• Activities:

    Snowboarding, Skiing, Snowshoeing

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:


  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    3.1 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    750 Feet

Easy Parking
Family Friendly

One of the easiest to reach backcountry huts in Colorado.

Vance's Cabin is a private hut near Tennessee Pass booked by the 10th mountain division. The hut was completed in 1988 and sleeps 16; 6 beds upstairs in a loft and 10 bunk beds downstairs in a communal bunked area around the wood stove.  

It's a compact cabin compared to some of the other huts in the system but there's still enough space. The hut comes stocked with padded mattresses, wood & fuel, propane stove with burners, all cookware and utensils, some games/puzzles/books, and sitting/eating areas. You can skin up nearby Taylor Hill and get in a few turns as well, but it's not the best ski destination, farther east on Chicago Ridge is better but there's more avalanche risk. huts.org/The_Huts/Vances

To access the hut from Tennessee Pass, park in the Hut Parking near Ski Cooper, the sign is on a tree on your right as you enter. Start from the Nordic Trail system in the NE corner of the Ski Cooper parking lot. Follow the maintained Nordic trail NE along a ditch for 3/4 mile then split left at the gulch. Leave the Nordic trail here and ski up the gulch for 1/4 mile to a large clearing. Continue through the clearing to the north end of the saddle at 10,963 ft then continue East for a short distance before swinging back North and making a 1/2-mile traverse along the west face of Taylor Hill. You'll enter an open area above and slightly to the East of the hut at 11,160 feet, turn left here and descend 1/4 mile to Vance's Cabin. The hut is surrounded by trees but other structures can be seen as you approach it. 

Pack List

  • Reservations: huts.org
  • Snow transportation: Backcountry Skis w/ skins, Snowshoes, Splitboard, Nordic Skis
  • Avalanche safety gear (optional if not skiing around the hut): 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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