This lengthy route follows a well-used snowmobile trail on the Eagle Road ( connects the Fryingpan drainage with Sylvan Lake Trailhead and the town of Eagle). With suitable snow you can easily use cross country wax for the whole trip. Start at the Spring Creek Trailhead. Ski N up the obvious road-cut 3 1/2 miles and 1,090 vertical feet to the huge open area of Lime Park (9,560 feet). You can identify your entrance into Lime Park by passage under the power line shown on the topographic map. Skirt the west edge of Lime Park for another 1/2 mile past the power line (still on the road). If you're using skins, remove them here, then swing E and follow the road down a wide ravine to 9,313 feet. Continue on the road as it turns N to its intersection with the Burnt Mountain Road. Take care to identify this intersection; there is a sign but it may be covered by snow.
To continue to the Gates Hut (you're still in Lime Park) turn SE onto the Burnt Mountain Road. The road will lead you across a short flat area for about 1/4 mile, then down a hill to the intersection with the Woods Lake Road at 9,270 feet. Again, whatever your direction of travel, use this intersection as a critical destination in your navigation. Stay on the Burnt Mountain Road as it takes you downhill another 1/8 mile and crosses Lime Creek at 9,190 feet.
At the crossing apply some cross country wax or skins if needed, and climb the Burnt Mountain Road a short distance E, then 1/2 mile S to a clearing at Slim Jim Gulch. Follow the road S another 1/4 mile to a smaller clearing at 9,566 feet. At this point, turn left off the Burnt Mountain Road and ski NE 134 vertical feet up a hill to the hut. You cannot see the hut from the road, so pay attention!