Access to five huts can be gained from the Crested Butte area. The Friends Hut, Gothic Cabin and Elkton Cabins are open to the public during the winter months by reservation. Each hut is administered and owned by a different organization, which will defined in the following paragraphs.
The Friends Hut lies east of Crested Butte near the summit of Pearl Pass in the Brush Creek drainage. The elevation of the cabin is 11,500 feet. It was constructed as a memorial to ten airplane crash victims who lived in Crested Butte and Aspen. It is administered by the Friends' Hut Incorporated and lies on Gunnison National Forest land. Reservations for this hut can be made through the Tenth Mountain Division Hut Association in Aspen. It accommodates eight people and it booked to capacity not by group. Amenities at the Friends' Hut include a wood stove, propane stove, lighting, cooking and eating utensils, mattresses, pillows and an outhouse.
The Forest Queen Cabin lies in the abandoned mining settlement of Gothic, north of Crested Butte, which is now used by the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab. This shelter accommodates seven individuals and can be reserved through the Crested Butte Nordic Center. Amenities at this site include: electricity, a wood stove, propane stove, cooking and eating utensils, an outhouse and water provided by a caretaker.
The Elkton Huts lie northwest of Crested Butte in the abandoned mining townsite of Elkton. The cabins lie in the Gunnison National Forest at an elevation of 10,700 feet. There are three cabins in Elkton and they are family administered. Two of the cabins, the Elkton Hut and the Miners' Delight, include propane lights and cooking facilities, a wood stove, bunk beds with sheets, blankets and pillows and eating and cooking utensils. The Elkton Hut accommodates six people and lies very close to the spring-fed water source. The Miners' Delight accommodates 12 people and is about a five-minute walk from the water source. The third cabin, the Silver Jewel, is the caretaker's cabin and accommodates up to four people. At the Silver Jewel breakfast and dinner are provided for guests with all other amenities.
The terrain surrounding the backcountry shelters in the Crested Butte area are especially prone to avalanche conditions. Skiers should check the avalanche conditions before venturing into the Elk Mountains, or any other backcountry area. All skill levels can enjoy the terrain surrounding the Elkton and Gothic Cabins. The Friends' Hut is recommended for experienced backcountry travelers.
Directions from Crested Butte: To reach the Elkton Cabins travel west on Washington Gulch Road to the winter trailhead.
Directions from Crested Butte: To reach the Gothic Cabin travel north on Highway 135 to the winter trailhead of Gothic Road.
Directions from Crested Butte: To reach the Friends' Hut travel south on Highway 135 to Cement Creek Road. Turn left on Cement Creek Road and follow it to the winter trailhead.