HUT TO HUT distances are usually longer than from trailhead to hut. Use winter specific topographic maps. Routes between huts are not often used so may not be tracked; navigation and breaking trail may be particularly challenging.
Ski SW and W from Uncle Bud’s Hut a short distance down into the clearing in the drainage (Bud’s Gulch) west of the hut. Cross to the west side of the clearing and locate the obvious Forest Service “double post” trailhead sign (11,240 feet); this marks the Main Range/Colorado Trail. Ski W out of Bud’s Gulch on the Main Range/Colorado Trail. It takes a short climb up over a timbered rib, then traverses 1/4 mile to the top of a clearing at 11,240 feet. Ski downhill a short distance, then ski between north and south Galena Lakes. Continue W then SW to pass the south edge of a small lake and climb via several switchbacks to timberline (11,400 feet) on the south ridge of Galena Mountain.
From timberline descend an open slope W and SW and take care to find the trail as it enters the trees. Descend this trail 2 miles through forest to 10,040 feet in the Lake Fork drainage. Here you join the Glacier Creek trail that climbs to the Skinner Hut from the Turquoise Lake Road. It’s very important to find this trail, since it follows the only feasible route to the hut.
For positive identification of the Glacier Creek trail, remember that the trail leaves the road at the upper north end of a curve that turns from west to south. The Glacier Creek trail is marked with blue diamonds. You’ll see a Forest Service trailhead marker after you start up the trail that indicates Timberline Lake Trail, but the marker can’t be seen from the road.
After leaving the Turquoise Lake Road, follow the Glacier Creek route as it stays in the valley for a short distance, then bears left and follows a distinct cut through the forest. Soon you’ll be on a steep climb through small clearings and timber, then break into a large clearing at 10,760 feet. This is called the Lunch Spot. Take a rest so you’re ready for the next section of trail— steep climbing ahead! Continue upvalley from the Lunch Spot across open flats. Enter the woods again at the upper end of the last clearing. From here the trail climbs steeply up the apex of the drainage, eventually reaching a small clearing at 11,400 feet. This is where the real challenge begins.
Cross the bottom end of the clearing (one at a time for possible avalanche danger), then follow a series of steep sidehill switchbacks that climb through forest to the Hagerman Pass Road at 11,600 feet. Turn left (E), ski the road a short distance, then follow a well-marked blue diamond trail a short distance to the hut. If you miss the blue diamonds the road-cut is obvious, but skiing the road will take you past the hut if you’re not careful. The Skinner Hut is located a few hundred feet north of Hagerman Pass Road at 11,620 feet. You can not see the hut from the road.
Locations of Observed or Reported Avalanche Activity: No avalanche activity has been reported along this suggested route.