Beginning at the trailhead, travel approximately .3 miles west up the road to a fork in the road where the suggested route begins and goes towards the creek. Cross the creek and follow the trail along the north side of the creek for an east ascent of just under a mile to a well marked intersection with the trail coming in from Tennessee Pass. Turn left (southeast) towards the 10th Mountain Division Hut. After another short climb and some curves you’ll intersect Wurt’s Ditch Road. Continue straight on the Colorado Trail.
Continue as the suggested route takes you on a west and northwest route leading up the North Fork of West Tennessee Creek 1 mile to pass just north of Lily Lake (10,589 feet). Swing right (north) as you pass Lily Lake, cross the creek and a marshy area, then climb north for 1/2 mile to a low-angled clearing. From here the route climbs northwest for 1 1/4 miles along the south side of the south fork of Slide Creek through a series of clearings until it reaches the south end of a large flat marshy area just below and to the south of the hut. The trail to this point can be confusing because of myriad snowmobile and ski tracks. In general, it follows the south Slide Creek drainage, but winds around enough to make “drainage tracking” hard. Your best insurance is to take great care near Lily Lake to identify the distinct cone of Homestake Peak. Using this as a landmark, pay attention to your map, compass, and altimeter to stick to the trail. The suggested route has blue diamonds, but don’t depend on them for navigation.
You can see the hut from the south side of the last low-angled marshy clearing—it’s perched on a low-angled hillside on the north side of the clearing. With poor visibility this could be a confusing area, so take care.
Locations of Observed or Reported Avalanche Activity: No avalanche activity has been reported along this suggested route.
Crane Park Trailhead :
Drive I-70 5 miles west from Vail Resorts or 55 miles east from Glenwood Springs to the Minturn exit (Exit 171). Follow Highway 24 for approximately 24.1 miles and turn right (west) off the highway onto a dirt road. There is a sign mounted on an antique road-grader for Webster’s Sand and Gravel.
To reach the Crane Park Trailhead from Leadville, find the intersection of Highway 24 and 91 at the north end of Leadville and drive north on Highway 24 for 7.3 miles and take a left onto the aforementioned road with the sign for Webster’s Sand and Gravel.
The Crane Park Trailhead parking is marked with blue 10th Mountain signs. It is in an obvious area within sight of the main road.