I have stayed in many Colorado alpine huts, this is the finest. The lodge is near the summit of Ophir Pass 3 miles West of the hwy 550 Trailhead, and is a two year old ‘green’ superbly constructed building, at 11,600’. The Jeep trail is very tame and I’d say most 2 wd cars could make it up, though the sign along the trail says 4 wd high clearance (the tough part is West of the summit towards Ophir) A 1/4 mile gentle uphill walk is required from the summit parking area. In winter this would be a wonderful back country ski prospect.
Overall I’d rate this Lodge a 9/10 for mountain wilderness huts. Very comfortable, light, roomy, convenient with 2 indoor composting toilets and warm/cold & drinking running water, plus a PV electrical system. The rate at $35/night/person is a great bargain. They equip the lodge with full kitchen supplies and a small fridge is adequate for even a 2-3 day stay. A wood fired sauna in an out building works well according to our grandkids.
Our weather experience was marginal as we had rain & cloud about 3/4 of the time. Nearby hike opportunities are excellent, but trails very indistinct. An aspect to consider is that while the lodge sleeps 16, there are 4 bedrooms. So you can do the math on that, and find communal style sleeping is the norm (you can reserve a bedroom or the entire hut, for full charge). Two 3 bed rooms downstairs and two 5 bed rooms upstairs are provided. Two main level bathrooms make a large group practical, and a small downstairs kitchen permits fuller cooking capacity.
The hut was warm in spite of outside temps in the 40’s. A wood cookstove/oven and good supply of split firewood makes a cozy experience, but one need to bring a hatchet, matches and a fire start mixture. The PV lighting system was adequate for most tasks, but don’t count on needlepoint level light. The beds were comfortable and warm. You bring your own sheets and pillow cases. Towels too. No showers, but a nearby stream could do for the brave, desperate or foolish. Hut slippers are a wise pack-in item and some paper towels should be packed too. A small supply of metal foil saved us a lot of kitchen cleanup work. You pack out your trash, and leave the lodge cleaned up on departure. The lock is a combination entry and the door handle is a little stubborn.
We’d be game to go again. It was a terrific experience for our 5 grandkids, their parents and us. My opinion is that we are in a ‘startup period’ for this lodge, and once word gets out it will be more difficult to find open time. As it is, the summer calendar is very open.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Back country Lodge, located near Ophir Pass, between the towns of Silverton and Telluride Colorado. Solar powered and heated, designed to accommodate skiers hikers and climbers year round. Three mile ski in access in winter, one quarter mile hike in summer. Wood fired sauna and spacious decks. Hostel style lodging with meals and lodge hosting available upon request. ... more less