Hut trips are an extremely popular year-round venture. Scattered across the Rocky Mountains, there are 29 backcountry huts connected by 350 miles of terrain. Huts range from cozy cabins located just a few miles from a trailhead, complete with saunas (yes, you heard us right: a relaxing steam-filled sauna), to backcountry shelters that are far removed from any other signs of civilization. Breck is lucky to have multiple huts in its backyard.
If you’re looking for the ultimate backcountry experience, hut trips provide an unique opportunity for backcountry skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, coffee- sipping, book-reading, fire-making, Monopoly-playing and whiskey-drinking—not to mention the most genuine group bonding time that only the internet-less wilderness can provide.
Summit Huts are booked through 10th Mountain Division. Visit www.huts.org or call (970) 925-5775 for more information or to book your hut trip.
For more information on what to do during the winter, contact the Breck Information Specialists at (877) 864-0868. While in town, stop by the Breckenridge Welcome Center at 203 S. Main Street. You can also fill out our activity request form to receive more information or view, download or order the Breck Connection Vacation Planner.
Hut Trip FAQ
A hut trip sounds intimidating. Do I have to be in great shape to get there?
People of all ages and ability levels can enjoy a hut trip but you should have at least a basic level of fitness. You have to travel under your own power and carry your own pack and some huts are easier to access than others. Trail conditions and fresh snow can add to the difficulty if trail breaking is required.
What gear do I need for a hut trip?
Most people use either telemark or alpine touring skis and use climbing skins for going uphill. Others use lighter cross-country skis, although that type of ski is not as stable going downhill. Snowshoes are another popular option to travel to the hut.
Where can I rent gear?
You can rent any type of touring gear, including skis, spilt-boards and snowshoes, at local shops throughout Breckenridge. Check out the Breck Connection for backcountry basics: local shops for aspiring tourers for more information on where to go and what to expect.
How do I book a night at the cabin? Will I be there with people I don’t know?
The 10th Mountain Association acts as Summit Huts reservation agent. You can check availability by going to www.huts.org. In most huts, beds are booked individually. If you do not book the entire hut, you may end up sharing the hut with another party(s). The Summit Huts sleep anywhere from three people at Ken’s Cabin to a group of twenty at Francie’s and Janet’s Cabin.
Is the terrain around the cabin safe to ski on?
Summit Huts Association highly recommends guests have a basic understanding of how to recognize and avoid avalanche terrain, carry basic avalanche rescue gear and know how to use it, and understand basic avalanche protocol. Hut-goers ski at their own risk and should be prepared.
What materials are at the cabin and what should I plan on bringing?
Again, each hut differs in terms of supplies and accommodations so it’s best to refer to the 10th Mountain Division website to learn more about the type of accommodation before booking. For example, at Francie’s Cabin, located south of Breckenridge, you will find a complete kitchen outfitted with propane burners, cookware, utensils, plates, bowls, etc. There are solar-powered electric lights. Trash bags and cleaning supplies are provided. A wood-burning stove provides heat and firewood is provided. Beds have pillows and sheets. Francie’s also comes equipped with an indoor composting toilet. Water for guests is obtained by melting snow found around the hut so dogs are not allowed at the huts due to possible water contamination. Bring your own clothing, food, sleeping bag and toiletries. For a complete list of what to expect and what to bring, visit www.summithuts.org.
What about when I get there - what are my responsibilities as a hut guest?
The hut experience is unique in that guests are responsible for getting themselves to the hut. That means finding routes and being prepared for winter and summer travel. Once at the hut, it's all about the honor system. Guests sort out what beds they're going to use and cook and clean up after themselves. Guests are responsible for hauling out all trash and leftovers and leaving the hut clean and stocked with wood and water for the next group. This system works remarkably well, but is totally dependent on folks taking complete responsibility for themselves.
Any hints on packing light?
Pack simply. When you're packing ask, "Do I really need this?" Keep meals and packaging as simple as possible—it’s similar to packing for a backpacking camping trip. The biggest extra weight people usually bring is alcohol, so ask yourself if you really need all that booze. Your back will thank you.