Guidelines for horse and pack animals at the Huts
10th Mountain welcomes horseback riders and the use of pack animals. In the interest of keeping the areas around the huts as pristine as possible, we ask that you read this information carefully.
- Since the hut system was originally designed with backcountry skiers in mind, some huts and routes are more appropriate for use with animals than others. Some huts have corrals and water sources nearby, while others do not. If you are unfamiliar with the area, please contact the reservations office at (970) 925-5775 for details, and read the attached information about which huts are best for animals.
- In order to preserve delicate high alpine vegetation, it is imperative that you create a staging area for arrival and departure at least 100 yards away from the hut and then carry your packs and necessary gear over to the hut.
- At huts that do not have corrals, we ask that you use a highline, tied from tree to tree, and then individually picket your stock to the highline.
- At no time should an animal be tied to a hut railing. We have seen accidents occur and railings torn up when this suggestion has not been followed.
- Most huts have water nearby. Walk or ride your stock to available water morning and evening.
- Supplemental food, such as grain or pellets, is strongly recommended.
- Do not haul hay into the National Forest without obtaining a "weed certified free" permit. Because even this weed-free hay can pose a potential seed problem, 10th Mountain encourages hut users to limit hay use.
- Please be considerate of other users that you are sharing the hut with, as well as users that will visit the hut after your departure. Low impact practices should be followed and every effort should be made to "leave no trace" of your stock. For more information on low impact backcountry horse and pack animal use, please contact the Leave No Trace program. LNT publishes a booklet entitled "Backcountry Horse Use" that is available through their online store.
- Remember, dogs are never allowed on hut trips.
Hut specific information for horses and pack animals
We consider the Estin, Margy's, Uncle Bud's, and 10th Mountain Division Huts to be the most suitable for horsepacking.
At huts without corrals, please highline horses/stock at least 100 yards away from the hut, unless otherwise indicated.
10th Mountain Division Hut: No corral. To minimize impact, the Forest Service asks that you highline horses in a different location on each trip. Water nearby.
Alfred Braun Huts: Closed in summer.
Sangree M. Froelicher Hut: No corral. All routes ok. Closest water source is 3/4 mile away.
Ben Eiseman Hut: Spraddle/Middle Creek trails closed to horses per the Forest Service. All other routes ok. Water source is 1/4 mile from the hut.
Betty Bear Hut: Use southern access (Road 505 and Trail #1907). Northern route (Road 105) is a narrow road with large drop-offs and considerable vehicle traffic. No corral. Water nearby.
Fowler Hilliard Hut: No corral. Closest water source is 1.5 miles away. Water from pump inside the hut is not treated - recommended use is for washing only.
Francie's Cabin: Horses are not permitted.
Friends Hut: Closed in Summer.
Harry Gates Hut: All routes ok but some traffic. Water .5 miles away. No corral.
Jackal Hut: No corral. Water from pump inside the hut is not treated - recommended use is for washing only. Closest water source is 2 miles away.
Janet's Cabin: Horses are not permitted.
Ken's Cabin: Closed in summer.
Margy's Hut: All routes ok. Corral. Water nearby.
McNamara Hut: Closed in summer.
Peter Estin Hut: All routes ok. Corral with intermittent water source. Reliable water from pump outside of hut (except in extremely dry conditions). Additional water source 1/2 mile away.
Polar Star Inn: Horses not permitted without special permission from owner.
Polar Star: Carl's Cabin - Closed in summer.
Section House: Closed in summer.
Shrine Mountain Inn: All routes ok but considerable vehicle traffic. Corral. Running water is available from the well house near the corral but bring your own trough.
Skinner Hut: Not recommended for horses. Access is along a narrow road with large drop-offs and considerable vehicle traffic. Only water source is 1.5 miles back down this narrow road. No corral.
Uncle Bud's Hut: No corral. To minimize impact, the Forest Service asks that you highline horses in a different location on each trip. Water nearby.
Vance's Cabin: Not recommended. Attain permission from owner.