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Lodging: Colorado > Colorado Backcountry Huts

Quick Facts

Friends Hut, Elkton Cabins, Forrest Queen Cabin

Advanced Terrain: Elk Mountain Range
Capacity: 4 to 12 individuals People depending on site
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult depending on site
Elevation: varies between 9,500 and 11,500
Number of Sites: 5 shelters
Reservation Contact: Friends Hut: 970.925.5775 Tenth Mountain Division Hut Association
Reservation Contact: Elkton Cabins: 970.349.1815
Reservation Contact: Forrest Queen (Gothic) Cabin: 970.348.1707 Crested Butte Nordic Center
Reservation Status: Required
Usage: Heavy
Vehicle Accessibility: varies The huts are accessible only by cross-country skiis or snowshoes during winter months.

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

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.

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cross-country Skiing Crested Butte Area Huts
ICON Lodging Friends Hut, Elkton Cabins, Forrest Queen Cabin
ICON Backcountry Skiing Crested Butte Area Huts
ICON Snowshoeing Crested Butte Area Huts
ICON Viewing Scenery Crested Butte Area Huts

Related Activities
Alfred A. Braun Hut System - The Alfred A. Braun system of huts was the first to be established in Colorado shortly after World War II. These sites are recommended for intermediate and advanced backcountry skiers only.

Hinsdale Haute Route - This yurt system lies south of Lake City in the Gunnison and Rio Grande National Forests. It provides opportunities for beginner, intermediate and advanced backcountry skiers.

Never Summer Yurts - This hut system is open through all seasons for biking, backpacking, snowshoeing and skiing. It lies within Colorado State Forest State Park.

San Juan Hut System - This hut system consists of five huts in the northern San Juan Mountains. Terrain includes appropriate beginner, intermediate and expert slopes.

San Juan Hut System - This route lead 206 miles from Telluride, Colorado, to Moab, Utah, through diverse and changing terrain.

Summit Hut System - This hut association maintains four backcountry cabins (and growing) in Summit County, Colorado. Reservations can be made through the Tenth Mountain Division Hut Association in Aspen.

Tenth Mountain Division Hut System - This hut system is the most popular in the state and consists of 20 backcountry cabins. The terrain surrounding these shelters is some of the highest in the state.


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