About Hinsdale Haute Route

Recent History


The Jon Wilson Yurt is currently available.

The BLM has approved a new site for the Rambouillet Yurt. The new location is about 0.5 mile NNW and about 300 feet higher than the old location. The new site has excellent views of Uncompaghre and Wetterhorn Peaks and the upper Lake Fork drainage. Skiing possibilities will begin at the deck with many options down toward Sawmill Park including the Sawmill Headwall; 1,000 feet of vert on 35 degree slope (plus and or minus) open to treed skiing, starting at timberline.  A new 20 foot yurt is being constructed for the new site.


Sherpa Service

Our Sherpa Service provides an option for groups to travel light while we transport heavy and bulky gear with our snowmobile and large sled in winter.  The service can be reserved when booking a reservation.  It is $25 each way for the Wilson Yurt. It is paid for with cash or check at time of service.  Most groups only use the service for the trip up to the yurt.


Ancient History

Hinsdale Haute Route was incorporated in 1988 as La Garita Haute Route Association and has been developed and maintained entirely by volunteers. The original Special Use Permits with Forest Service and BLM required that the yurts be set up each year, only after enough snow had fallen to haul the yurts and the furnishings in on the snow, and to remove it all each spring before the snow melted.

A prototype yurt was manufactured in 1991 and set up near the current Colorado Trail Friends Yurt site for Forest Service personnel to see. The Jon Wilson Memorial Yurt was constructed with donated memorial funds for materials and volunteer labor; it was initially set up in Cebolla Creek in 1992. The Rambouillet Yurt was constructed with donated funds and volunteer labor; it was initially set up in Rambouillet Park in 1993. The Colorado Trail Friends Yurt was constructed through Colorado Trail Foundation related memorial and friends donations and volunteer labor; it was set up in 1994.

The Colorado Trail Friends Yurt was granted permission to operate year round has been serving Colorado Trail and Continental Divide Trail hikers since the summer of 2011.



About Hinsdale County

Hinsdale County has been named the most remote county in the lower 49 states by the USGS.  The Continental Divide crosses the county twice, east to west and back again.  North Hinsdale County and South Hinsdale County are on the west slope of Colorado and the middle of Hinsdale County is on the east slope of Colorado. It is 96%+ public land and half of that is designated Wilderness.  1,123 square miles with a population of 774.  

Lake City, the county seat and only incorportated town in the county, has a population of 374.  There are "five" 14,000 foot summits within 15 miles of down town Lake City.  

Lake San Cristobal, Lake City's namesake, is the second largest natural lake in Colorado.  It was formed by the Slumgullion Earth Flow, a massive landslide that ran from timbeline down to the valley floor blocking the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River valley and forming the lake 700 years ago.  The earthflow still moves up to 20 feet per year in some locations.  It is visible from the Sawmill Park Trailhead.