The hike is relatively painless: a 3.7 mile hike that has about a 1,200 vertical feet elevation gain starts out on a common multi use trail that takes you up to mining ghost town. This is quite a heavily used trail for locals and their dogs, as was evident by all the poop bags along the trail. After about a mile, the trial begins to head up through the woods, and go through a series of nine switchbacks. This is where most of elevation gain is, but nothing too serious. The trail is well marked with blue diamonds, as well as posts outlining the usage. Depending on the conditions, you can cut off some of the switchbacks at strategic locations. Once you start heading towards the hut near the top, you will be teased by seeing it in the distance, and knowing there is one climb before the hut that feels worse than it actually is, although there is a bit of elevation gain atto every end.
The common area has ok seating , but I do prefer the wider seating that some of the older huts have (mostly for taking naps), but that is a small complaint. The kitchen is nice, clean and new, however the propane stove didn’t work (the range did) and they had a well pump, but it was dry. The wood burning stove is modern and efficient. When we were here, the hutmeister was also, and asked us to be frugal with the wood, and, while the hut itself is very efficient, the sauna seems to be the culprit of wood consumption, and, the supply looked pretty low for January. The bedrooms upstairs are diverse in their sleeping arrangements (2,4 and 8 people rooms) , and the beds are definitely high quality than any other hut I have been in. There is also an ADA compliant room on main floor, with a convertible couch.
There is fine skiing around the hut. You'll have to climb about 600 vertical feet to get around tree line, and, while the top was wind blown, there was some great open powder runs that bleed into the woods. From there you have great panoramic views from Breckenridge to Keystone, with views of the Gore Mountains and Greys and Torreys at the top of the ridge. I was pretty impressed with the tree skiing around the hut. We found great pockets of trees to the left of the hut, and to the right there are plenty of spacious trees with steep grades that lead you back to the trail to the hut.Great panoramic views from Breckinridge to keystone at the top of the ridge. We were fortunate to have a few inches of new snow, so most trails up were covered, and we had to make our own path up, because of the density of the trees, sometimes the easiest way up was literally straight up the mountain.