Blue Lakes Hut

The San Juan Hut Systems Blue Lakes Hut sits at an elevation of 9,380 feet, one-quarter mile up and west of the summer trailhead for Blue Lakes and Mount Sneffels. Situated at the base of an old logging cut, under the towering peak of Mount Sneffels (14,150′), the Blue Lakes Hut is frequently used in conjunction with the North Pole Hut and Ridgway Hut for multi-day backcountry adventures.

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The Blue Lakes Hut accommodates eight people via padded bunk style-beds.  Amenities include a propane stove, propane lamp, wood stove, firewood, cookware, and utensils. Bunk beds include 4 inch vinyl covered sleeping pads.

During the summer months water is available from the nearby stream. Hut users are responsible for treating water with Iodine, Pump/Filter, or UV Scanner. Five gallon water jugs can be obtained upon request at the San Juan Hut Systems office in Ridgway.

The North Pole Hut is available for summer use from May 1st through November 30th. Cost is $30/person/night (maximum of 8 people).  View our summer availability calendar and call 970-626-3033 to make a reservation.

Route Miles Ascent Descent
Winter Trailhead to Blue Lakes Hut
5.2
1,180’ 0’
North Pole Hut to Blue Lakes Hut
7.2
1,500’ 1,020’
Blue Lakes Hut to Ridgway Hut 5.0 2,040’ 1,200

Approach
Drive 9.5 miles on CR7 to the hut.

Activities
The information provide on this page is intended to give our guests ideas on potential activities at The Blue Lakes Hut, but the possibilities are endless. We provide more detailed route descriptions only for the trails accessing the hut and and between huts upon booking. Please note, the times given here are estimates for the total time needed for the outing.

Hiking
Blue Lakes Hut has something for everyone, from young kids to the most avid mountain adventurers.

-Blue Lakes, 3-4 hours, Moderate/Intermediate. 3.5 Miles and 1,600 feet of vertical elevation gain.

-Blaine Basin Alpine Cirque, 4-6 hours, Moderate. An enjoyable day hike up the Wilson Creek/Blaine Basin Trail to the Alpine Cirque of Blaine Basin under the 2,000’ face of Mt. Sneffels.

-For the ‘Wee-Ones, .5-2 hours, Moderate. Gentle hikes through meadows and aspen groves on old trails and mining roads to the west of the hut

-Water Play Area, 1-3 hours, Moderate. One mile up the Blue Lakes Trail a tributary stream that flows into the East Dallas Creek provides a great place for Kids to play in the water on a hot summer afternoon with big views of the rocky peaks surrounding.

-Blaine Basin Alpine Cirque, 4-5 hours, Moderate. An enjoyable day hike up the Wilson Creek/Blaine Basin Trail to the Alpine Cirque of Blain Basin under the 2,000’ face of Mt. Sneffels.

Mountaineering Mt. Sneffels (14,150′), Advanced/Expert. A circumnavigation of Mt. Sneffels, with or without a summit are done from Blue Lakes Hut. A classic big day in the mountains entails hiking the Blue Lakes Trail past all three of the lakes to the top of Blue Lakes Pass (13,100′). From the pass there are two choices to climb mount Sneffles. The Big Day Route would be to ascend the southwest ridge directly from the pass to the summit. This is easy 3rd class climbing. NOT a route for a day with lightning potential. The less exposed route to the summit descends the east side of Blue Lakes Pass into the flower laden basin above the town of Ouray. Ascent of the peak is achieved from the east up the Lavender Couloir. Descent from both of these routes travels down the Lavender Couloir, dropping into upper Blaine Basin, and takes climbers into the north side environs of Mt. Sneffels and into the alpine cirque of Blaine Basin. Return to Blue Lakes Hut via the Wilson Creek Trail.

-North Face of Mt. Sneffels (14,150′), 6-11 hours, Expert. There are several rock/alpine variations up the north face. All require rock climbing gear and/or crampons and ice-tools, and alpine knowledge.

Peak Bagging
There is great opportunity for peak bagging of seldom visited peaks over Blue Lakes in the high remote basins above the hut such as Wolcott (13,041′), Mears(13,496′), Reconnoitter (12,980), Gilpin(13,694′), and Dallas Peak(13,809′).

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