What do I do in an Emergency?
Self-rescue is the responsibility of your group. If a member of your group is injured on the trail or at the hut, you cannot rely on outside help. Your group must be prepared and equipped for a bivouac, rescue, evacuation, equipment repair, and any other unexpected mishap. Every group should have complete first aid and repair kits. The County Sheriff should be contacted in the event of an emergency. Call 911, the Summit County Sheriff at 970-453-2232, or Summit County Dispatch at 970-668-8600.
Before your trip, leave the following information with a responsible friend or relative:
- Your automobile make and license plate, the trailhead you will be parking at, and the Summit County Sheriff’s phone number.
- Your exact travel plans, including dates, hut, ski routes, and your plans in the case of an emergency.
Where are Maps and Trailhead Information to the huts?
To purchase maps, please visit the 10th Mountain Store.
Are the routes marked or maintained?
Our trails to the huts are marked intermittently with blue diamonds. Trail markers often aren’t visible from one marker to the next, so route finding is an essential skill for a successful trip.
Routes are not maintained in the Winter, so do not expect to find a broken or groomed trail. Even shorter trips with minimal elevation gain can become very challenging in whiteout conditions or if you have to break trail through fresh snow. Map and compass skills are essential.
Is there avalanche danger?
Being in the backcountry skiing or snowshoeing, there is always the possibility for an avalanche. We recommend staying on our marked trails and avoiding any detours to minimize avalanche danger. Each group should have at least one person knowledgable in avalanche awareness, route finding, and first aid.
Before you go, be aware of the Winter travel restrictions in place by reviewing the Travel Management Implementation website and review avalanche conditions for your area on the Colorado Avalanche Information Center‘s website.
What should I pack?
Planning a hut trip is about more than just finding an open date! The huts are stocked with supplies to make your stay comfortable and your pack light.
Take a look at what amenities you will find at each hut before you pack:
Check In/Check Out Times
Hut check in time is 2:00 pm. Please time your travels so you arrive after 2:00 pm.
Check out time is 11am. Please be ready to depart by 11am. Upon departure, have your bags packed, cabin clean, and complete all items on the “Departure Checklist” (posted at each cabin).
What do we do for water?
Winter Use: Winter hut users will find large pots at the huts for melting snow. We advise that parties clean and refill snowmelt pots upon arrival at the hut. Snowmelt water should be treated or filtered before drinking.
Sisters Cabin has a pump in the kitchen to bring up water that is collected from the roof and stored in a cistern below the floor. This water should be treated before use. Availability of this water is dependent on precipitation and conservation by previous users, so please do not rely on water in the cistern. Sisters Cabin is also equipped with a snow-melt system in the vestibule.
Summer Use: In the summer, water is collected from springs and streams. All water should be treated or filtered before drinking.Francie’s and Janet’s Cabins have water sources within 50 yds.
Can I bring my dog?
Dogs are not permitted at or near the huts. This is due to social, aesthetic, wildlife concerns, and because of the need to melt snow for water. A U.S. Forest Supervisor’s Order prohibits dogs within 200 feet of all Summit Huts Cabins. Violations are punishable by law.
What is good Hut Etiquette?
People visit the huts for all kinds of different reasons; outdoor recreation, celebrating, getting friends and family together or unplugging and enjoying the wilderness to name just a few. When sharing a hut with other groups a little common-sense courtesy can go a long way towards making sure everyone at the hut has a pleasant and memorable experience. We would suggest you read over our “Hut Etiquette 101” document for some helpful suggestions on how to make sure everyone has a great hut trip.
Can I snowshoe to the huts?
Yes, traveling to the huts on snowshoes is an option. If you are not a confident backcountry skier or are new to traveling with a pack in the Winter, snowshoes can be a good choice.
Are snowmobiles allowed to access the huts?
No, snowmobiles are prohibited to access any cabin in the Summit Huts system. The US Forest Service for the White River National Forest does not allow motorized travel to or near any hut during the Winter season. Violators will be subject to fines.
Are there huts that are handicap accessible?
Three of Summit Huts cabins are handicap accessible. Francie’s Cabin and Sisters Cabin were built in accordance with ADA standards, and the Section House will also accommodate persons with disabilities. However, none of the trails are considered “easy access” as the trails to the cabins are backcountry experiences. For more information, please contact Summit Huts at (970) 453-8583.
What is the Reservation Lottery?
The Reservation Lottery is a system of early reservations intended to fairly allocate limited winter hut space. The lottery occurs each March for the following Winter season. All lottery forms are due by February 15th every year. All Summit Huts Members and 10th Mountain Members are eligible to submit one lottery entry form each year for the opportunity to book one trip itinerary. One member may book an itinerary that consists of multiple consecutive nights and may reserve for a group of people. Here you can find more information on the Reservation Lottery and Summit Huts Memberships.
Why is the Reservation Lottery and Booking through 10th Mountain’s website?
As a small non-profit organization, Summit Huts works in conjunction with our brother organization, the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association, for our annual Reservation Lottery and our Bookings.
What is the Vail Pass Fee?
The Vail Pass Fee is a user fee charged for Winter recreation in the Vail Pass area. If you are booking a Winter trip to Janet’s Cabin, the fee will be charged at the time you make your reservation.
Hut users pay per night of hut booking, instead of per day as area day users do. The fee is $10.00 per adult. Children 15 and under are free.
Can I hire a guide?
Several guide services offer trips to some of the huts. These businesses operate under special use permit with the US Forest Service. It is not legal to pay someone to accompany you to the hut, deliver your equipment, prepare your meals, etc. if they do not have a US Forest Service Permit. Currently, there are no permits allowing guides to operate to Sisters Cabin.
For a list of permitted guide services, please visit Guide Services.
How are the huts cleaned?
The policy is for our Hut Users to leave the hut cleaner than when you arrived. ALL trash and food MUST be collected and carried out. Trash bags, brooms, and additional cleaning supplies are available at the hut. We also have our Hut Masters make weekly trips to the huts to ensure a quality experience for our users. For more information on our policies, please visit our page Clean Huts are Happy Huts.
What is the Cancellation Policy?
For cancellations, please contact 10th Mountain Division Hut Association 30 days prior to your trip start date in order to receive an 80% hut credit for a future trip.
Cancellations made less than 30 days prior to your trip start date will result in forfeiture of your payment. No refunds.
10th Mountain Division Hut Association: Please call: (970) 925-5775 Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any additional questions or need more information about Summit Huts, please Contact Us.