Blue Lakes Backcountry Hiking Hut
The Blue Lakes Hut accommodates eight people via padded bunk-style beds, sleeping bags (guests who use SJHS sleeping bags need to bring their own sleeping bag liner), and Crazy Creek Chairs. The hut includes a propane stove, propane lamp, wood stove, cookware, and utensils.
There is a culvert with a stream running through it down the road from the hut (North). The distance from the hut is approximately 250 yards. Hut users are responsible for treating water with iodine, pump/filter, or UV scanner.
The Blue Lakes Hut (9,380′) sits 1/4 mile up hill and west of summer trailhead for Blue Lakes and Mount Sneffels. The hut sits at the base of an old logging cut and the summit of Mount Sneffels towers above. It is frequently used in conjunction with the North Pole and Ridgway huts for multi-day adventures.
Route Miles Ascent Descent Summer Trailhead to Blue Lakes Hut 0 0' 0' North Pole Hut to Blue Lakes Hut 7.3 1,166' 1,697' Blue Lakes Hut to Ridgway Hut 5.0 1,637' 1,093'
Dates and Prices
The Blue Lakes hut is available for summer use from May 1st through November 30th. It costs $30/person/night (maximum of 8 people). View the hiking availability calendar.
Drive 9.5 miles on CR7 to the hut. A high clearance vehicle is recommended.
Blue Lakes Hut has something for everyone, from young kids to the most avid mountain adventurers.
Blue Lakes, 3-4 hours, Moderate/Intermediate
3.5 Miles and 1,600 feet of vertical elevation gain.
Blaine Basin Alpine Cirque, 4-6 hours, Intermediate
An enjoyable day hike up the Wilson Creek/Blaine Basin Trail to the Alpine Cirque of Blaine Basin under the 2,000’ face of Mt. Sneffels.
For the ‘Wee-Ones’, .5-2 hours, Moderate
Gentle hikes through meadows and aspen groves on old trails and mining roads to the west of the hut
Water Play Area, 1-3 hours, Moderate
One mile up the Blue Lakes Trail a tributary stream that flows into the East Dallas Creek provides a great place for Kids to play in the water on a hot summer afternoon with big views of the rocky peaks surrounding.
Mt. Sneffels (14,150′), Advanced/Expert
A circumnavigation of Mt. Sneffels, with or without a summit are done from Blue Lakes Hut. A classic big day in the mountains entails hiking the Blue Lakes Trail past all three of the lakes to the top of Blue Lakes Pass (13,100′). From the pass there are two choices to climb mount Sneffles. The Big Day Route would be to ascend the southwest ridge directly from the pass to the summit. This is 4th class climbing with real exposure. NOT a route for a day with lightning potential. The less exposed route to the summit descends the east side of Blue Lakes Pass into the flower laden Yankee Boy Basin above the town of Ouray. Ascent of the peak is achieved from the east up the Lavender Couloir. Descent from both of these routes travels down the Lavender Couloir, dropping into upper Blaine Basin, and takes climbers into the north side environs of Mt. Sneffels and into the alpine cirque of Blaine Basin. Return to Blue Lakes Hut via the Wilson Creek Trail.
North Face of Mt. Sneffels (14,150′), 6-11 hours, Expert
There are several rock/alpine variations up the north face. All require rock climbing gear and/or crampons and ice-tools, and alpine knowledge.
There is great opportunity for peak bagging of seldom visited peaks above Blue Lakes in the high remote basins above the hut such as Wolcott (13,041′), Mears(13,496′), Reconnoitter (12,980), Gilpin(13,694′), and Dallas Peak(13,809′).