• Activities:

    Snowboarding, Photography, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Backpacking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Winter

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    6 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1900 Feet

Bathrooms
Forest
Groups
Scenic

Ski to a backcountry cabin and grab some turns on Copper Mountain on the way out! Oh yeah, there's a sauna too!

Janet's Cabin is located on the eastern slope of the Continental Divide at 11,610 ft, near Copper Mountain ski resort. This hut is one of the rare huts with not only a sauna but indoor bathrooms (composting pits)!  The cabin was built in 1990 and due to the location helicopters were required to bring in materials; I recommend reading about the construction issues and helicopter crashes while building. This hut is not accessible by snowmobile or ATV so all supplies are brought in via helicopter.

The hut comes stocked with padded mattresses, wood stoves & fuel, propane burners, all cookware and utensils, some games/puzzles/books, guitar, and sitting and eating areas. The hut sleeps up to 20 people.

To access the hut from Copper Mountain park in the employee area of the Alpine Lot on the NE corner across from the Transportation Center. Ride the shuttle to West Village/Union Creek. Route info and other approaches can be found here: huts.org/The_Huts/JanetsCabin

Option one: ride the liftsThe popular option is to ride K and L lifts to the top of "West Tenmile" ski trail. You can get a one-ride lift ticket by presenting your 10th Mountain confirmation letter at the ticket window at Union Creek. Ski about 1/4 mile down the extreme W (left) side of the West Tenmile ski trail to a backcountry gate in the ski reasort boundary at 10,640 feet. A blue diamond marked trail heads from the gate W through the forest.

Option two: hikeSki .6 miles up the extreme west (looker's right) side of "Roundabout" ski run to the base of L lift. Continue up the extreme west (looker's right) side of "West Tenmile" ski run .6 miles to where a backcountry gate marks the ski trail leaving the ski area boundary at an elevation of 10,640 feet. A blue diamond marked trail heads from the gate W through the forest.

In either case, after you leave the ski area follow an obvious trail-cut (take your skins off) as it traverses then drops W into the Guller Creek drainage to cross Jacque Creek and Guller Creek in an open area at 10,460 feet. From the crossing, the trail stays on the N side of the creek for 2 miles to about 11,120 feet. Here the valley widens and becomes very low angled. Switch to the S side of the creek here, and continue up the drainage another mile to where the valley steepens and narrows. Put your skins on here.

FYI: If lifts aren't running then make a skin path up to the top, don't take the Guller Creek drainage route from the bottom shown on some maps like I did. It's full of deep snow, head-high willows, trees, multiple creek crossings, and no clear path. 

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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