Welcome to ThinkVail – we hope you find this article about hut trips Colorado helpful.
Hut trips are, hands down, one of the best ways to experience the Colorado high-country. These wonderful cabins and yurts are the perfect reward at the end of an invigorating day of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking or hiking.
Check out this insider’s list of Huts located near Vail, Colorado complete with a video of each one so you’ll know what to expect.
10th Mountain Division hut trips are a must-do activity while in Colorado. Get out into the solitude of nature enjoy breathtaking views, food, friends, wine, a wood burning stove… and lots of stars. It is not an experience to be missed. Visits the huts individually or reserve multiple huts for a hut to hut trekking experience.
The use fees are low, about $30/night, or for a private experience, book an entire hut for a flat fee.
The off-the-grid huts are quaint, comfortable and rustic. All have composting toilets, propane burners, basic cooking utensils, firewood, photovoltaic lighting (usually), shovels and buckets for collecting snow melt. You will need to pack in your own water during the summer months. There is also single beds, private doubles, and communal sleeping areas. Some offer saunas to relax tired muscles after a strenuous day in the back-country. Make reservations far in advance to ensure availability.
The Colorado Hut & Yurt Association offer a list of all available cabins and yurts in the area and there are lots, available for use. visit their website at huts.org/cohutsyurts
See also: Year’s Top Rated Snowshoes
Most huts are available July 1 through September 30 for summer rental and Thanksgiving through April 30 for winter rental unless otherwise noted.
The Eisman Hut offers views of the rugged peaks of Colorado’s Gore Range and is the 10th Mountain Hut System’s most alpine hostel. Terrain rules this amazing location: out of the hut door is arguably the best skiing of any 10th hut, and farther out are stunning views of Vail ski slopes.
This hut was built in 1996 and sleeps 16. It offers a wood burning stove, 2 private bedrooms with double beds, and 12 single beds in a communal sleeping area.
The Eiseman Hut is north of Interstate Highway 70, about 7 miles north of Vail at an elevation of 11,180′.
The Fowler/Hilliard Hut is located 6 miles west of Vail Pass at an elevation of 11,500 feet. Built in 2010, the hut offers excellent skiing in the winter and miles of Forest Service roads to explore in the summer.
It is one of the most popular huts in the 10th Mountain Division Hut System, averaging over 2,300 user nights.
Layout and capacity: The Fowler Hillard Hut sleeps 16. There is 1 room with a double bed, 1 room with 4 single beds, and 10 single beds in a communal sleeping area. It is also handicap accessible during summer.
Janet’s is located on the far north end of the Gore Range at the base of Searle Pass at 11,610′ elevation. It is 5 miles south of Vail Pass and Interstate Highway 70 near Copper Mountain Ski Resort. The beautifully crafted 3,000 square foot cabin boasts a large front sunny deck, where you watch skiers descend from the high bowls. This hut offers a variety of routes for a range of ability levels.
Janet’s Cabin was built in 1990, and sleeps 20 people in the winter and 14 people in the summer. There is a wood burning stove and a sauna
Beds are all upstairs, bunk-style in 4 different rooms (1 room with 1 single bunk and 2 single beds, 2 rooms with a double bunk and 2 single beds, and 1 room with 2 double bunks, no double beds).
Built in 1985, this hut stands two stories high with a huge deck jutting from the front door. Plenty of glass faces the south views. It is located in a clearing on a timbered saddle just northwest of Charles Peak at an elevation of 12,050 feet. There are stunning views of the Elk and Williams mountains to the south. Centered in a vast forested area, the hut provides access to myriad trails, dirt roads, and an alpine ridge.
The Peter Estin Hut sleeps 16. There is a wood burning stove and 4 single beds downstairs, 2 private bedrooms upstairs with one double bed each, and 8 beds in a communal sleeping area upstairs.
Polar Star Inn is located just below timberline at 11,040′ on the west side of New York Mountain and offers access to excellent skiing. It is a lovely, tall-standing structure with a big deck that looks west over the Colorado Plateau: perfect for watching the sunset.
Right next door is the Seipel Hut, it is booked separately but often used in conjunction with the Polar Star Inn for larger parties needing additional space. It has a wood burning stove, running water from a spring-fed cistern during the summer & winter, a sauna for relaxing and a propane grill out on the deck. There is also a large fire pit as well.
The Polar Star sleeps 19. It has 1 bedroom with a 2 bunk beds, 1 bedroom with a double bed. 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.
Located near Leadville and nestled at the timberline of the Colorado Continental Divide at an elevation of 11,370′, the 10th Mountain Division Hut forms a perfect destination for a single hut trip or ski-through connecting to other nearby huts. In summer, dozens of hiking and cycling routes start or end just outside the door.
The 10th Mountain Hut sleeps 16. It offers a wood burning stove and has 2 private bedrooms, 1 with 6 beds, 1 with 4 beds, and a communal sleeping area with 1 double bed and 4 single beds.
Located near Camp Hale and Leadville, CO on the western slope of the Continental Divide at an elevation of 11,660′. Jackal Hut offers good nearby skiing and terrific views of several stunning 14,000-foot peaks.
The Jackal Hut sleeps 16. It has a wood burning stove and 1 room with 3 single beds, 1 room with 4 single beds, and 9 single beds in a communal sleeping area.
Located near Leadville, Colorado near the top of the Continental Divide at an elevation of 10,500′. This hut is.perfect for trips with kids or older family members as it is less than a mile from the Tennessee Pass Trailhead and is relatively easy to get to. It also serves as a connection between the 10th Mountain Division Hut, Sangree’s Hut, and Vance’s Cabin. It sits just a few hundred yards from the Continental Divide Cabin. There are over fifteen miles of rewarding ski touring and snowshoe trails ranging from beginner to intermediate. Nearby Chicago Ridge and Ski Cooper offers the closest “turns”.
Point Breeze Cabin sleeps eight (8). Two private bedrooms and an additional four beds in the common area. All beds are singles.
There is a small solar refrigerator, solar lights, a wood burning stove, an outdoor propane grill, 2 portable cribs, a high chair, a potty seat and a nearby tipi.
Dates Open: Summer: May 25th through Thanksgiving. Winter: Thanksgiving through 30 April
While located far enough from paved roads to keep a back country mood, the cabins of Shrine Mountain Inn are perhaps the least difficult 10th Mountain “ski in” huts to access. An ideal first hut trip, these cabins are 2.7 miles from Interstate Highway 70, Vail Pass Trailhead.
Shrine Mountain Inn consists of three separate cabins (Jay’s, Chuck’s, Walter’s) that sleep 12 each and are booked separately. The huts offer spectacular views of the Gore Range to the west and the 10-Mile range to the east.
A shared sauna is located between Chuck’s and Jay’s, and propane grills are provided at each cabin.
1 bedroom with a double bed, 1 bedroom with 2 single beds, 1 single bed in the hall. Main floor: 1 bedroom with a queen. Downstairs: 5 single beds in a communal sleeping area. There is also hot and cold running water. Two indoor bathrooms with flush toilets, one with shower, one with bathtub. Kitchen has cook oven and stove top, refrigerator and generator powered lighting.
2 bedrooms, 1 with a double bed, 1 with 2 single beds, and 2 single day beds in the main room. There is hot and cold running water, refrigerator. Two indoor bathrooms with flush toilets, a bathtub and a shower. Wood burning heat stove, propane cook oven and stove top, generator powered lighting.
2 bedrooms: 1 with a queen bed, 1 with 2 single beds, and 2 single day beds in the main room. There is a wood burning heat stove, hot and cold running water, refrigerator, indoor bathrooms with showers, flush toilets. Propane oven, and generator powered lighting.
Shrine Mountain Inn cabins are open all year round.
Piney Guard Station is a rustic 1-room cabin constructed in the 1930s. It is located located at 9,100′ elevation in the White River National Forest, Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District, near Vail. This 14 by 22-ft. cabin is nestled in a forest dominated by aspen, spruce, pine and fir trees. Guests enjoy views of the Gore Mountain Range and view wildlife like moose and bald eagles. A Forest Service road leading to the cabin is used by mountain bikers, hikers, snowshoers, cross-country skiers and snowmobilers. This area is popular for hunting big and small game, game birds and waterfowl.
Piney Guard Station can sleep up to four people. It contains a bunk bed, two cots, storage cabinets, a table and benches, and a wood stove.
See also: Winter Hiking Checklist
See also: Summer Hut Trip Gear
Have you ever stayed at one of Colorado’s 10 Mountain Division Huts or any of the Cabins or Yurts in the Colorado Hut & Yurt Association? How was your experience, which was your favorite hut? What would you do differently next time? Please tell us your thoughts, comments and most of all stories connected with these 10th Division Huts, we would love to hear them! Thanks for reading
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Thanks for your article about Colorado Huts. I have stayed at Shrine Mountain Inn before, a group of us went up to the cabin and had a wonderful weekend skiing and hiking around and just enjoying the rustic quality of being off the grid, it was so cool.
I did not realize that it was a trail system and that you could also hike from hut to hut to hut, staying at a new hut each night. That sounds so cool. How do I find out more about that?
Hi Anna, I am so happy to hear that you have stayed and enjoyed one of the Colorado Huts in the area. Yes, the 10th Mtn. Division trail system runs from Vail to Aspen and it is the most extensive ski hut system in Colorado. This group has created a trail with closely spaced huts, all accessible by intermediate ski touring trails. Currently, there are over 30 huts that connect to these trails.
In the winter, this is serious backcountry skiing. The average route is 6-7 miles long and climbs 1500-2500 feet in elevation from a trailhead that is at 8,000 feet or higher. You can plan your route and reserve cabins along this route by going to the 10th Mountain Division website. They have a ton of information and can answer all of your questions. Huts are available in the winter and in the summer.