggested routes to 10th Mountain Division Huts pass through or are next to terrain that may be prone to avalanches. Accordingly, pick the suggested route that most suits your group and its abilities, carry appropriate equipment, and always exercise prudent backcountry travel techniques when passing through avalanche prone terrain. Remember, avalanches can occur in forested areas and can run into forested areas from open slopes. Moreover, a number of huts booked are situated in the midst of extreme avalanche terrain. Many other huts, while located in more modest terrain, still have access routes that cross avalanche paths.

We strongly suggest that someone in every group be experienced in evaluating avalanche and snow stability hazards and practicing prudent backcountry and winter mountain travel techniques. For up-to-date avalanche information for all of Colorado, visit the website for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC). Another excellent resource is the Forest Service National Avalanche Center website. While this site doesn’t have local forecasts, it does have a wealth of information on backcountry travel in avalanche terrain and snow science, as well as tutorials on some basic skills and snow science.

We recommend that you start checking the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) website regularly before your trip to see how conditions are evolving. Study your maps to see what type of terrain you will be traveling through to see if there are alternative routes that might be feasible if snow stability conditions deteriorate. During most of the winter, travel to the huts, other than those in the Braun Hut System and the Friends’ Hut, is possible with a relatively minor degree of risk. However, if your trip falls within a period or cycle of high or extreme instability, you must make the decision of whether or not to go. The huts are not closed for avalanche hazard reasons.

The Huts > Privately Owned > Polar Star Inn & Seipel Hut > Polar Star Inn

Polar Star Inn & Seipel Hut Polar Star Inn

Polar Star Inn is a privately owned backcountry hut, booked by 10th Mountain. Built in 1987, the Inn is a unique, tall-standing structure with a large deck that looks west over the Colorado Plateau: a sunset watcher’s paradise. There are six private bedrooms and (limited) running water that makes kitchen work a snap. Located just below timberline at 11,040′ it offers access to excellent skiing and hiking on New York Mountain, and access to the rugged Holy Cross Wilderness. Next door is the Seipel Hut, which is booked separately but often used in conjunction with the Polar Star Inn for larger parties needing additional capacity.

Hut Information

Owned By

Privately Owned

Open

Summer / Winter

Winter Mileage*

5.7

Closest Town

Eagle

Hut Elevation

11,040 '

Cumulative Elevation Gain *

2,341'

Layout

Main Level: 1 bedroom with a bunk bed (2 singles), 1 bedroom with a double bed. Upstairs: 4 single beds in a communal sleeping area, 2 bedrooms that each have a double bed, 1 bedroom with a double bed and a single bed, 1 bedroom with 2 double beds.

*from Yeoman Park Trailhead (Winter)

Amenities

Heat

Wood

Oven

Propane

Refrigeration

No

Water

Spring Fed

Toilet

Outhouse, Covered Walkway

Ada Accessible

No

Sauna

Yes

Fire Ring

Yes*

Grill

Yes

Dogs

No

Charging

None

Gear Cart

Yes*

* Summer only

Details

  • Firewood, starter paper, matches, axes
  • Propane for lights, kitchen burners and oven, grill on deck
  • The cistern is spring fed. Running water is not a guarantee, snow melt in winter, or filling jugs from a hydrant in summer may be required.
  • Attached outhouse, toilet paper
  • Shared wood-fired sauna year-round, located in separate building between Polar Star and Seipel Hut
  • Shared firepit summer only, located in-between Polar Star and Seipel Hut
  • Pots, pans, potholders, dishware, cooking and eating utensils, percolator or French press, salt & pepper
  • Paper towels, dish soap, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, trash bags
  • Mattresses , pillows

Book This Hut

Polar Star Inn

Capacity

19

Price

$50/person/night*
*Children 12 & Under 50% Off

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

Location

39.52194, -106.633927

Official 10th Mountain Division Map

CalTopo

Winter Map : Charles Peak N/S Map

View / Print

National Geographic

Map : Eagles Nest/Holy Cross; Eagle/Avon

USFS

Map : White River National Forest

Trailheads/Routes

The most common route into the Polar Star Inn follows the Newcomer Spring route to just above Fulford at Nolan Creek, and from there, another 1,000 ft climb to the hut. In case of low snow conditions it is also possible to take Fulford Road (which is used by snowmobile traffic) from Yeoman Park to the Nolan Creek turnoff at Fulford, and from there follow the final 1,000 vert of single track. Navigation can be tricky on either route due to old abandoned roads and jeep trails so keep your map and compass handy and watch for the blue diamonds marking the routes.

The other route into Polar Star leaves from West Lake Creek south of Edwards. This route is less traveled and passes through a wilderness area so route finding can be more challenging. This route is also longer and gains more elevation than the routes from Yeoman Park so it is best attempted by more experienced backcountry travelers.

Winter Hut Information PDF

IMPORTANT HUT TRIP INFORMATION for MAY and JUNE RESERVATIONS: Travel conditions during May and June are highly variable. Suggested routes may be entirely snow covered, partially covered, muddy or dry. Be prepared to hike and carry skis with skins or snowshoes. Get an early start! Travelling early in the day is generally easier and faster because colder temperatures create a firmer surface. As temperatures rise, this surface changes and travel can become challenging and slow. The USFS closure gate at Yeoman Park is closed until May 21 regardless of conditions, and may remain closed after that date depending on conditions. Once open, high clearance 4 wheel drive is suggested. Call 970.925.5775 for the latest field reports.

Routes

Polar Star Inn from Yeoman Park Trailhead via Newcomer Spring/Standard Winter Route

Total Mileage

5.7

Trailhead Elevation

9,060'

Cumulative Elevation Gain

2,341'

Cumulative Elevation Loss

356'

Polar Star Inn from Yeoman Park Trailhead via Fulford Road

Total Mileage

5.8

Trailhead Elevation

9,060'

Cumulative Elevation Gain

2,116'

Cumulative Elevation Loss

122'

Polar Star Inn from West Lake Creek Trailhead via Holy Cross Wilderness

Total Mileage

6.9

Trailhead Elevation

8,220'

Cumulative Elevation Gain

3,076'

Cumulative Elevation Loss

276'

Hut to Hut/Polar Star Inn to Peter Estin Hut via Ironedge Trail

Total Mileage

7.5

Trailhead Elevation

11,040'

Cumulative Elevation Gain

2,275'

Cumulative Elevation Loss

2,133'

Hut to Hut/Polar Star Inn to Peter Estin via Hat Creek Road

Total Mileage

13.0

Trailhead Elevation

11,040'

Cumulative Elevation Gain

2,348'

Cumulative Elevation Loss

2,203'

During the summer the most common access to the Polar Star Inn is driving up the Fulford Road (Forest Road 418) to the summer closure gate approximately 1/4 mile from the hut. This road requires careful driving of a high clearance 4WD vehicle. If you prefer to hike, the Newcomer Spring route is the most commonly used access. Bikes are best served to ride the road access. Hiking in from West Lake Creek is also possible during the summer and there have been some recent improvements to this trail, but route finding challenges still exist on this lightly traveled route, and large downed trees a re common occurrence. Vehicle access is never guaranteed to any hut at any time.

Once at the Polar Star Inn, you can hike to the top of New York Peak or pick up the Nolan Lakes Trail for a beautiful hike to a high alpine basin. There are many areas of the Holy Cross Wilderness to explore, including access to the rugged, austere, and lightly traveled Gold Dust Basin and New York Lake

Summer Water Source Information
Summer Hut Information PDF

IMPORTANT HUT TRIP INFORMATION for MAY and JUNE RESERVATIONS: Travel conditions during May and June are highly variable. Suggested routes may be entirely snow covered, partially covered, muddy or dry. Be prepared to hike and carry skis with skins or snowshoes. Get an early start! Travelling early in the day is generally easier and faster because colder temperatures create a firmer surface. As temperatures rise, this surface changes and travel can become challenging and slow. The USFS closure gate at Yeoman Park is closed until May 21 regardless of conditions, and may remain closed after that date depending on conditions. Once open, high clearance 4 wheel drive is suggested. Call 970.925.5775 for the latest field reports.

Routes

4WD High Clearance to Polar Star Inn via FS Road 418

Total Mileage

8.6

Trailhead Elevation

9,060'

Cumulative Elevation Gain

2,242'

Hike on Dirt Road/Trail Combo to Polar Star Inn & Seipel Hut from West Lake Creek Trailhead

Total Mileage

8.5

Trailhead Elevation

8,220'

Cumulative Elevation Gain

3,452'

Hut-Specific Weather

Today : A slight chance of rain and snow showers between 2pm and 3pm, then a slight chance of thunderstorms and a slight chance of rain and snow showers. Sunny, with a high near 55. West southwest wind 5 to 15 mph.

Tonight : Mostly clear, with a low around 34. Southwest wind 5 to 15 mph.

Friday : A slight chance of snow showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms between noon and 1pm, then a slight chance of thunderstorms and a slight chance of rain and snow showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 54. West southwest wind 10 to 15 mph.

Friday Night : Partly cloudy, with a low around 35. West southwest wind 5 to 15 mph.

Saturday : A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 57. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Saturday Night : Partly cloudy, with a low around 38.

Sunday : Mostly sunny, with a high near 58.

Sunday Night : Partly cloudy, with a low around 37.

Monday : Sunny, with a high near 60.

Monday Night : Partly cloudy, with a low around 40.

Tuesday : Partly sunny, with a high near 62.

Tuesday Night : Mostly cloudy, with a low around 41.

Wednesday : A slight chance of rain showers after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 62.

Wednesday Night : Partly cloudy, with a low around 42.

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