The Ridgway Hut is ….

 

Layout: The Ridgway Hut accommodates eight people via padded bunk style-beds.  The hut includes a propane stove, propane lamp, wood stove, firewood, cookware, and utensils.

Water: In the winter, water is obtained by melting snow.  In the summer, water is available from a nearby spring. Hut users are responsible for treating water with Iodine, Pump/Filter, or UV Scanner.

Location: Location: Ridgway Hut (10,200’) is located under the North Slopes of Reconnoiter Peak (12,980′) This hut sits in the midst of a spruce forest, but don’t let its forested seclusion deceive you. A wealth of high, rugged peaks lie directly above the hut. It is frequently used in conjunction with the  Blue Lakes and Burn huts for multi-day adventures.

Route Miles Ascent Descent
Winter Trailhead to Ridgway Hut
6.5
1,980′ 450’
Blue Lakes Hut to Ridgway Hut
5.0
2,040′ 1,200’
Ridgway Hut to Burn Hut 5.0 900’ 1,160′

Dates and Prices: The Ridgway hut is available for winter use year round.  It costs $30/person/night (maximum of 8 people).  View winter availability and summer availability.  Please call us to make a reservation.

Activities
The  information provide on this page is intended to give our guests ideas on potential activities at The Ridgway 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.

Winter
Access: A short 5-mile drive on CR5 out of Ridgway takes you to the trailhead for both the Ridgway and Burn Huts. A 6.5-mile ski along a summer dirt road, with awesome views of the entire Sneffels Range, and then the Dallas Trail leads you to the Ridgway Hut.

Skiing
Although there is high quality terrain for Moderate to Extreme skiiers at the Ridgway Hut, this is one of the huts we most often recommend to folks looking for big mountains and big lines.

-Accessing the Burn Hut, 3-5 hours, Intermediate. This tour traverses eastward along the Sneffles Range for 5.7 miles through meadows and forests.

-Access the Blue Lakes Hut, 4-6 hours, Intermediate. A 5.5mile ski a short ski up to the top of Wilson Creek Summit/Pass leads you to a long swithcback descent to the creek bottom. From here it is a gentle descent to The Blue Lakes Hut.

-Rattler, Cotton Mouth, Copper Head, Cobra, Side Winder, Mongoose, Black Mamba, and White Mamba chutes from West to East (do you think the Mongoose is busy up here?), 2-5 hours, Advanced. These Chutes, some of them well-known, provide some of the highest quality advanced skiing of all of our huts. All are north facing and usually have excellent snow quality conditions. Decents are 1,000 to 2,000 vertical feet each.

-Wilson Trees, 1-3 hours, Intermediate. Intermediate tree skiing is found above and west of the hut across the timbered slope that leads to the Wilson Creek Pass.

Ski Mountaineering
-Reconnoiter Peak (12,980), 5-7 hours, Advanced. The ridge above the hut leads to a south face scramble to the summit of Reconnoiter Peak and commanding views of the entire Sneffels Range.

What Colorado Hut to Hut, by Brian Litz has this to say about the skiing at Ridgway Hut:

“Ridgway Hut was the second hut erected in the San Juan Hut System.  To this day, this premier ski hut remains popular.  The route to the hut follows one of the most beautiful and scenic trails in the state, touring past rustic wooden fences and tall aspens up into the forest below Mount Ridgway.

Backcountry skiing around the Ridgway Hut is like tree skiing at a downhill area – minus the lifts, crowds, and draft beer.  The skiing above the huts is best suited to intermediate and expert skiers.  To fully enjoy the skiing above the hut, you must have at least intermediate downhill skills, as well as a solid understanding of backcountry safety and avalanche procedures.  Be cautious of several large avalanche gullies south of the hut, and bear in mind that you will encounter serious wilderness skiing around this hut – so come prepared with the proper safety equipment and the proper mindset.

The telemark skiing above the hut is absolutely incredible.  Climb directly south from the hut into thicker forest to the ridge.  The skiing off this timbered ridge is superb and safe with telemark runs of up to 1,400 vertical feet.  With a full day you can make several runs through this area, exploring the great snow.  Expert skiers can continue up the ridge, past a high, rocky outcrop and up the wind-scoured ramp that gives access to the highest, above-tree-line ridge.  This west-facing massive rock buttress that tops out at Elevation Point 11,786’ on the topo maps.  In addition to the great telemark skiing, those willing to climb to the ridge will be treated to intimate views of Blaine Basin and the north faces of Mount Sneffels and Cirque Mountain.  Skiers can explore above the hut to the south as far as tree line and spend hours, if not days, telemark skiing.  Extreme skiing is available in the avalanche gullies, chutes, and basins above the hut near treeline.”

Summer
Access: The trail head is located about 9 miles up CR5 southwest of Ridgway and the hike in is 3.5 miles west on the Dallas Trail  through forests and crossing two streams.

Hiking
-Reconnoiter Peak (12,980′), 4-6 hours, Intermediate/Advanced. A short 1-hour hike leads to the ridge directly south and above the hut. This ridge leads to commanding views of the north faces of Mount Sneffels, Cirque Mountain, and Tea Kettle. The ridge continues to a relatively easy walk up of Reconnoiter Peak from the south.

-Accessing the Burn Hut, 3-5 hours, Intermediate. This tour traverses eastward along the Sneffles Range for 5.7 miles through meadows and forests.

-Access the Blue Lakes Hut, 4-6 hours, Intermediate. A 5.5mile ski a short ski up to the top of Wilson Creek Summit/Pass leads you to a long swithcback descent to the creek bottom. From here it is a gentle descent to The Blue Lakes Hut.

Mountaineering
-Ridgway Peak(13468′), 6-9 hours, Advanced. After summiting Reconnoiter Peak described above, continue eastward along the ridge that connects to Ridgway Peak. After summiting Ridgway Peak, it is even possible to continue on to White House Peak.

-White House Peak (13,492′), 7-10 hours, Advanced. Follow the ridge-line directly south and above the hut summiting first Reconnoiter, then Ridgway, and finally White House. This is a long day but quite doable for strong parties.

Biking
The Ridgway Hut is accessed by bike either from the Blue Lakes Hut and/or Trail Head, the Burn Hut, the town of Ridgway, or the town of Ouray. All these options travel primarily on the Dallas Trail.

-Access the Blue Lakes Hut or Trail Head, 3-5 hours, Advanced/Intermediate. Follow the Dallas Trail up to Wilson Creek Pass/Summit and then descend the, at times tight and winding trail, down to the Blue Lakes Trail Head or Hut.

-Access the Burn Hut, 2-3 hours, Intermediate. Travel primarily downhill east on the Dallas Trail to 4×4 roads that lead to the Burn Hut.

-Ridgway Hut to Ouray, 4-7 hours, Intermediate/Advanced. These are excellent single-track trails with phenomenal views of the Sneffels Range and the Cimmarons. The single-track leads down into the town of Ridgway where riders have the option of ending up at the hot springs, the pub, or their vehicle. Starting at Blue Lakes and ending in Ouray, with or without a stop at the Burn Hut, is one of our favorite Advanced rides.

 

 

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