Telluride, CO 81435
Four Seasons at High Camp Hut: In September the landscape turns brilliant shades of green, gold, rust, and orange. Days are warm with frost at night and it is bow and arrow season. October transitions from Indian Summer to the beginning of winter. November snows start piling up. Starry nights and cold, crisp days carry us through December. January, February and March are good months to tromp through the woods on snowshoes and cross country skis - there is a fantastic hill right next to the cabin for sledding. Skiing above the cabin is gentle and there is not much exposure to avalanche danger. I like to ski to Round Lake or do a loop just at timberline which I call the Grand Cirque.
April brings warmer, longer days with skiing still good in the high country. During May the snows melt and we look forward to summer! June is the driest month, but snow lingers on the access road until mid-month. When wildflowers blanket the landscape we know July has arrived. August showers bring wild mushrooms, and hours blissfully lost foraging in this high country I love so much.
Whichever season you choose, the High Camp Hut offers access to every level of scenic hiking thru meadows and spruce forests just 800 feet below timberline. The more adventurous can hike over to Bolam Pass and use the San Juan Hut there for an extended hike. Summiting Sheep Mountain offers amazing views.
Frequently Asked Questions
ALTITUDE • WHAT TO BRING • WHAT'S ALREADY THERE • RULES • ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE TIMES • LOCATION/PARKING • CELL PHONES • WARMING THE HUT • FIRE PRECAUTIONS • BACK COUNTRY PREPAREDNESS • EMERGENCIES AND FIRST AID • AVALANCHE DANGER • IDEAS FOR MEALS • TRASH • CLEANING UP AND DEPARTING • GUEST BOOK
Altitude: The High Camp Hut sits directly at 11,000 feet so coming directly from sea level is not recommended - one should spend a few nights above 5000 feet before going higher. Once at the cabin drink lots of water and keep your alcohol consumption low!
What to Bring: This list should be used as a guide in helping you prepare for your trip. Never travel in the backcountry unprepared. None of this equipment is helpful unless it fits, it works, and you know how to use it!
Location/Parking: The access to the High Camp Hut is 17 miles from Telluride driving south on Hwy 145. Winter: Just over two miles past the top of Lizard Head Pass you will park your car on the right side at the East Fork and Cross Mountain trailheads pullout. Summer: Exactly two miles past the top of Lizard Head Pass pull off and park on the first dirt road on the left. The High Camp Hut is 2.5 miles from the highway on a private trail that winds through spruce forests and alpine meadows, climbing 1000 feet to the cabin. Please do not leave valuables in your car. During the winter the road is snow packed. Please ask us for a trail description to hike up there in the summer.
Warming the Hut: If it is necessary to make a fire, keep it small to start. Be sure the flue is open and the stove is drawing well. Gradually make a hotter fire and let it burn down before bed. The Hut is well insulated and stays warm thru the night. Cutting, hauling, and stacking firewood is expensive and labor intensive. Burn judiciously!
Fire Precautions: There are fire extinguishers and smoke alarms in the cabin. Please familiarize yourself and your group with all possible fire exits. If fire is uncontrollable, get everybody out, with boots and clothing if possible. Report any damage to Cindy.
Back Country Preparedness: Weather in the mountains can change rapidly. A clear calm morning at a trailhead can turn quickly and, without warning, into heavy snow and driving winds. Hypothermia, frostbite, and altitude sickness are common problems in the mountains. Be sure you know how to prevent, recognize, and treat these potentially life-threatening conditions. Start early in the day and allow plenty of time to reach the High Camp Hut. Remember, your pace must accommodate the weakest member of your group.
Emergencies and First Aid: Self-rescue is the responsibility of your group. Communication of any kind, even in an emergency, is not possible from the High Camp Hut. If a member of your group is injured or becomes ill on the trail or at the Hut, you cannot rely on outside help. Plan ahead and be prepared to execute a self-rescue. Your group should be equipped with first-aid supplies and have experience in emergency medical procedures. Before departing for your trip, leave the following information with a responsible friend or relative: Your automobile make and license plate number, the trailhead where you will be parking, and your exact travel plans, including dates, routes, and plans in case of emergency.
Avalanche Danger: There is no avalanche danger accessing the High Camp Hut. Most terrain around the Hut is easy to moderate and is not prone to avalanches. More extreme skiing is located on the north side of Sheep Mountain. Please check the weather before you depart.
Ideas for meals: There are several catering companies in Telluride that can help, or you and your friends can have a pot luck where everyone brings part of a meal. I have had success with 1. Pasta meals- someone brings the sauce and everyone brings something to go in the sauce. 2. Chinese stew also works - start with coconut milk, chicken broth and curry paste and people bring things like baby corn, peas, red peppers, chicken, shrimp or tofu. We encourage you to be creative and, at the same time, enjoy the pleasure of preparing a meal together.
Cleaning up and Departing the High Camp Hut: Please leave the Hut clean. Sweep the floors, wipe down the kitchen and dining area, clean and put away the dishes. Restock the wood. Turn off the propane stove. Bag up the garbage and carry it out with you. Make sure all the doors are closed.