Hinsdale County CO has been designated the most remote county in the lower 49 states by the USGS based on roadless area. The 1,123 square mile county is 96% public land with half of that designated Wilderness Area. The Continental Divide crosses the county twice, east to west and back again. The county population is 843 and the one town and county seat, Lake City has a population of 350. Five 14,000 foot summits are within 15 miles of downtown Lake City. It is located 55 miles north of Creede and 55 miles south of Gunnison on Highway 149.
Hinsdale Haute Route is located just south of Lake City along the Continental Divide. The Sawmill Park Trailhead is about 5 miles south of Lake City a quarter mile above Mile Marker 67 on Highway 149. The Camp Trail Trailhead is about 10 miles south of Lake City on the Cinnamon Pass Road / Hinsdale County Road 30.
Winter access is by snowshoe, ski, split board or snowmobile. Skiers will need climbing skins.
The Wilson Yurt is 1.25 miles and 500 feet of elevtion gain from the trailhead on Hwy 149 along a groomed multi-use trail. The yurt is 200 yard off of the multi-use trail and snpwmobiles are not allowed at the Wilson Yurt. The short distance to the yurt makes it ideal for families and or those traveling hours to arrive at the trailhead. The route is good for beginners, there is no avalanche danger and the route is obvious and easy to follow even in a whiteout.
The Colorado Trail Friends Yurt is more difficult to get to. By the Camp Trail it is 6 miles and 2,500 feet of elevation gain. The route from the Sawmill Trailhead past the Wilson Yurt and along the ridge is 6 miles and 2,000 feet of elevation gain. Snowmobiles are allowed at the Colorado Trail Friends Yurt. Route finding near and above timberline can be challenging in a whiteout.
Summer access can be by foot, mountain bike, motor cycle, ATV, 4X4 or horse depending on which yurt your are going to.
The Wilson Yurt is located 200 yards off of the Sawmill Park Road on a hiking biking trail. Parking is available at the beginning of the trail which is located just below Sawmill Park. No motorized access directly to the yurt.
The Colorado Trail Friends Yurt can be access by any of the means listed. The Camp Trail, as described above, is for non motorized access only. Motorized access can be gained from three locations on Highway 149: Spring Creek Pass, Powderhorn Gulch and Sawmill Park Road.
Yurts are carpeted and insulated. Wood stove with fire wood, fire starter and matches. Four burner propane stove with oven. Small charcoal grill with charcoal and starter fluid. Propane lantern. Solar led lights and candles. Tables and Chairs. Bunk beds and cots with pads for up to 8 folks. Pots, pans, plates, cups, bowls, utensils, cutting boards, everything needed to prepare, serve and clean up for up to 8 folks. Kitchen sink area with a bucket that needs to emptied outside, away from the yurt. We provide dish soap, sponges, scrubbies and handywipes. Large pots for melting snow in winter, on wood stove or propane stove or both. Tools include splitting maul, hatchet, a set of fireplace tools, snow shovel, broom, dust pan and whisk broom. We also provide toilet paper. The supply of split wood and kindling inside should be replenshed by splitting more from the firewood stack outside.
Yes. See question 4.
Winter users melt snow using provided containers on wood stove and or propane stove.
Note: don\'t melt yellow snow. Many hut systems do not allow dogs for this concern. We have found that some people are no more discriminating than dogs. Just don\'t melt yellow snow...
Summer users at the Wilson Yurt need to haul their water. There is no spring or creek close.
Summer users at the Colorado Trail Friends Yurt will find a spring below the Colorado Trail in the middle of the meadow below the yurt. Flowing water and beaver ponds develop farther down the drainage.