Description - Colorado, unique in the nation, has a vast backcountry hut system. It includes yurts, huts and cabins in the northern, central and southern Rocky Mountains of the state. There are approximately ten hut systems throughout the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
Copyright: Len Zanni-Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Picture of the Markley Hut
- There are approximately ten hut systems throughout the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The systems are made up of huts, yurts and cabins that lie in areas inaccessible by automobile. Some of the huts lie only a few miles from a trailhead and others lie a considerable distance from any road. The shelters can be as sophisticated as a deluxe mountain cabin or as primitive as an abandoned mining camp. Most shelters will include basic kitchen utensils, heat source and sleeping accommodations.
Recreation - The Colorado huts have been established and maintained to provide residents and visitors access to the varied terrain of the state's backcountry. Many of the hut systems provide shelter throughout the year providing opportunity for various recreation pursuits. During the warmer months hut users enjoy backpacking and mountain biking. The systems that maintain shelters during the winter months are open to telemark, Nordic and cross-country skiers. A few of the huts lie within designated wilderness areas. These hut are not open to mountain biking or other motorized vehicles.
Climate - The climate in Colorado's mountains varies dramatically from season to season and often from hour to hour. Generally expect summer (late June through August) temperatures to reach 70 degrees F with cooler temperatures above 10,000 feet. Summer nights can be cool with temperatures dipping close to freezing in the high country. Expect afternoon thunderstorms that bring cold rain (and sometimes snow) to the mountains.
Winter temperatures usually remain below 45 degrees F during the day and dip below zero degrees at night. Daytime temperatures can feel very warm on a sunny day, especially if you are traveling at moderate elevations. Weather conditions can change quickly in the high country, so skiers should be prepared for varying conditions. Always check the weather and avalanche reports before attempting a hut trip in winter.
Spring and fall bring moderate daytime temperatures and cool nights. These seasons also bring unpredictable storms and precipitation. Be sure to check the weather forecast before venturing into the backcountry during these transitional periods.
The hut systems in Colorado lie within the mountainous regions of the state. There are systems in the northern, central and southern Rocky Mountains.