The Braun and Friends Huts are all situated around Aspen and are an associated sub-section of the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association. 10th Mountain Division Huts can be found throughout the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and are named for and dedicated to the soldiers who trained in the area for high-alpine combat in the Italian Alps during World War II.
The Braun and Friends Huts are all situated around Aspen and are an associated sub-section of the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association. 10th Mountain Division Huts can be found throughout the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and are named for and dedicated to the soldiers who trained in the area for high-alpine combat in the Italian Alps during World War II. Lindley, Markley, Tagert and Green Wilson Huts are considered to be the most accessible—and popular—Braun and Friends Huts. huts associated with the 10th Mountain Division Hut system are best enjoyed by experienced backcountry skiers, ski mountaineers and snowshoers in the winter and hikers in the summer.
What Makes It Great
All Braun and Friends huts have propane burners for cooking, photovoltaic lighting, mattresses and pillows, eating and cooking utensils, toilet paper, matches, and cleaning supplies. Hut users melt snow for water.
Markley Hut Located just 2.3 miles from the trailhead, the Markley Hut, which sleeps 8, is considered to be one of Aspen’s most accessible 10th Mountain Hut. The trailhead and parking is at Ashcroft Nordic Ski Area. Express Creek Road, which is the access trail, is just a few hundred yards before the Ashcroft trailhead parking on the left. The approach might be easy, but it does pass under four major avalanche paths. Snowmobile usage is not recommended because of high avalanche danger.
Tagert and Green Wilson Huts Tagert, which sleeps 7, and Green Wilson Huts, which sleeps 8, are located approximately 50 meters (165 feet) apart, making them private enough for multiple parties, yet sufficiently close together for one large party to share. They are situated just below timberline at 11,280 feet in Pearl Basin between the towns of Crested Butte and Aspen. These cabins are accessed from Ashcroft via the Pearl Pass Road, which makes for a mostly gradual 5.3-mile climb in to the huts, but the route does cross under numerous large avalanche paths.
Lindley Hut The Lindley Hut, which sleeps 14, sits just a few hundred yards off the Cooper Creek Road near the base of Star Peak. The route in follows the road and makes for a gradual two- to four-mile, low key trip. However the road does pass below various avalanche paths so you must exercise caution during times of elevated avalanche danger. Those who snowmobile to the Cooper Creek Road from Ashcroft cut off about two miles of skinning. Vehicles are not permitted past the Castle Creek bridge.
Note: Traveling in the Colorado backcountry, and any high-alpine, snow-laden backcountry terrain, requires having proper avalanche gear in tow—beacon/transceiver, probe, shovel and first-aid kit—and extensive backcountry knowledge.
Who is Going to Love It
Anyone looking for a backcountry adventure but doesn't want to camp out in a tent.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Markley, Lindley, Tagert and Green Wilson Huts are all accessible from Ashcroft Nordic Ski Area. Located 10.5 miles from downtown Aspen head west on Highway 82, Ashcroft is a 20-minute drive. At the roundabout exit at the Castle Creek exit and drive for about eight to nine miles until you reach the signs for Ashcroft. The parking lot will be on the left. The trailhead is just off the parking lot.
It’s important that those venturing to these huts have proper avalanche equipment: beacon/transceiver, shovel and probe. Backcountry knowledge and a topography map are also critical when heading out into uncontrolled areas.