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  • Family Hut Trips

    I posted this question last spring on the defunct Telemarktips forum, but forgot to save off the answers. I got some great feedback last year too. If anyone knows if the TTips forum was cached somewhere, let me know. I couldn't find anything on google.

    Looking for a good hut near the front range of CO for families. I've got a 4 and 7 year old who are begging to go. The criteria:

    1. Short safe hike in (<2 miles)
    2. Sledding hill nearby
    3. Mellow turns nearby - to trade off and do some laps (Optional)
    4. Not mega expensive (i.e Not Vegabond Ranch - $200/night for family of 4)
    5. TH is a daytrip from Denver (i.e. Not Telluride, Durango).

    The Neversummer huts look awesome, except they don't allow dogs. Not a deal breaker, but would like to check out other options. Many thanks!

    ~slcdawg

  • #2
    Most won't allow dogs.

    Never Summers are nice, very easy. Continental Divide Cabin and Point Breeze Cabin or Shrine Mt Inn, all reserved through huts.org, are also good, but you won't find an open weekend (if you can do midweek, go for it!).

    one problem with all of them may be the family of 4 thing, as you either have to reserve the whole thing (which can push the price up) or deal with strangers (who may not be psyched to share a hut with a 4yo). All of the Never Summers and most of the others I listed you have to reserve the whole thing, but their price is based on more than 4 people.

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    • #3
      I suggested the Markley Hut last spring. It's 2.3 miles above the Ashcroft trailhead. As far as a bunch of your other conditions, I don't know. It seems like you're outlining a bunch of stuff which is kind of counter to the whole outdoors experience of making the best of what's there. Latinos have a saying they call the three B's, cheap, good, and fast - you never get all three. $50/person isn't horrible for a private hut. The 10th Huts are $33/person with the kids half off, so you're up to $99 if you just buy the beds you need. I think Markley is $180 but sleeps up to eight. Maybe you could find another family to go in on it with you.

      We may be incorrectly assuming that you understand the "no dog" policy. Basically, the fear is that if there is dog urine every where it's harder to find clean snow to melt and drink. Pretty standard for winter b.c. lodging.
      Last edited by Matt J; 8 October 2013, 06:02 PM.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the feedback! I remember you responding last spring - and will check out your suggestions. We're looking to share with another family, depending on the size of the hut. And possibly doing midweek so that will open things up. Instead of "Criteria" I prob should have named it "Wish List". I'm looking for a good overall experience for the fam. I'm not familiar with the huts here in CO so appreciate your suggestions.

        Regarding the dog policy: Its been a few years since my last hut trip in the Uintas but I recall there being a fenced in area for clean snow and to keep dogs out. Perhaps policies have changed since my last hut trip. And, I've never done a hut trip in CO, maybe its always been this way here.

        Regarding cost: To each their own, but we're on the budget plan. $200/night is not gonna happen for us. $100/night per family is much more palatable.

        Appreciate the suggestions!

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        • #5
          AFAIK, the no dogs has been standard policy here. There are a few exceptions, but they are few (usually/always ones with well water), and none of the tenth mountain huts.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Danno View Post
            AFAIK, the no dogs has been standard policy here. There are a few exceptions, but they are few (usually/always ones with well water), and none of the tenth mountain huts.
            Good to know. We'll plan on a kennel.

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            • #7
              Best of luck! I wasn't trying to harsh you, but it's not like ordering up a hamburger. There are certainly a limited amount of huts, especially close to population centers. I've been fortunate enough to see quite a few of them and they're all special in their own way. I guess if you think about what you're asking for, if it existed, how likely would you be to get a reservation? Speaking of... mid-week will definitely be your friend. If you're trying to save money consider volunteering next summer. You get to hang out at the hut while you work and then get free nights during the next lottery/season. Also, personally, I wouldn't count out sled service. It will add expense, but would open up some huts with more opening in their reservations. I certainly understand the budget constraints it's just that in my experience $100 saved on the front end can sometimes cost two or three hundred during the trip. Gas alone can eat you up on some of these destinations. Especially if you shuttle hut to hut.

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              • #8
                No worries. Now that I know that dogs are not allowed it clarifies planning. Neversummer appears to be a great option for this year and meets most if not all of the criteria. If it goes well we'll try to do something in the 10th Mtn huts next year. Appreciate the replies!

                ~slcdawg

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                • #9
                  Any access issues since the floods?
                  Yay!...(Drool)


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                  • #10
                    We have stayed at the High Lonesome hut near Winter Park and the cabins at Steamboat Lake State Park. High Lonesome is < 2 mile ski in, solar power, indoor plumbing and a gas stove. It is big and can accommodate 2-3 families. Great sledding. Very mellow skiing. In the past, they would bring your gear in for a fee.

                    Steamboat Lake has drive in access (short walk), cabins that sleep 4 with base board heat and a shared bathroom. Groomed nordic skiing out the door and very nice turns just a short drive up the canyon. Cook with a camp stove on the patio. This year, their reservation site has only 2 cabins open at a time, but he owner has offered to open up more for me for our group trip. Give him a shout by email if cabins aren't available when you want to go.

                    Both allow dogs. State Parks require dogs on leash, but we've had no problems in the winter with free roaming dogs. These are not as rustic as some of the other spots mentioned, but I have found the added conveniences really nice with young kids.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BillyFromTheHills View Post
                      Any access issues since the floods?
                      I don't think there are any kinds of backcountry shelters that would be accessed by roadways that were effected by the floods. Upper Boulder Creek used to be a premier class V section of whitewater with about a mile called the "California Section" that had huge boulder garden rapids with 5 to 10 foot drops every where. Doubt that looks the same. Nor the old play park / slalom course that was popular with the tubers late in the season.

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                      • #12
                        Just wanted to provide an update. We stayed at the Dancing Moose hut in State Forest State park - part of the Neversummer Huts. Hike in was a quarter mile and a whopping 65' elevation gain. Most of you are probably daunted by that (:rollseyes, but it was about perfect for the kids, aged 4-8. Great views of Clark Peak, big meadows to play in, a sledding hill, and even a moose spotting! Didn't get much in for BC turns, but perfect for a family trip.

                        Thanks to all for your suggestions!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by slcdawg View Post
                          Just wanted to provide an update. We stayed at the Dancing Moose hut in State Forest State park - part of the Neversummer Huts. Hike in was a quarter mile and a whopping 65' elevation gain. Most of you are probably daunted by that (:rollseyes, but it was about perfect for the kids, aged 4-8. Great views of Clark Peak, big meadows to play in, a sledding hill, and even a moose spotting! Didn't get much in for BC turns, but perfect for a family trip.

                          Thanks to all for your suggestions!
                          Glad it worked out for you!

                          Thanks for reporting back. Hopefully this will save in the archives and other families can benefit from your homework.

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