Road 505 TH to Betty Bear Hut

Park at the Road 505 Trailhead on the Fryingpan Road. Ski Road 505 as it gradually climbs SE along the side of the Fryingpan drainage for 3 1/2 miles to the road high point at the obvious concrete structure of the Granite Adit (9,990 feet). Enjoy the superb view of Mount Massive looming on the northeast side of the upper drainage. Continue on level road (with a few slight ups and downs) another mile to cross over Lily Pad Creek. This creek is inconspicuous as it has little flow and passes under the road through a culvert. The stub of the culvert is visible if you look over the downhill side of the road. Another good way to identify Lily Pad Creek is by paying attention to the two rock "gates" you pass through on Road 505. These "gates" are places where road-blasting left remnants of rock outcrops on the downhill side of the road. Lily Pad Creek is located about 100 feet past the second rock "gate."

Ski the road past Lily Pad Creek for several hundred feet. At this point the trail to Betty Bear Hut leaves the road and climbs NE up the side of the valley. With a lack of natural landmarks and your altimeter of little use because of the level road, this intersection of road and trail is a place where the blue diamond trail markers (and possibly GPS use) are essential. Using climbing skins, climb the marked trail as it makes several switchbacks up the valleyside, then parallels and gradually nears Lily Pad Creek. After the steep switchbacks, the marked trail leaves the Lily Pad Creek drainage by heading E up through timber and clearings to enter a larger open area at about 11,090 feet. Swing S here, enter the trees at the far southwest end of this open area, then continue SW for 1/8 mile through timber to Betty Bear Hut (11,100 feet). The hut sits at the edge of timber overlooking a southwest-facing clearing. If you miss the trail keep your eye on your altimeter and GPS. It is essential to not drop too low. (By no means try to make it down to the road from below the hut as the terrain is quite steep and rough.)

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