Late spring snow on this trail was soft in places. Snowshoes or skis were necessary. We dropped our packs off about 1 mile up the road from the Parking area (near the gravel pit, on F.R. 131), then drove back to park & walked 1 mile w/o a pack. There is a new mile of trail that parallels the road in this section, for people who would rather ski than walk or drive up the road. The blue diamond markers nailed to trees were the key to finding this new 1-mile section, as well as the rest of the trail. The blue-diamond route is not marked on the most recent USGS maps - I believe it is on the official 10th Mtn. Hut Assoc. Map, though. Also, there is a summer route (has steeper sections & goes downhill on the way TO the hut for a short section) and a winter route (less steep - follows blue diamonds). Just pay attention, especially on the way back to the parking area. GPS is also helpful. Great views of the valley on the upper parts of the trail. The hut was great, with options for day trips from there to Homestake Peak summit, or to Slide Lake (frozen & invisible when we went). No need for avalanche gear between the car and the hut, but if you choose to summit Homestake Peak or any nearby Divide ridges, you should definitely bring it. Weather was very warm on the way in - mid-50s F - and cool on the way out - around 35F, with a good breeze & light snow. Night temps were just below freezing. Hike in took around 2.5 hours (not including the time for the first pack-free mile), hike out took around 2 hours but we went really slow going down. Main water source on the trail was melting snow, there were maybe 1 or 2 streams that had thawed, but the snow didn't look stable enough to hold you up near the water. Have fun & watch for the porcupine.