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Cross-country Skiing: Colorado > Colorado Backcountry Huts

Quick Facts

Summit Hut System

Advanced Terrain: accessible from all sites
Capacity: varies from 3 - 20 individuals People
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Elevation: varies above 11,200 ft.
Intermediate Terrain: several shelters in system
Number of Sites: 4 shelters in system
Reservation Contact: 970.925.5775 Tenth Mountain Division Hut Association
Reservation Status: Required
Usage: Heavy
Vehicle Accessibility: varies The huts are accessible only by cross-country skiis or snowshoes during winter months.




Satellite and Topo Map




General Description

The Summit Hut System consists of four shelters within the boundaries of Summit County Colorado. The huts are administered by the Summit Hut Association, a nonprofit entity. The shelters lie on public lands in the White River and Pike-San Isabel National Forests and are open to everyone via the reservation system.

The Ken's and Section House huts lie on the summit of Boreas Pass at an elevation of 11,481 feet. Both structures were initially used during the nineteenth century and recently renovated through a cooperative project. They are open only for winter use, as Bores Pass Road provides vehicle access to the area during the warmer months. Ken's hut sleeps up to three people and the Section House sleeps 12 individuals. They both include a wood stove for heat, fire wood, outhouse and kitchen facilities.

France's Cabin lies south of Breckenridge Ski Resort, on the eastern slope of the Ten Mile Range in the Crystal Creek drainage. It lies at an elevation of 11,264 feet and is open during the summer and winter seasons. The sleeping capacity for this hut is 20 during the winter and 14 in summer. Amenities include a wood-burning stove, cooking and eating utensils, cook stove, sauna, electric lights and indoor toilets.

Janet's Cabin lies south of Copper Mountain Resort in the Gore Mountain range at the head of Guller Creek. It has a short approach from Copper Mountain and is often very crowded. This shelter is open only during winter and can accommodate up to 20 people. It is the connecting hut between the Summit shelters and the Tenth Mountain Division shelters. Amenities at Janet's Cabin include a wood-burning stove, cooking and eating utensils, cook stove, sauna, electric lights and indoor toilets.

The terrain surrounding the Summit Huts should not be attempted by novice skiers, although some of the approaches are seemingly mild. Skiers should be prepared for harsh weather, including windy and white out conditions. The France's Cabin trek should be attempted by experts only, where as the other three shelters provide challenging terrain for intermediate and expert skiers.

Directions from Copper Mountain Resort: Backcountry travelers can gain access to Janet's Cabin via the K or L lifts on Copper Mountain.

Directions from Breckenridge Ski Resort: Access to Francie's Cabin can be gained via the base of Peak 9.

Directions from Boreas Pass Road: To reach Ken's and Section House huts, backcountry travelers should drive south out of Breckenridge to Colorado Road 10. Follow road 10 to the winter trailhead for Boreas Pass Road.



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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Summit Hut System
Yes
ICON Cross-country Skiing Summit Hut System
Yes
ICON Cold Water Fishing Summit Hut System
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking Summit Hut System
Yes
ICON Plant Identification Summit Hut System
Yes
ICON Lodging Summit Hut System
Yes
ICON Mountain Biking Summit Hut System
Yes
ICON Backcountry Skiing Summit Hut System
Yes
ICON Snowshoeing Summit Hut System
Yes
ICON Viewing Scenery Summit Hut System
Yes



Related Activities
Alfred A. Braun Hut System - The Alfred A. Braun system of huts was the first to be established in Colorado shortly after World War II. These sites are recommended for intermediate and advanced backcountry skiers only.

Friends Hut, Elkton Cabins, Forrest Queen Cabin - Five backcountry cabins are accessible from the Crested Butte area. The backcountry in this region is particularly prone to avalanches, due to the steepness of the terrain.

Hinsdale Haute Route - This yurt system lies south of Lake City in the Gunnison and Rio Grande National Forests. It provides opportunities for beginner, intermediate and advanced backcountry skiers.

Never Summer Yurts - This hut system is open through all seasons for biking, backpacking, snowshoeing and skiing. It lies within Colorado State Forest State Park.

San Juan Hut System - This hut system consists of five huts in the northern San Juan Mountains. Terrain includes appropriate beginner, intermediate and expert slopes.

San Juan Hut System - This route lead 206 miles from Telluride, Colorado, to Moab, Utah, through diverse and changing terrain.

Tenth Mountain Division Hut System - This hut system is the most popular in the state and consists of 20 backcountry cabins. The terrain surrounding these shelters is some of the highest in the state.



More Information

Links to other sites:
Tenth Mountain Division Hut System - Official Tenth Mountain Hut System website for reservations and further information.

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