Owned and administrated by the Boulder Group of the Colorado Mountain Club (303-554-7688), under agreement with the U.S. Forest Service, Roosevelt National Forest district. David Miller is the present volunteer Hutmeister, maintaining the calendar and coordinating seasonal preparation and upkeep of the Arestua Hut. The Boulder Group built the Arestua Hut (aka Guinn Mt. Cabin) in 1969 (for more information refer to the commemorative guest book from 2009), a cozy and secluded relative of the better-known Brainard Lake Cabin. This hut is located at 11,000 feet on the north side of Guinn Mountain, and provides a winter shelter for Nordic & backcountry skiers, snowshoers, and shelter for summer hikers from afternoon rainshowers. The Arestua Hut has breathtaking views of the Front Range and the high plains.
During the ski season (traditionally late November through mid April), the hut is usually accessed from the Jenny Creek trail that starts near the Eldora Nordic center, located between the downhill and cross country trail areas at Eldora Mountain ski resort. Overnight parking should be performed east of the stone wall marking the entrance to the resort. Access through Eldora Mountain makes use of land owned by the resort, so it is requested that users pass through during Eldora ski resort's hours of operation. The Jenny Creek route is well-marked (blue diamonds and signs), but steep and narrow in many places. Take the right path at the two forks up from Jenny creek as you approach Guinn Mountain. In winter, the Jenny Creek route is usually well tracked and passes through a minimal amount of avalanche terrain, making it the preferred route in winter, especially during/after a big storm. The approach for the winter season route is about 4.5 miles distance and 2000 feet of elevation gain. A GPS track of the Jenny creek route (in .gpx format) can be obtained by clicking: Jenny Creek to Arestua Hut GPS Track. To aid navigation, a basic map showing waypoints along the route can be obtained by clicking here. Current weather conditions on highway near Nederland can be assessed from this webpage containing several webcams. Additional information about the Jenny Creek trail (National Forest trail #808) can be obtained from this USFS webpage.
Throughout the entire year, the hut may be accessed via the Lost Lake-Pipeline route in the Indian Peaks wilderness area. The Lost Lake-Pipeline route is nominally comparable to the Jenny Creek route in distance and elevation, but with 1 mile added when the road between Eldora township and the Hessie trailhead is closed in the winter season. Users should be aware that the area at and above Lost lake is known avalanche terrain during the winter season. To access Bryan mountain, follow the old mining trail above the southeast corner of Lost lake. Expect some bushwhacking through the forest in the middle part of route. The latter part of the route is relatively level and follows the cutout through the forest above the natural gas pipeline. A GPS track of the Lost Lake-Pipeline route (in _.gpx format) can be obtained by clicking: Lost Lake-Pipeline to Arestua Hut GPS Track. To aid navigation, a basic map of the route can be obtained by clicking: map.
ReservationsThe Arestua Hut is not day-hosted, but is open to day visitors dropping by for a break or to warm up. The hut is available for overnight use on a first-come, first-served basis. The hut nominally accommodates up to eight people overnight with sleeping mats on built-in bunks and in the loft. Larger groups should remember to bring sleeping mats for the floor. It is a crowded night or a long ski out when many visitors show up to stay at the cabin. To keep from being the one who sleeps on the floor, please look at the "reservations calendar" to coordinate overnight use. The calendar indicates the number and size of the groups intending to stay at the hut each night of. Groups staying overnight at the hut should expect other visitors during the day or in the event of an emergency. To add your own "reservation" as a courtesy to others, and send an email (including the name of the trip leader and the group size) to the Hutmeister. For emergency purposes, requestors must identify the name of the trip leader from their group.
Please be respectful that Arestua is open to all backcountry users - if your planned group size should change, please send an email before your trip to help keep the calendar accurate.
AmenitiesThe hut has a wood-fired stove, proven to warm the cabin on the coldest winter nights (where the outside temperature on windy Guinn mountain can get below -20 F). A supply of wood is prepared each autumn for the winter season. Overnight visitors are advised to bring fire-starting essentials for the stove. While the wood stove works well for warming the hut and melting snow, it is not sufficient for cooking. Overnight visitors are advised to bring a separate backpacking stove for meals. During the winter season, water is obtained by melting the snow around the cabin. Snow melting does not require treating the water, if brought to a rolling boil for 3 minutes. For additional information on water and its treatment in the Rocky Mountain backcountry, can be accessed by clicking: CDC). Some visitors may prefer to bring a water filter to remove contamination (pine needles or soot deposited from the cabin stove). During the summer season, the closest water source is roughly one half mile east along the Guinn mountain trail at the springs near the base of the steep uphill to Guinn mountain (look near N39.93955 W105.63489 at 10,665 ft elevation). A basic supply of cookware (pans, dishes, and mugs) and eating utensils are stored at the hut.
The hutmeister is grateful to the OG Power Station company in Boulder for donating an LED light system, supported by a solar panel and battery, to the hut. To be prepared for travel to a remote wilderness location, and because prolonged winter weather can drain the light system, all visitors are advised to bring an emergency light (headlamp). PLEASE DO NOT BRING CANDLES TO THE HUT.
A separate primitive outhouse is located southeast of the hut. After each use, each user should remember to add a scoop of sawdust to the outhouse to aid the composting process. Two signs that can be seen from the east deck of the hut indicate the location of the outhouse. As a reminder please do not pee elsewhere near the cabin, because that area is the source of the snow to melt for drinking water. Overnight visitors are advised to bring their own toilet paper for the outhouse facility to be sure paper is present.
Rules of UseThe guidance for visitors posted at the hut is also listed here for reference. In addition to these rules, visitors are reminded of the general guidance to act as good stewards of the hut. For example, please shovel snow off of the east deck to limit its weight and prevent damage to the deck.
- DO NOT LEAVE A FIRE IN THE WOOD STOVE UNATTENDED
- COOK STOVES MAY ONLY BE USED ON THE PROTECTED KITCHEN COUNTER TOP
- DO NOT SPLIT OR CHOP FIREWOOD IN THE HUT OR ON THE PORCH
- SUMMER USERS MAY NOT USE FIREWOOD; IT IS PREPARED FOR WINTER USE
- USE THE OUTHOUSE: DO NOT POLLUTE THE SNOW (THE SOURCE FOR DRINKING WATER IN THE WINTER)
- DO NOT DISPOSE OF TRASH IN THE OUTHOUSE
- PACK OUT WHAT YOU PACK IN
- DO NOT LEAVE FOOD, BECAUSE OF MICE
- BEFORE YOU LEAVE, CLEAN AND TIDY UP FOR THE NEXT GROUP, AND TO PREVENT MICE
- USE FEE: $1/DAY, $5/NIGHT, PER PERSON
The nearest weather station is located at the Eldora Ski Resort (the winter trailead). The Eldora snow report can be accessed by clicking: Eldora Snow Report. The weather at James peak might be taken as a proxy for the weather near the hut, click: James peak weather. The avalanche conditions and forecast for Colorado may be accessed, by clicking: CAIC.
Skiing and Recreation
The hut is often used as a day destination for skiers using the Jenny Creek route. The trails are marked (blue diamonds and signs) and typically the trail is broken in by users. However, recent snowstorms or snow drifting from the wind may require trail breaking along any section of the Jenny Creek route. Even a day visit can be a worthy and rewarding trip. Day users should keep an eye out for highlights along the trail, including views of the mountains ahead along the downhill section from Eldora, the icy (in winter) section along Jenny creek, the natural tunnel of trees at the end of one the biggest uphill sections, and the ruins of the miner's cabin near the crux hill onto Guinn mountain. It's well worth going early enough in the day venture above the hut. Great views of landmarks including James Peak, Needles Eye tunnel, Yankee Doodle lake, and South Arapaho peak can be taken in from the summit of Guinn mountain or the ridge to Hell Hill.
Backcountry skiing may be found near the hut, e.g., the southeast side of Guinn mountain. Skiers are reminded that the high altitude area near the hut contains avalanche terrain. For example, on November 28, 2001 one of two skiers were drowned after being swept under the ice by an avalanche while skiing down the steep slopes above Yankee Doodle Lake. A report on that incident may be accessed, by clicking: avalanche.org. The hut may be used as a base camp or as a resting point for those touring between Eldora and Winter Park. Information on the long ski touring routes crossing the Continental Divide may be obtained by clicking: Touring Information.
In the Event of Emergency
Intermittent cellular phone service (including an internet connection to this webpage) may be achieved at the hut through the tower at nearby Bryan Mountain. The quality of connection typically does not improve higher up on the summit of Guinn Mountain. More consistent reception may be obtained along the Lost Lake trail closer to Bryan mountain - for example at 1/3 mile from the hut at N39.94273 W105.63914 at 10,956 ft. In the event of an emergency, visitors are advised to have a communications liason go to that location and dial 911 to reach the Boulder county or Gilpin County sheriff office, or be forwarded to Search And Rescue. Information regarding Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue and related membership may be accessed by clicking: CORSAR. Consider a membership or donation as CORSAR receives limited public funds to support its operations.
Because the area near the hut is commonly sourced for the snow melted for drinking water, it is requested that visitors not bring their dogs to the hut during the winter season, which runs from November 1 through May 31.
A series of guest books has historically been kept at the cabin. Those books have been scanned to provide a history of the hut guests and sense of the atmosphere at the hut. The electronic archives provide an exact record of the guest books; they have not been filtered or censored. The electronic archives reflect the hut guests and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Colorado Mountain Club. Each pdf file may be accessed by the clicking the links below, which identify the range of dates for each of the guest books. Thanks much to Art Roberts and Peter Stout for their help scanning these in!
Lost and Found
Occasionally there are items that get left at the hut. Inquire about lost and found items with the Hutmeister.
Upkeep and Events
The suggested donation to cover maintenance costs and the supplies related to operation of the hut is: Day Use $1, Overnight $5 per person. (No cash? Donate on PayPal via email to brainardcabin [at] yahoo.com . Please note 'To Arestua hut' in your PayPal donation makes it easier to recognize, and to put your donation towards the cabin. The hut is solely maintained by users and volunteers (i.e., YOU!).
PLEASE attend the fall work party to prepare firewood and ready the hut for use through the following year. Contact arestuahut [at] yahoo.com for an invitation, take an information card (available near the donations box at the hut), or add your own email to a card and leave it in the donations box. Each year there are typically a few separate days in the summer or early fall related to specific projects at the hut. Check below in early summer, especially if you cannot attend the fall work party.
|Sat Sept 9, 2017||2017 Annual Work Party||Season preparation, split & stack wood for winter|
** Alternative formats of this information are available on request to people with disabilities.
In accordance with the Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) To file a complaint of discrimination: write USDA, Director,Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Any other questions? Send an email to the [protected email address]