10th (Tenth) Mountain Division Huts and Summit Huts Online Guidebook
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Jackal Hut
ELEVATION: 11,660 feet
HUTSKI.COM FREE MAP: Jackal Hut (see below)
GPS: 390 087 E, 43 66 210 N
Trailheads: Camp Hale

USGS 7.5 min map: Pando
10th Mountain Huts map: Chicago Ridge

Jackal Hut, shown here during a crisp Colorado winter morning, has amazing views of 14,000 foot peaks.

Located near timberline north of Leadville in central Colorado, Jackal Hut provides good backcountry skiing in the hut area and terrific views of several 14,000-foot peaks. The hut is owned by 10th Mountain and conforms to 10th Mountain's basic hut specifications, (identical to the Fowler/Hilliard Hut).

As is the case with several other eastern 10th Mountain huts, Jackal Hut is close to a trailhead. While this can make trailhead to hut skiing less appealing for experienced skiers, it is a boon for those in the learning stage or for backcountry skiers who simply want to reach a hut quickly then stay there and ski adjacent tours and descents. Fortunately, you can do plenty of base skiing from the Jackal Hut, so consider carrying a few days supplies up from the trailhead and spending several nights.

The quickest route to the Jackal Hut is via Ranch Creek. For ski-throughs north to the Fowler/Hilliard Hut, use the 10th Mountain suggested route that sticks more to the valleys but still hits timberline. Given stable avalanche conditions, it's also possible to swing farther east and hit more alpine terrain while skiing between the two huts. For a ski-through south to Vance's Cabin, head down Cataract Creek. You won't find much alpine ski mountaineering near the Jackal Hut, but nearby glades may provide excellent powder skiing.

Map below connects to Fowler Hilliard on the top (north),and Janet's Cabin on upper right corner and Vance's Cabin at the bottom (south). If you have trouble viewing or printing the map below, try our optional Jackal PDF.
 


Pando Trailhead—Jackal Hut via Pearl Creek
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
HUTSKI.COM FREE MAPS: Jackal Hut, Fowler Hilliard Hut
TIME: 8 hours up, 6 hours down
DISTANCE: 7 1/4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 2,516 feet; loss 56 feet

This 10th Mountain suggested route is the longest trail to the Jackal Hut. Most often, the Pearl Creek section is used as part of the ski-through between the Jackal and Fowler/Hilliard huts.

From the Pando Trailhead ski E across the main north/south Camp Hale Road, across a bridge over the Eagle River, then E and NE to intersect a snow-covered road running north/south at the base of the mountain. Ski this road N a short distance, then turn right and ski SE up through a gulch east of point 9,540 (this is not the main Camp Hale Road). One mile from Pando you intersect the distinct Resolution Road. Take a left (NE) and ski 1 1/2 miles up the Resolution Road to 9,678 feet.

Turn right (SE) off the Resolution Road onto another distinct road-cut that crosses a bridge over Resolution Creek. Once on the south side of the creek, look for a 10th Mountain marked trail that leaves the road-cut and heads directly into the Pearl Creek drainage. Follow this trail for 1 3/4 miles on the southwest side of the creek to 10,320 feet where you cross to the northeast side of the drainage and climb another 1/2 mile to 10,560 feet. Make a 90-degree turn and climb through willows and clearings to 11,000 feet, then out of Pearl Creek to an 11,420-foot saddle on the ridge between Pearl Creek and the East Fork of the Eagle River.

From the saddle, stick to the ridge and ski 3/4 mile to the open clearing at the highest point on the ridge (11,716 feet), then drop 56 vertical feet SW to the Jackal Hut (11,660 feet) which sits just below and to the south of the highest part of the ridge. The building is visible from several hundred feet away, but you can miss it if you are skiing on the north side of the wide ridge crest, especially in a whiteout. If you know how long it takes you to ski 3/4 mile and you use your altimeter, you'll be sure to find it.

REVERSE ROUTE: From the front steps of Jackal Hut, traverse NE several hundred feet to the ridge crest. Descend the ridge E for 3/4 mile to the distinct 11,420-foot saddle. Drop down the north side of the saddle into Pearl Creek. You can make turns for a few hundred vertical feet, but make sure you're on the 10th Mountain marked trail when the willows begin at 11,000 feet, otherwise you'll "wander in the willows." Intersect Pearl Creek at 10,560 feet and cross to the north side of the creek. Descend the Pearl Creek drainage to Resolution Road in the Resolution Creek drainage. Ski Resolution Road SW 2 miles downvalley to Camp Hale. If visibility is poor in Camp Hale you might have trouble finding the Pando Trailhead and bridge. In this case you can strike cross country to Highway 24, your only obstacles being the Eagle River and up to a mile of trail breaking. In midwinter you can usually find a snow bridge over the Eagle River.

SAFETY NOTES: Use your survival ski skills on the descent from the 11,420-foot saddle.

SUMMER: Hikers and equestrians will enjoy this route.

Jackal Hut - South Camp Hale Trailhead & Ranch Creek
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
HUTSKI.COM FREE MAPS: Jackal Hut, Fowler Hilliard Hut
TIME: 4 3/4 hours up, 3 hours down
DISTANCE: 4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 2,436 feet; loss: 56 feet

This trailhead to hut route is short and concise. It is a 10th Mountain suggested route and uses a portion of the popular snowmobile trail in Camp Hale; so keep an open ear and nimble feet.

From the South Camp Hale Trailhead, ski NE across the flats of Camp Hale (use a snow bridge to cross the Eagle River). Intersect the road at the base of the mountain, turn right (SE), and ski the snow-covered road 1/4 mile to the well-signed intersection with the Ranch Creek Road. Put on your skins here. Take a left (N) on the Ranch Creek Road and follow a distinct road-cut that climbs Ranch Creek 2 miles to 10,700 feet. Here you'll break into a clearing with several beautiful old cabins. Climb NE through the clearing and re-enter the timber at about 10,900 feet. Follow the trail up several switchbacks. Strong skiers will certainly want to cut some of these switchbacks. If you do so, take care to relocate the 10th Mountain marked trail.

At 11,220 feet the trail takes an important right turn (E), then climbs 1/4 mile (around 2 more switchbacks) to a large open area on the ridge. Follow the ridge E for 1/2 mile to the ridge top at 11,716 feet. As you are skiing along the flat, sparsely timbered ridge top, you'll see the stove pipes of the hut down to your right. In poor visibility take care not to overshoot the hut. Your altimeter can help prevent this, since the main goal is the high point of the ridge. Ski a few hundred feet E along the ridge top, then double back W to the hut.

REVERSE ROUTE: From the front steps of the hut take a climbing traverse NE to the ridge crest, then head W over the ridge top. Stick to the broad ridge crest for 1/2 mile, then drop W into the Ranch Creek drainage on a marked 10th Mountain suggested route. Experts can cut most of the switchbacks on the marked trail and enjoy turns down the fall line in the clearing beginning at about 10,900 feet. Be careful to intersect the road-cut at the lower edge of a clearing. The road down the Ranch Creek drainage is easy to follow. At the flats of Camp Hale use your map to reach the South Camp Hale Trailhead. If a whiteout cuts the view, just strike out across the flats on a compass bearing and you'll hit Highway 24.

SAFETY NOTES: This trail begins with a "nose to the grindstone" climb. However, the last part of the route (on the ridge) requires attention to navigation.

SUMMER: The Ranch Creek Road is a good bike, horse, and hiking route. It does not connect to the hut, but cyclists can easily manage the short portage.

South Camp Hale Trailhead—Jackal Hut via Cataract Creek
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
HUTSKI.COM FREE MAPS: Jackal Hut, Fowler Hilliard Hut
TIME: 5 1/2 hours up, 4 hours down
DISTANCE: 5 1/3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 2,436 feet; loss: 56 feet

Due to a lengthy 2-mile walk or tour on the flats of Camp Hale This is the "medium length" trailhead to hut route for the Jackal Hut, and is useful mostly as the connector route south to Vance's Cabin.

Start at the South Camp Hale Trailhead with waxed skis. Ski NE across the flats of Camp Hale (find a snow bridge to cross the Eagle River). Intersect the road at the base of the mountain, turn right (SE), and ski the snow-covered road 2 1/4 miles up the flat drainage of the East Fork of the Eagle River. Put your skins on here and take a left (9,560 feet) onto the well-signed Cataract Creek jeep trail. From here climb the jeep trail. The Colorado Trail uses the Cataract Creek jeep trail, so you'll find the little triangular Colorado Trail markers along with standard 10th Mountain markers. Cataract Creek is nestled in a steep-sided gulch, so the road winds as it works its way through the gulch. At 10,720 feet in the Cataract Creek drainage you leave the jeep trail and climb N 1/2 mile and 700 vertical feet to a wide saddle (11,420 feet) atop the north ridge of the drainage.

Ski W from the saddle over a bump to another 11,420-foot saddle (intersection with route 10.1). From here stick to the ridge and ski 3/4 mile W to the open clearing at the highest point on the ridge (11,716 feet), then drop S to the Jackal Hut (11,660 feet) which sits just below and to the south of the highest part of the ridge. The hut is visible from several hundred feet away, but you can miss it if you are skiing on the north side of the wide ridge crest, especially in a whiteout.

REVERSE ROUTE: From the front steps of the Jackal Hut traverse NE several hundred feet to the ridge crest. Descend the ridge E 3/4 mile to the distinct 11,420-foot saddle dividing the Cataract Creek and Pearl Creek drainages. Continue SE from the saddle, traversing around the south side of point 11,475 to another 11,420-foot saddle. Drop S from here into the Cataract Creek drainage and intersect the Cataract Creek jeep trail at 10,720 feet. Descend the jeep trail to the valley floor of the Eagle River drainage, then follow the main snow-covered road W downvalley to the Camp Hale trailheads.

SAFETY NOTES:
For the most part the Cataract Creek jeep trail keeps you out of a steep-sided gulch. One section of the road, however, from 10,360 feet down to the creek crossing at 10,160 feet, would take you under a dangerous steep bank. Bypass this to the east on a short route with standard 10th Mountain markings.

SUMMER:
The Cataract Creek jeep trail is a fine bicycle route, but you have to portage along the ridge to the hut. Hikers and horse people will enjoy this whole route.

Jackal Hut to Fowler/Hilliard Hut via Pearl Creek
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
HUTSKI.COM FREE MAPS: Jackal Hut, Fowler Hilliard Hut
TIME: 7 1/2 hours
DISTANCE: 8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 2,078 feet; loss: 2,238 feet

This is a basic ski-through route between two huts. It uses marked 10th Mountain suggested routes and includes scenic timberline travel.

From the front steps of the Jackal Hut traverse NE several hundred feet to the ridge crest. Descend the ridge E for 3/4 mile to a distinct 11,420-foot saddle. Drop down the north side of the saddle into Pearl Creek. You can get in some turns for a few hundred vertical feet, but make sure you're on the 10th Mountain marked trail when the willows begin at 11,000 feet, otherwise you'll have to "beat the rushes."

Intersect Pearl Creek at 10,560 feet and cross to the north side of the creek (route 9.9/10.4 intersects here). Descend the Pearl Creek drainage 2 1/8 miles to the Resolution Creek drainage. Cross a bridge over Resolution Creek and gain the distinct cut of the Resolution Road.

Ski the Resolution Road 1 mile upvalley to 9,960 feet. Leave the Resolution Road here and take a left (NW) onto a marked 10th Mountain trail. The blue diamonds take you up to a 10,940-foot saddle on the southwest ridge of Resolution Mountain.

Climb the southwest ridge of Resolution Mountain for 3/4 mile to 11,400 feet. Next, take a 3/4-mile climbing traverse NE then N across the west face of Resolution Mountain, ending at 11,700-foot Resolution Saddle on the northwest ridge of Resolution Mountain. Ski down E from the saddle and make a short traverse that leads to a distinct east/west cleft of the Resolution Narrows. Take care not to ski N downhill from the saddle. Continue E down the Resolution Narrows to Fowler/Hilliard Hut in a clearing at 11,500 feet. In clear weather the hut is visible from Resolution Saddle. For "bonus turns" experts may consider ascending Resolution Mountain, then cutting turns down to the hut.

SAFETY NOTES: There can be avalanche danger on the open slopes of Resolution Mountain. Be aware of cornices on all ridges. The trails out of Camp Hale are used by snowmobiles quite often.

SUMMER: NR

Jackal Hut to Vance's Cabin via Cataract Creek
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
HUTSKI.COM FREE MAPS: Jackal Hut, Vance's Cabin
TIME: 7 hours
DISTANCE: 8 1/2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 1,420 feet; loss: 2,100 feet

This 10th Mountain suggested route is the standard ski-through route from the Jackal Hut to Vance's Cabin.

From the front steps of the Jackal Hut traverse NE several hundred feet to the ridge crest. Descend the ridge E for 3/4 mile to the distinct 11,420-foot saddle dividing the Cataract Creek and Pearl Creek drainages. Continue SE from the saddle over point 11,475 to another 11,420-foot saddle. Drop S from here into the Cataract Creek drainage and intersect the Cataract Creek jeep trail at 10,720 feet. Descend the jeep trail to the valley floor of the Eagle River drainage.

Follow a snow-covered main road for 1/4 mile upvalley. Just after the snow-covered road crosses the East Fork of the Eagle River (no bridge), leave the main road and ski right (S) several hundred feet across a flat area. Swing SW and begin a climbing traverse that leads up a marked trail-cut for 2 miles through timber to Jones Gulch. Stay on the northeast side of Jones Creek and parallel the creek to a marshy clearing at the 10,400-foot level.

Follow the marked trail W along the north side of the clearing, then continue on a climbing traverse NW (on sections of road and trail) to 10,600 feet on a shoulder. Swing S and climb the shoulder to 11,033 feet. From here the trail leaves the crest of the shoulder and follows a long 1 1/2-mile climbing traverse through medium density timber to the lower edge of a burn area at 11,000 feet on the west shoulder of Taylor Hill.

The hut sits at the lower southwest end of the burn on the side of a rise and is hard to see when you enter the burn. However, there are structures near the hut that you can see from a little farther away.

SAFETY NOTES:
For the most part, the Cataract Creek jeep trail keeps you out of a steep-sided gulch. One section of the road, however, from 10,360 feet down to the creek crossing at 10,160 feet, would take you under a dangerous steep bank. You bypass this to the east on a short route with standard 10th Mountain markings.

SUMMER: NR

Jackal Hut to Janet's Cabin via Tim's Traverse
DIFFICULTY: Expert
HUTSKI.COM FREE MAPS: Jackal Hut, Janet's Cabin
TIME: 6 hours
DISTANCE: 4 1/2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 1,180 feet; loss: 1,230

Use this alternate route for a fine connection between two terrific huts. From the front steps of the Jackal Hut traverse NE for several hundred feet to the ridge crest. Descend the ridge E for 3/4 mile to the distinct 11,420-foot saddle dividing the Cataract Creek and Pearl Creek drainages. Leave the marked trail here by continuing E and NE up the ridge for 1 mile and 580 vertical feet to Pearl Peak. Summit Pearl Peak or contour the south side (depending on avalanche conditions) and continue climbing E up the ridge to 12,600 feet on Elk Ridge. Descend S for 1/4 mile down Elk Ridge to a saddle (12,460 feet). Read your map here and identify Searle Pass to the north across the basin, then drop into the basin and traverse to Searle Pass. From the pass descend 430 vertical feet NW and W to Janet's Cabin. The hut is located at 11,610 feet, just below timberline a few hundred feet northwest of Guller Creek.

SAFETY NOTES: Much of this route passes through avalanche terrain. You should carry avalanche rescue equipment and be expert with hazard avoidance. Ski this route during a period of stable snow, such as a cold day during the spring corn-snow season.

SUMMER: Enjoy a nice alpine hike via this route.


Jackal Hut Regional Ski Touring

Ski Tours from Jackal Hut
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate to Advanced
HUTSKI.COM FREE MAP: Jackal Hut

Jackal Hut is located in the midst of some fine glade skiing. You'll find slopes on all exposures, so move around to get good snow. A good ski run takes the open areas at the head of Pearl Creek just west of the 10th Mountain suggested route. Cut over to the trail as soon as the trees tighten and use the trail for your climb back up. Be careful of small cliffs farther to the west.
You can also ski S from the front porch. Head down the open area, then into trees that soon thicken into an unskiable forest. Enjoy a few laps.

You can get another good run by simply following the Ranch Creek route (10.2). Cut the switchbacks down to 11,000 feet, then make figure-eights in the open area down to the forest. Do laps here until dinnertime.

SAFETY NOTES: By exploring you can find dozens of hidden powder caches. If you go wild, make sure you have time to climb back to the hut before dark. Beware of sudden drop-offs and cliff areas.



 
 
 
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Please note: The information in this website is based on the experience and research of the site owners and their sources, may not be accurate due to human error or source errors, and might not be perceived as accurate by other persons. Therefore, extreme care should be taken when following any of the backcountry skiing 10th Mountain Huts, Summit Huts and Braun Huts routes described in this website. This website is not intended to be instructional but rather is a guide for backcountry users who already have the requisite training, experience, and knowledge for the activities they choose. An advanced level of expertise and physical conditioning is necessary for even the "easiest" of the routes and activities described herein. Proper clothing and equipment is essential. Failure to have the necessary knowledge, equipment, and conditioning will subject you to physical danger, injury, or death. Some backcountry skiing routes for 10th Mountain Huts, Summit Huts and Braun Huts have changed and others will change; avalanche hazards may have expanded or new hazards may have formed since this website's publication.

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