Skinner Hut

The hike to Skinner Hut is long and hard and should not be taken lightly. There is an alternate route which approaches avalanche zones, so I don't care to go near there. Instead I take the long way, with the dreaded losing of 600 vertical feet on a two mile down hill. Skinner Hut was the very first hut that I went to, and it taught me some lessons that I use to this very day: Get in shape for a hut trip, start early, travel light, study maps and have an idea of where you are going as best you can. I learned most of these the hard way, being lost, in a blizzard, in the dark, out of water, trying to find skinner hut. All in all, Skinner Hut will earn your respect, and it's worth the challenge once you get there.
The Hike:
I think the elevation profile says it all, it's long and steep. The good news is that the first 8 miles are all on a road that is well traversed by snow mobiles. I used kick wax on my tele boards to make the climb up easier. While the road is downhill, it's not like you are on a ski run, so there is some work involved. Finally you get to a park where you connect with the colorado trail, and you head into the trees into the start of a steep climb to skinner hut. The trail is marked with blue diamonds, and the last push to the saddle was especially hard for our trip because we were breaking trail.

Driving Details from Leadville
Here's how to get to the parking lot:

View Larger Map

Video of Skinner Hut