Hut Trip: Jackal Hut

For our second hut trip of the year, we hiked to Jackal Hut - a hut perched high in the Gore Range between Leadville and Vail at 11,600ft. The trailhead starts down in the historic Camp Hale (training grounds of the 10th Mountain Division) and climbs steeply up 2,600 ft in about 3 miles. Since this year's snow has been...well...sucky, we ditched the skis and opted to just bring snowshoes...which turned out to be almost unnecessary. We hiked 1000 feet up (in about 1.5 miles) before we even encountered snow on the trail, and only a few of us donned the snowshoes within a quarter mile of the hut. The snow pack was melting out fast at the hut with less than a foot of snow in some spots (and plenty of dry grass poking through). But with temps near 70 degrees, who's complaining! And, in one of the most unique hut trip experiences, we actually managed to have a mid-trip beer run thanks to the strong hiking of Dave and Shaun!