Turquoise Lake TH to Skinner Hut

Begin at the Turquoise Lake Trailhead. Ski or walk west up the main Turquoise Lake road and continue on the main road around the lake. This well defined road gradually climbs while paralleling the north shore of the lake. At 5 miles from the trailhead you’ll hit the road’s nondescript high point (10,680 feet). Continue on the road for another 2 1/2 miles of level sections and gradual downhills past the west end of Turquoise Lake. Here you must find the start of the Glacier Creek route for Skinner Hut (which begins at the same point as the trail to Timberline Lake). For positive identification of the Glacier Creek trail, remember that the trail leaves the road at the upper north end of a curve that turns from west to south. The Glacier Creek trail is marked with blue diamonds. You'll see a Forest Service trailhead marker after you start up the trail that indicates Timberline Lake Trail, but the marker can't be seen from the road.

After leaving the Turquoise Lake Road, follow the Glacier Creek route as it stays in the valley for a short distance, then bears left and follows a distinct cut through the forest. Soon you'll be on a steep climb through small clearings and timber, then break into a large clearing at 10,760 feet. This is called the Lunch Spot. Take a rest so you're ready for the next section of trail— steep climbing ahead! Continue upvalley from the Lunch Spot across open flats. With avalanche danger to your right you can stay in the trees to your left, but the skiing is easier on the flats. Enter the woods again at the upper end of the last clearing. From here the trail climbs steeply up the apex of the drainage, eventually reaching a small clearing at 11,400 feet. This is where the real challenge begins.

Cross the bottom end of the clearing (one at a time for possible avalanche danger), then follow a series of steep sidehill switchbacks that climb through forest to the Hagerman Pass Road at 11,600 feet. Turn left (E), ski the road a short distance, then follow a well-marked blue diamond trail a short distance to the hut. If you miss the blue diamonds the road-cut is obvious, but skiing the road will take you past the hut if you're not careful. The Skinner Hut is located a few hundred feet north of Hagerman Pass Road at 11,620 feet. You can not see the hut from the road.

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