Hiking to beautiful destinations is great, especially with friends…and is even better when there is a lovely house to stay in at the end! This summer a group of us booked this awesome “hut” called the Lost Wonder Hut in the heart of the mountains near Buena Vista, Colorado. It is a cabin that sleeps about 15 people, and runs electricity off solar power! There is no heat, or running water, but this place will make you feel at home. The views alone will make you never want to leave.
The trailhead is located in the small town of Garfield right across the street from Monarch Ski Area. There are very small trail markers that read “LWH” which is really your only indication that you are at the right spot. You can find more specific information about the location, here, on their website.
It’s suggested that you park your car at the bottom of the trail, and backpack up to the cabin. A hefty 4×4 vehicle can make it up, but there is only room for 1 or maybe 2 cars to park. It’s really rocky though, beware. Since there were 15 of us, everyone parked at the bottom except one car who brought up all the food and supplies. The rest of us packed everything we would need for the weekend on us (imagine camping without the tent). The hike is about 3 miles with a 1,200 elevation gain. The first mile of the hike is the hardest, with 450 feet elevation gain. It is a pretty moderate to hard hike, especially with a pack. There are other trails sprouting off of this one, one of which is to a lake, if you’re interested. Once at the hut, you can continue hiking up the trail to Chalk Creek Pass (3.2 miles) and even further to the ghost town of St. Elmo (about 10 miles).
The hut provides a lot of what you’ll need for your stay. They have nice cot beds with nylon covered mattresses. We all brought our own sleeping bags. They have propane for the stove, water jugs that you can collect water from the nearby stream in (bring your own water filtration system), cooking utensils, dishware, trash bags, cleaning supplies, etc. There is a nice outhouse with toilet paper. There are lights inside powered by solar, but the supply runs out quickly so only use when necessary. It sleeps 15 people, mostly all upstairs, which has 3 rooms. Downstairs there is a large picnic table, as well as outside on the deck. You may want to bring your own chairs to set up around the fire! There is plenty of wood for you to burn. My favorite thing about the cabin are the large, epic windows overlooking the mountains. There is a little private cabin next door as well, but not for your use. 🙂 Bring your dog/s too.
There is so much character!
You’ll need to make a reservation to stay here. It’s a hot commodity, so book months in advance!
November – April: $300-$350 per night
May – October: $200-$250 per night
We went in August, and with 15 people it was around $15 per person, per night.
Check availability, here.
We mostly drank a lot of beer, played yard games, and shot the shit. There are a lot of card and board games in the hut for your use. There are also musical instruments for the savvy. You are surrounded by 12-13,000 ft. mountains so hang outside and enjoy the view! There’s a stream nearby, where I’m sure you could fish as well.
I also happened to take a quiet nap in my hammock (thanks to the beer). At night we sat around the fire, drank more, played music, and enjoyed the stars. I did adventure off a bit away from the hut, and found waterfalls tucked away in lush greens! These were right near the little bridge you’ll cross over on your way up to the hut.
Right by the hut there is a rusted old truck, with tons of bullet holes in it… so I’m sure you could bring guns to shoot out there, if you’re into that.
There were people on the trails ATV’ing, which looked so fun! You can also stay here in the winter, where it’s popular to snowshoe, cross country ski, and snowmobile.
This is such a great place to spend the weekend with your friends. We all had SO much fun, and are making plans to do it again!
Visit their website for more specifics:
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