Hut trips are one of the best ways to experience the true essence of Colorado high-country winter. Several organizations offer a variety of huts for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing . Colorado’s hut systems, including the famed 10th Mountain Division huts, where Breckenridge serves as a central location, are well equipped to provide warmth and the ability to rest comfortably after a vigorous day in the sun and snow during the winter and early spring.
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. Ski touring at high altitude is physically demanding and each person responds to high altitude differently. Be sensitive to any symptoms related to altitude sicknesses among members of your party.
The U.S. Forest Service recognizes that the public trails that access the huts generally require use of intermediate backcountry skiing skills. However, some trail sections are more difficult and may require more advanced skiing skills. You don’t have to be an expert but you should at least be strong and stable on your skis, and have the right equipment. Skis with metal edges, climbing skins, backcountry poles, and heavy leather or plastic boots are recommended.
Colorado’s 10th Mountain Division Hut System is linked by more than 350 miles of trails at elevations of 9,700 to 11,700 feet; it provides winter recreation enthusiasts access to the White River, Arapaho and San Isabel National Forests.