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Turquoise Lake TH to Skinner Hut

Difficult

Trail

11.1 mile 17.9 kilometer point to point
Ascent
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 2,680' 817 m
Descent: -816' -249 m
High: 11,657' 3,553 m
Low: 9,764' 2,976 m

Grade

Avg Slope: 6% (3°)
Max Slope: 39% (21°)
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Map Key

Trail shared by Missy Thompson

The standard approach to Skinner Hut.

Missy Thompson
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry

Description

From the Turquoise Lake Trailhead, head up Turquoise Lake road and continue on the main road around the north shore of the lake. The road gradually climbs to a high point approximately 5 miles from the trailhead. The next 2.5 miles are gradually downhill and flat, bringing you to the west end of Turquoise Lake. The road around the lake sees considerable snowmobile traffic and makes for easy skinning.

Once you reach the end of the lake, you'll start on the Glacier Creek route to Skinner Hut, which is considerably more difficult, especially if you have to break trail. The Glacier Creek route starts with the trail to Timberline Lake and is marked by blue diamonds. The Glacier Creek route starts in a short valley before climbing up steeply to a large clearing at 10,760, called the Lunch Spot.

From the Lunch Spot, continue west across the open flats. At the end of the flats, you'll again enter the woods where the trail climbs steeply up the apex of the drainage, eventually reaching a small clearing at 11,400 feet. Cross the bottom end of the clearing (one at a time for possible avalanche danger), then follow a series of steep switchbacks that bring you to Hagerman Pass Road at 11,600 feet. Head east on Hagerman Pass road and watch for the blue diamonds to follow to the hut.

Finding the hut can be challenging as it sits in the trees and is often buried in snow.

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  3.0 from 1 vote

#4

in Leadville

#288

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  3.0 from 1 vote
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Ascent Rankings

#4

in Leadville

#96

in Colorado

#288

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Photos

The first part of the approach might be faster walking than skiing...
Jan 30, 2015 near Leadvil…, CO

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