Colorado Trails

America’s Best Huts: Uncle Bud’s Hut

San Isabel National Forest, Colorado

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“Hut” seems like a misnomer in this case. Uncle Bud’s Château may be more appropriate. Consider that the first floor alone is more than a thousand square feet—a community space with sitting areas, a fully stocked kitchen suite with multiple sinks and wood-burning stoves, and, of course, huge window panes facing 14,421-foot Mt. Massive. A communal area and two private bedrooms upstairs sleep 16—standard for Colorado’s famed 10th Mountain Division Huts. And the hiking is just as good: From the front door, the Continental Divide Trail is less than .3 mile northwest.

In summer, it’s just a .3-mile walk to the mansion from Forest Service Road 107. Hikers can stage day trips along the CDT to views of 14,009-foot Mt. of the Holy Cross’s iconic south-facing, snow-filled couloir. If you like what you see—both in the hut and out—consider creating an ambitious, 17-mile, hut-to-hut epic linking fellow 10th Mountain Division shelters Skinner and Betty Bear.

Come late fall, snow and road closures bump the trailhead servicing Uncle Bud’s back to Turquoise Lake, 5.8 miles away. It’s worth it, though: From there, a gradual climb (gaining just 1,620 feet) to the cabin lands you at one of Colorado’s prime winter wonderlands. Backcountry skiers can run laps in the low-angle, open terrain just north of the hut or tackle bigger objectives like the chutes of Galena Mountain.

Trailhead FS Road 107 closure in summer; Turquoise Lake in winter Season July through September for summer; late November through April for winter Amenities Bunks with mattresses; wood-burning stove; two-burner stove (propane provided); cookware Reservation $33; you must be a member of the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association ($35 annually) to participate in the March lottery, but leftover dates are open to the public. Contact