Camp Hale and Pando Trailheads
Hutski.com map: Jackal Hut
USGS 7.7 min Map: Pando
10th Mountain Huts map: Chicago Ridge
GPS: See below
Huts accessed: Jackal, Fowler/Hilliard
Elevation: 9,200 feet
GPS: 385 512 E 43 70 173 N
|Camp Hale Trailhead
Elevation 9,250 feet
GPS 386 023 E, 43 65 612 N
|South Camp Hale Trailhead
Elevation: 9,280 feet
GPS 386 369 E, 43 64 504 N
Pando and other trailheads are located at the site of former Camp Hale: A huge, 3-mile long flat area on the Eagle River a few miles north of Tennessee Pass (near Leadville, Colorado). During World War II Camp Hale was home for two years to the men of the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army, for whom the 10th Mountain hut and trail system is named. Only roadbeds and foundations remain of the camp, but the significant history of this location still resonates.
Fee Alert: These trailheads are within the Vail Pass Recreation Area and may require a fee. If you've paid for a hut night the fee is included in your reservation, and you need simply to leave a copy of your reso confirm on the dash of your car. Otherwise pay according to instructions on signs.
Drive Interstate Highway 70 for 5 miles W from Vail Resort or 55 miles E from Glenwood Springs and turn off at the Minturn Exit (# 171) onto Highway 24. At 16 miles from the exit you will broach the huge flat area of Camp Hale. Look for a railroad siding to your right (the Pando siding) and at 16.7 miles turn into a distinct parking area to your left with a sign reading Resolution Road. This is the Pando Trailhead.
To reach the Camp Hale Trailhead, continue from the Pando Trailhead 1.6 miles S on Highway 24. Look to your left for two stone gate posts and a plaque. Again, parking is straightforward. There is no bridge across the Eagle River from the Camp Hale Trailhead; you might find a snow bridge, but don't count on it. For reliability, you may want to forgo using this trailhead and use the Pando Trailhead.
For the South Camp Hale Trailhead, continue S on Highway 24 for .7 miles past the Camp Hale Trailhead. Look to your left for another distinct parking area. Again, you won't find a bridge over the river, but due to the distance this trailhead can save you, it might be worth looking for a snow bridge. Such bridges are more likely in mid winter. Boggy ground exists in this area as well, and needs a thick mid-winter snowpack for coverage. Vehicle vandelism was reported at this trailhead in March of 2005.
To reach these trailheads from the south (Leadville) drive highway 24 over Tennessee Pass to Camp Hale. The South Camp Hale Trailhead is 5 miles north of Tennessee Pass on Highway 24. Use the connection mileages above to find the other two trailheads.
Road City Information: Highway 24 & Leadville
United States Highway 24 (10th Mountain Division Memorial Highway) connects the towns of Minturn, Red Cliff, and Leadville. Leadville, at 10,152 feet elevation, is the highest city of its size in the United States. This charismatic old mining town was created by the gold and silver boom in the late 1800s. Curiosity seekers will find several excellent museums and plenty of photogenic old buildings. Lodging and dining in the old mining town are fun and affordable. Harrison Avenue is the main street through the old part of town. Here you'll find the fabulous restored Hotel Delaware, as well as several affordable motels. For dining, don't miss authentic Mexican food at The Grill on the west end of Elm Street. For breakfast, try the restaurants on Harrison Avenue.