As Francie's Cabin is in the midst of such fine alpine terrain, why spend much time getting there? This route addresses that question. That said, please know that parking at the Spruce Creek Trailhead is limited. Carpool, and be ready to car shuttle if necessary. Also note that part of this route is NOT marked with blue diamonds (but does follow an obvious roadbed).
Depending on the reach of the snowplows, foot travel begins at either the official signed Spruce Creek trailhead or an informal trailhead wherever the plow turns around on the Spruce Creek Road. We'll assume you're starting from the signed trailhead, since homebuilding in this area is resulting in increasingly better snowplowing.
If you end up starting in a different spot, add appropriate time and distance to your route estimate. As always in these situations, a GPS will help immensely if you don't know the area.
From the Spruce Creek Trailhead ski snowshoe are walk SW up Spruce Creek Road a short .2 mile and turn off right (W) on the Crystal Creek jeep trail. As of 2007 this turn had no signs. There is a green gate just past the turn, but it may be covered with snow during heavy winters. From here the trail climbs steep. You'll intersect the Burro Trail after a few hundred feet. Note that Burro Trail is marked with blue diamonds, while the Crystal Creek jeep trail is not. If you want a more leisurely climb, swing left at the Burro Trail and use it and the Spruce Creek Road for your route.
For the short route continue westerly up the Crystal Creek road cut (obvious roadbed and cut through conifer forest) 3/4 mile to an obvious intersection with another roadcut. Continue a few hundred feet up obvious roadbed to a point where you break out of timber and get a nice view of the bowls and peaks above. You can continue up the roadbed a short distance to the hut, but the blue diamonds indicate a more direct line to the hut