• Activities:

    Snowboarding, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Backpacking

  • Skill Level:

    Advanced

  • Season:

    Winter

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    24.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    4700 Feet

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
Groups
Lake
Scenic

Complete one of the more challenging hut-to-hut loops in the 10th Mountain Division system and the reward is two remote, world-class huts in a winter wonderland of skiing and mountain scenery. Once at the huts, you can enjoy a group meal, read a book, build a puzzle, or just enjoy the view.

The trek starts just outside of Leadville near Turquoise Lake at 9800 ft. The first day you'll travel 6.5 miles and gain 1700 ft. to Uncle Bud's Hut, which sits around 11,400 ft. The second day you'll ski 7.1 miles to Skinner Hut and gain 2100 ft, mostly in the last 3 miles after having dropped back down to 10,000 ft in the valley; the hut sits around 11,600 ft. The third day is 10.9 miles back to the TH, but with only 900 ft. of gain and long sections of downhill.

(The section between Uncle Bud's and Skinner hut is very grueling, prone to deep snow, and hard to follow at times. Snowshoes or nordic skis are not recommended due to the steepness of the terrain.)

Between the two huts, Uncle Bud's has better views and better sleeping quarters, the skiing is arguably better at Skinner Hut though. Both huts come stocked with padded mattresses, wood stoves & fuel, propane burners, all cookware and utensils, some games/puzzles/books, large sitting and eating areas, and a sense of remoteness not found in other rustic cabins.

Pack List

  • Reservations: huts.org
  • Snow transportation: Backcountry Skis w/ skins (recommended), Nordic Skis, Snowshoes, Splitboard
  • Avalanche safety gear: Beacon, Probe, Shovel, Avy Air Bag (optional)
  • Winter travel/topo maps: huts.org/In_The_Field/system_maps.php
  • Food & Water: Huts have gas stoves and snow can be melted for water
  • Snacks
  • Coffee/Hot chocolate
  • Backpack
  • Ski wear & warm layers
  • Down booties or warm footwear
  • Sleeping bag: Huts are heated with a wood stove and depending where you sleep a lightweight bag might be enough
  • Headlamp
  • Camera
  • Adult beverages for après
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Jason Hatfield Explorer

Adventure and travel photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. I teach photography workshops and offer private guiding around the west. More at jasonjhatfield.com

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