10th Mountain Division Hut

Leadville, Colorado 80429

10th Mountain Division Hut

10th Mountain Division Hut Professional Review and Guide

"This area is the home of the illustrious 10th Mountain Division Hut System. The area surrounding the town of Leadville is historically important in the genesis of the sport of backcountry skiing in America.

In 1942 the US Army established Camp Hale just north of Leadville to house the 10th Mountain Division, an elite ski corps of commandos who trained for mountain combat against the Nazis in the European Alps. Also stationed there was the 99th Infantry Division. Made up of Norwegians and Norwegian expatriates, it was the only American division that included foreign citizens and was formed to aid the planned invasion of Norway."

More 10th Mountain Division Hut Professional Reviews and Guides

"Deep in the mountains of Italy, Riva Ridge posed a formidable line of defense for Mount Belvedere, a major German stronghold during World War II. One night in February 1945, American soldiers scaled the 1500-vertical-foot ridge to surprise a lone German battalion before going on to successfully capture the peak: 1500 vertical feet lugging full combat gear in ice-cold winter darkness—tough hombres, without a doubt.

Today’s hike takes us to the 10th Mountain Hut, a small cabin near the Continental Divide honoring the heroic men who trained at Camp Hale as part of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division. In 1980, the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association was founded and two backcountry huts were built to provide shelter for cross-country skiers. Today there are twelve huts available for winter and summer use in some of Colorado’s most beautiful environs."

10th Mountain Division Hut Reviews

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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.
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Beautiful ski in -- stay off the road and use the trail. Great skiing from the hut! A fun ski out. No way not to enjoy this one.
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We parked at the trail head but then shuttled in the first mile on the road, therefore cutting off a mile of the trip. The trail was farily easy to moderate and our mixed group (including first time hut trippers) only seemed to struggle at then as we approached higher and higher altitudes and less and less oxygen! The trail starts in the trees on flat land, goes through a meadow by Lilly lake before reaching the first hill which is over before you know it. Then goes through another meadow before getting to the second good hill which is a bit of a workout. Finally winds through meadow after meadow after meadow which is faily flat but again..that whole oxygen thing can hurt! Finally you come around some trees and see a crest and think you are enterin yet another meadow but this time, at the top of the crest..you will see the hut! Yippee! The teleskiiers in our group had amazing snow and turns and those of us on our xskis made a trip on day two to slide lake...nice short hike. Enjoy!

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
5 to 7 hours
10,137 feet
Trailhead Elevation
11,370 feet
Top Elevation
Additional Use
San Isabel National Forest
Local Contacts
Ungroomed, but sometimes tracked by skiers and snowshoers
Trail/Surface Quality

Activity Feed

Oct 2018