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Årestua Hut

General Info

The hut is owned and administrated by the Boulder Group of the Colorado Mountain Club (303-554-7688), under special use permit with the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Roosevelt National Forest Boulder Ranger district. David Miller is the present volunteer Hutmeister, maintaining the calendar and coordinating seasonal preparation and upkeep of the Årestua Hut. The Boulder Group built the Årestua Hut (aka Guinn Mountain Hut) in 1969 (for documentation see here), a cozy and secluded relative of the better-known Brainard Lake Cabin. Årestua 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 rainstorms. The area has breathtaking views of the Front Range and the high plains.


Jenny Creek/Guinn Mountain route

During the resort ski season (traditionally late-November through mid-April), the hut is readily 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. Those that would like to access the hut using the Jenny Creek Trail should stop at the Eldora Nordic Center during its operating hours (9am-4pm) to pick up a complimentary single-use pass for access through the front gate into Eldora Ski Resort (adjacent to the base of “Uncle Bob’s” Ski Run, badge and enter to the right side as you are looking uphill). Overnight parking should be done east of the stone wall entrance to the resort. Access through Eldora Mountain makes use of private land owned by the resort and its neighbors, so it is requested that users pass through during the ski resort's hours of operation.

Should you be traveling after hours, please closely follow the day route (including through “Little Hawk” or “Uncle Bob’s” Ski Runs) to avoid maintenance and grooming equipment, including snow cats which may be using winch operated metal cables. The Jenny Creek route is usually well tracked and passes through a minimal amount of avalanche terrain, making it the preferred winter route, i.e. during/after a big storm. Take the right fork in the trail up from Jenny Creek as you approach Guinn Mountain, where there is a trail sign. The Jenny Creek route is marked with reflective blue diamonds nailed to trees, but has a few short steep or narrow sections near Guinn Mountain. The approach for the winter season route is about 4.5 miles distance and 2000 feet of elevation gain. Eldora Mountain resort has recently also been allowing summer foot-traffic access for hut visitors.

Lost Lake-Pipeline route

The hut may be accessed year-round via the Lost Lake-Pipeline route in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. The Lost Lake-Pipeline route is four miles in distance and 2000 feet in elevation gain, but with one mile added if the road between Eldora township and the Hessie trailhead is closed in the winter season. Users should be aware that the area immediately above Lost Lake is known avalanche terrain during the winter season. The road is not plowed in winter, but has been accessible in recent winters by 4WD based on the popular use of the Hessie Trailhead. Unfortunately no web camera or online information is available for the road. 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 the route - the pipeline cutout has regrown since it was made at the time of the hut’s construction. The latter part of the route is relatively level and follows the cutout through the forest above the natural gas pipeline.

Calendar and Notifications for Overnight Use

The Årestua Hut is not day-hosted, but is open to day visitors dropping by to snack, recover, warm up or take shelter from the weather. Following the customs of the huts in Norway, the hut is available for overnight use on a first-come, first-served basis. The hut nominally accommodates up to seven people (five in the main level plus two in the loft) and gear. There are sleeping mats at the hut, on the built-in bunks and in the loft. Groups larger than seven should remember to bring additional sleeping mats for the floor. It is a crowded night or a long trip out when too many visitors show up to stay at the hut. To avoid being the person who sleeps on the floor, please use the Notifications Calendar to coordinate overnight use. The calendar indicates the number and size of the groups intending to stay at the hut the night of each day, e.g., the day of January 1 from 12:00am to 11:59pm is used to indicate a group staying on the night of January 1. The email for the trip leader is also given so that groups may independently coordinate visits, e.g., in the event of a change in the group size. Groups staying overnight at the hut should expect other visitors during the day or in the event of an emergency. Logging out of personal Yahoo and associated accounts (Flickr, etc.) can help to view the calendar.

We ask that you honor the community tradition of the shared use shelter that has been established through the hut's history. Please keep in mind:


Wood stove

The hut has a wood-fired stove, proven to warm the hut 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. It helps to keep the door open when lighting the stove. The door should be shut soon after a fire is burning, so that the stove will run more efficiently. Once the door is shut, the slider on the bottom of the door may be adjusted to control the burn rate


Please do not create fires or construct a fire ring near the hut as this goes against the permit with the Forest Service. A fire extinguisher is provided at the hut in the event of issues with the wood stove, cooking of food, or should you encounter a nearby fire. Additional information is provided here for those that may be traveling through the nearby wilderness areas. Note that Stage 1 and Stage 2 fire restrictions do not apply the hut (which uses an indoor wood stove). Those camping in the nearby Indian Peaks or James Peak Wilderness Areas may wish to consult the USDA Forest Service website regarding fire restriction orders and maps by clicking: Forest Service. Active advisories will be listed in the “Alerts and Warnings" box on the right or click here.


During the winter season, water is obtained by melting the snow outside the hut. Snow melting does not require additional treating of the water, if brought to a rolling boil for 3 minutes. Some visitors may prefer to bring a water filter to treat water more rapidly and remove contamination (e.g., pine needles from the forest or soot from the chimney that falls on the snow near the cabin).

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 hill on to Guinn Mountain (look near N39.93955 W105.63489 at 10,665 ft elevation). Visitors are advised raw water in the vicinity of the hut is unsuitable for human consumption without adequate treatment. Visitors should either boil or filter water obtained from the springs or other sources (e.g., lakes) near the hut with commercially available backpacking water filters, prior to human consumption. For additional information on water and its treatment in the Rocky Mountain backcountry, can be accessed by clicking: CDC). Visitors often find the trek to obtain water in the summer does limit summer visits to the hut.

Food and cooking

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. A basic supply of cookware (pans, dishes, and mugs) and eating utensils is stored at the hut. Please do not leave food at the hut (mice).

Solar panel, LED lights, and USB charger

The CMC is grateful to the OG Power Station company in Boulder for donating an LED light system, supported by a solar panel and battery. 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!

The electrical system may also be used to charge devices from the dual USB outlet. To prevent draining the battery during extended bad weather, the 120V AC outlet is normally disabled.

  1. Please always leave the two big red switches “on”. They are designed to separately disconnect the solar panel or battery for maintenance or in the event of an emergency.
  2. The system will automatically shut down at low voltage (11.5V DC) to prevent damage to the battery. Please email the Hutmeister, arestuahut [at] yahoo [dot] com if you see this happen.
  3. The solar panel will not work if it is covered by snow or shaded by a snow drift. The effectiveness of the panel is greatly reduced even when it is partly covered by snow - for example, just the bottom row of cells.
  4. Please remember to clean the entire panel (use a broom) and create an adequate cutout in the drift (shovel is OK) on the roof (free from shadows through the day) before you leave. Small amounts of remaining ice typically melt off if snow is removed from the panel.
  5. If there is substantial snow accumulation, the chimney may also need to be unblocked (to prevent smoking out 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 pit 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 hut, 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.

Door and latch

The hut door features a weighted self-closing mechanism. Historically, have been instances of the door latch freezing in cold weather, locking visitors out. In such a situation, in order to discourage breaking the door, please access the hut by using the window as an alternate entrance (the window lock has been removed for this purpose). Please email the Hutmeister, arestuahut [at] yahoo [dot] com, if you encounter any problems with the door.

Rules of Use

The guidance listed here for visitors is also 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.

Forest Service Permit

The front matter of the original “conditions of occupancy and use for the Guinn mountain hut” are reproduced here to document and summarize the operating agreement:

“In accordance with the special use permit issued to the Colorado Mountain Club on June 24, 1969, and the regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture (36 C.F.R. 251.24 and 251.25), the following conditions of occupancy and use for the Guinn Mountain Hut are hereby established:

  1. No person, party, or organization shall occupy said hut for more than three consecutive nights.
  2. The use of said hut shall be available to the general public as well as the Colorado Mountain Club members on a first-come first-served basis. No reservations are required or permitted.
  3. All non-burnable refuse shall be removed from the national Forest. Garbage or trash shall not be buried.
  4. First Aid and other emergency equipment provided and maintained by the Colorado Mountain Club shall be used only when appropriate and necessary.

Snow & Weather Reports

Skiing and Recreation

Day visits

In the winter, the hut is often used as a day destination for skiers using the Jenny Creek and Guinn Mountain routes. The trails are marked (blue diamonds and signs) and you will typically find the trail broken in by hut visitors. Recent snowstorms or snow drifting from the wind may, however, require trail breaking along any section of the approach. 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 hut near the crux uphill onto Guinn Mountain.

Day destinations from the hut

It is well worth starting your trip early enough in the day to venture above the hut. Landmarks including James Peak, Needles Eye Tunnel, Yankee Doodle Lake, and South Arapaho Peak can be seen from the summit of Guinn Mountain or the ridge to Hell Hill. The view of the sunset on James Peak is memorable from Guinn Mountain, but don’t forget that the shadow of the Continental Divide is cast early in the winter. Yankee Doodle Lake, Jenny Lake, and Forest Lakes off of Rollins Pass Road are good day destinations for those making an extended stay at the hut. Visitors should expect the infamous winds of Indian Peaks Wilderness to prove a true equalizer relative to the coldest US winter locations, and are reminded to bring plenty of clothing to stay warm and prevent frostbite.

Backcountry use

Backcountry skiing may be found near the hut, e.g., the southeast side of Guinn Mountain. The south-facing gully between Guinn and Bryan mountains offers a ~1000’ descent from the Pipeline trail to Jenny Creek. Bryan Mountain has recently become a popular backcountry ski destination. Extended visits may facilitate access to the slopes above the Forest Lakes. Expert skiers with avalanche training may wish to consult the Front Range Ski Mountaineering for ideas for day or extended trips in the James Peak Wilderness Area or Indian Peaks Wilderness Area; see

Skiers are reminded that the high-altitude area near the hut contains dangerous avalanche terrain. Beacon Hill is known to slide in winter. Another example: on November 28, 2001 one of two skiers was drowned after being swept under the ice by an avalanche while descending the steep slopes above Yankee Doodle Lake. A report on that incident may be accessed at (Select the 2001-2002 filter.)

Eldora-Winter Park/Fraser traverse

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. Visitors should expect to find the infamous winds of Indian Peaks wilderness are a true equalizer relative to the coldest US winter locations, and are reminded to bring plenty of clothing to stay warm and prevent frostbite.

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-Pipeline Trail at 1/3 mile northeast of the hut and closer to Bryan Mountain at N39.94273 W105.63914 at 10,956 ft.


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. Bringing dogs is prohibited on the Jenny Creek Trail #808 or Guinn Mountain Trail #820 from December 1 through April 30, per 36 CFR 261.58(s).

Guest Books

A series of guest books has historically been kept at the hut. Those books have now 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 contents of these electronic archives is from 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!

Directory of the Arestua Guest Logs:

Guestbook entry by Otto Verdoner in Feb 19, 1982

Lost and Found

Occasionally there are items that get left at the hut. Inquire about lost and found items with the Hutmeister, arestuahut [at] yahoo [dot] com.

Upkeep and Events

The hut is solely maintained by users and volunteers (i.e., YOU!).

The suggested donation to cover maintenance costs and the supplies related to operation of the hut is: Day Use $1, Overnight $5 per person. For cash, please use the secure donations box at the hut. Checks should be written to "Boulder CMC". No cash? Donate on PayPal or Zelle via email to brainardcabin [at] gmail [dot] com. Donate on Venmo to @CMCDonation. Where possible, please note 'To Arestua hut' in your PayPal donation to make it easier to recognize, and to put your donation towards the hut.

PLEASE attend the annual fall work party to prepare firewood and ready the hut for use through the following year. Contact the Hutmeister (arestuahut [at] yahoo [dot] 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 autumn related to specific projects at the hut. Check below in early summer, especially if you cannot attend the fall work party.

We are anticipating reroofing the hut during the summer of 2020. The hut will be closed during the contractor facilitated project.

Major upcoming events at Arestua Hut
Date Event Activities
TBD (summer 2020) Årestua Projects Day Specific repair projects
TBD (summer 2020) Reroofing Contractor project. Hut will be closed during reroofing
Sat, Sept 12, 2020 2020 Annual Work Party Season preparation, split & stack wood for winter
Eldora Ski Resort typically hosts a summer maintenance day, including cleanup of the areas that may be used for winter access to Årestua. Frequent Eldora users are encouraged to contact the Hutmeister for more information at arestuahut [at] yahoo [dot] com.

Additional Donations (T-shirts)

The generosity of hut guests, including cleaning of the hut and maintenance during visits as well as help with the autumn work party ensure that Årestua will be available to enjoy next year and the year after that. Donations help to cover a portion of the maintenance costs, but as the popularity of staying at Årestua has increased, so have the costs to maintain the hut.

T-shirts are available as a means to help raise funds for Årestua and to let people know that YOU enjoy and support the hut. T-shirts include both short sleeve and long sleeve versions, in two different designs. The artwork on the shirts was designed by Alison Richards and Laura Anglin, respectively. A donation is requested to cover the cost of manufacture, with all proceeds being donated towards the hut.

Artwork on the front and back of the Richards t-shirt design.

Artwork on the front and back of the Anglin t-shirt design. Also available on

To donate or for more information please contact Joe Wojniak by email at: FriendsOfArestua [at] gmail [dot] com, or click on the web links in the figure captions above to purchase on eBay.

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** 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(USDA) civil rights regulations and policies , this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or, disability., and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) To file a complaint ofalleging discrimination: complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at, or at any USDA office or write USDA, Director,a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call; (2) fax: (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA 690-7442; or (3) email: This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Need more information?

For more information, email cabins [at] cmcboulder [dot] org

Website last updated: Sept 24, 2019 by Rick Casey

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