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North Pole Backcountry Ski Hut

  • Layout

    The North Pole Hut accommodates eight people via padded bunk style beds. The hut includes a propane stove, propane lamp, wood stove, firewood, cookware, and utensils.


    In the winter water is obtained by melting snow.


    Located on the edge of a meadow, west of beaver ponds and below the North Face of Hayden Peak (12,987′). Great views of North Pole (12,208′), Hayden (12,987′), and S-9/Dark Horse (13,134′).

    Route Miles Ascent Descent
    Winter Trailhead to North Pole Hut 10 2,700' 380'
    Last Dollar Hut to North Pole Hut 8.6 2,550' 1,550'
    North Pole Hut to Blue Lakes Hut 7.3 1,170' 1,700'

    Dates and Prices

    The North Pole hut is available for winter use from November 25th through June 1st. It costs $30/person/night (maximum of 8 people). View winter availability calendar.

  • Activities

    Approach, 5-7 hours, Intermediate/Advanced. Drive up 2 to 3 miles up the West Dallas Road depending on road conditions (about 10 minutes form Ridgway). From where you park it is 8 to 11 miles to the hut. This is one of the longest but most visually impressive approaches to all of our Ski Huts.


    Hayden Peak (12,987′) Ski, 4-7 hours, Advanced

    Ski off the top of Hayden Peak (12,987′) to access multiple aspects decent possibilities, ranging from 25-35 degrees, throughout the winter.

    North Buttress of Hayden Peak (12,987′), 1.5-5 hours, Moderate/Intermediate

    Logging and mining trails under the north buttress of Hayden Peak provided access into this high alpine basin. This outing is also appropriate for snowshoes.

    Access the Blue Lakes Hut, 4.5-7 hours, Intermediate

    Approximately 7.5 miles of classic cross country trails with spectacular views of the north slopes of the Sneffels Range.

    Access the Last Dollar Hut, 7-12 hours, Intermediate/Advanced

    The most demanding section of trail on our Telluride to Ouray route exists on the Alder Creek Trail between Last Dollar and North Pole Huts. The difficulty is due to a 10-mile ski, challenging route finding, 8 points of significant avalanche danger, 2 of which must be dealt with great care and concern. A beautiful 10-mile traverse through aspen and spruce with many small streams, parks, and meadows through the Sneffels Wilderness area makes this challenging section of trail well worth it.

    What Colorado Hut to Hut by Brian Litz has to say about the skiing at the North Pole Hut

    “Of the huts in the San Juan Hut System, the North Pole Hut is the most remote. You will not see day skiers here. The cabin rests in a small, aspen-lined clearing on the western edge of a large meadow, in the shadow of a wall of towering, rocky peaks. This location, with views of the peaks to the south, is one of the most breathtaking hut sites in all of the San Juans.

    The hut makes for a rustic, warm, and cozy base camp for exploring the backcountry. One approaches the hut from the northeast, via West Dallas Creek Road and the Dallas Trail along an 8-10 mile approach. Much of the difficulty in approaching the North Pole Hut lies not in the elevation gain but, rather, in the distance and the complexity of route-finding during the final 3 miles of the approach trail. This challenging stretch of trail comes at the end of what is already a long day. If you dillydally at the trailhead and get a late start, you may end up with the added factor of darkness. Reaching the hut from the Last Dollar Hut is no easier and presents its own set of challenges. For the strong, experienced route finder, though, the powdery reward lying above the hut easily outweighs the high “grunt factor” on the approach. Ski mountaineers can tackle the north ridge of Hayden Peak (under appropriate conditions), while powder hounds can explore the many ridges and slopes found below tree line. Be advised of the large avalanche bowl tucked under the cliffs on the north wall of Hayden Peak’s north ridge. These tempting slopes can be skied, but only by knowledgeable skiers. This is very serious terrain.”

What you get

  • Comfortable Huts to Stay in
  • Wood stoves and use of firewood pile
  • Custom Maps
  • Custom GPS Tracks
  • Turn by Turn Directions
  • Backup Support
  • An Adventure of a Lifetime


Our backcountry ski huts hold eight people per night. The wooden huts are equipped with padded bunks, a propane cook stove, propane light, wood stove, and necessary utensils, cookware. Each hut is equipped with a composting toilet facility.

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Latest Updates...

People wonder if it gets lonely resupplying remote remote huts. How many dogs can you count?
Flowers at Burro Pass on the Last Day of Durango to MoabRoute. This is the top of #thewholeenchilada
This crew just finished the Durango to Moab route. Here they are at the last hut. Nice work!
Peterson Group of Ladies starting the Sneffels Traverse today!
Day 3 Black Mesa to Dry Creek #DurangotoMoab photo by Badder group
Dry Creek Hut Sunset #DurangotoMoab photo by the Comeaux party
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Latest Chirps...

San Juan Hut Systems
Not many have been on the nonmotorized section of the Atkinson Bench trail after last year's fires. The trail is currently overgrown, but it is beautiful and well worth it for those looking for an adventurous remote ride. The 2nd part of the Atkinson Bench Trail is riding great!

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San Juan Hut Systems
Hikers, please remember that we need two weeks in advance to schedule a shuttle for you if you choose to book one. Within two weeks we cannot guarantee availability. Thanks and happy hiking!

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wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/gis/ima… San Miguel, Dolores, Animas, and San Juan are at 228% of Normal Snow Water Equivalent!

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