This is the most scenic and direct route between the Harry Gates Hut and Peter Estin Hut. From the Harry Gates Hut follow the Burnt Mountain/Lime Park Road northerly to the Woods Lake Road intersection (9,270 feet) in Lime Park. The road here may be obscured by snow, but the signs and fence break are usually obvious. Put your skins on here. Use your compass and GPS to follow a route that climbs N up through a clearing, then through timber to the crest of the ridge separating Lime Park from Crooked Creek Reservoir. Follow the trail NE along the ridge (the trail-cut is not obvious) for 3/4 mile. Turn N and travel through timber, then down into the Little Lime Creek drainage. This circuitous route avoids private land around Crooked Creek Reservoir.
Cross the east fork of Little Lime Creek at 9,680 feet, take a perpendicular course from the creek, and contour 1/2 mile NW up the west fork of Little Lime Creek. At 9,740 feet cross the creek and switchback S up to the crest of the ridge (Lime Ridge) separating Middle Creek from the west fork of Little Lime Creek. Once you gain the crest of Lime Ridge, follow a well-marked and fairly distinct trail-cut that leads through intermittent clearings and timber to 10,150 feet.
Continue up the ridge as the timber thickens, and follow a well-defined trail-cut through Sherwood Forest to a low-angled area with mature aspen trees. Look for interesting old initials carved in these trees. Continue N, switchback, then climb steeply through clearings and dark timber to another low-angled area at 10,850 feet. From here continue N 3/4 mile through a sparsely timbered logged area to Hat Creek Saddle (11,120 feet), a nondescript divide between the Hat Creek drainage and west fork of Little Lime Creek. Travel E from the saddle several hundred yards to the hut. It is not visible directly from the saddle, but soon becomes obvious.