Opportunities for independent travel that is beneficial to health are provided by the San Juan Hut System. More than two decades have been dedicated to creating a destination for hut to hut travel by mountain bike and while skiing. Joe Ryan and a friend where inspired in the development of a hut system while vacationing in Canada. The United States did not have a hut system that could be utilized all year long at the time and the two thought it was a good idea. The friend that Ryan had taken the trip with died during an avalanche and the plans were placed on hold.
The San Juan Hut Systems were created during 1987 on Sneffels Range's northern slope. The slope is located in Uncompahgre National Forest which allows access to the wildness of Sneffells and incredible options for skiing. There are five huts that connect the Ouray, Ridgway, and Telluride in the Dallas Trails historic system. There is separate access to the huts provided by their own trailheads providing the ability to ski between huts or make reservations to stay in a hut for a number of days.
When the San Juan Hut System was first built the huts had to be taken down when the ski season ended according to the permits. The first attempts were difficult due to there not being a source of income during the summer and a lack of storage facilities for the huts make it difficult. The first trails begin in Telluride and transitioned through a number of geographic and climatic zones before stopping in Moab, Utah. There was a second route developed to Moab, Utah from Durango, Colorado fifteen years after the first trails were developed.
There are over sixty miles of trails and backcountry skiing accessible with the winter San Juan Hut System. The systems offers two routes for mountain biking that are two hundred and fifteen miles long. The huts can also be utilized for special events such as reunions or other gatherings.
San Juan Hut Systems has five wooden huts that can each hold a total of eight skiers. The huts are equipped with a propane stove, propane lamp, eight padded bunks, firewood and a woodstove. There is also utensils and cookware for those that make use of the huts. Snow has to be melted to obtain drinking water. Huts can be rented; winter rates are in effect from December 1st until the 15th of April and are $30 each person, each night. There is a maximum of eight people a night permitted to stay in the huts that are part of the San Juan Hut System.
Mountain Bike adventures at the hut system are $850 each person. There are specials available that information can be obtained about by contacting the management of the facility. Additional information about the facilities at the San Juan Hut System in Telluride, Colorado can be obtained by contacting the facility directly. Anyone that would like to enjoy a vacation mountain biking or skiing while staying directly on the mountain should take a look at the San Juan Hut System and the accommodations offered.