Eco-Friendly Hut Trip: Sustainable Adventure in Colorado


The Centennial State is home to some of the most stunning mountain scenery in the United States, making it an incredibly popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking to plan an eco-friendly hut trip in Colorado. The state’s numerous peaks, forests, rivers, and trails offer endless opportunities for hiking, backpacking, climbing, fishing, and more. However, as interest in sustainable and eco-friendly travel grows, many are looking for ways to enjoy Colorado’s natural beauty while minimizing its environmental impact.

One increasingly popular option is hut trips – multi-day hiking excursions with overnight stays in backcountry huts. These rustic shelters allow travelers to immerse themselves in nature without needing to set up camp. And as interest in sustainability rises, more of Colorado’s hiking huts are integrating eco-friendly design and operations.


  • Colorado has over 30 backcountry huts offering sustainable lodging for hut trips.
  • Eco features include solar and wind power, composting toilets, and environmentally safe construction.
  • Hut trips allow deep immersion in nature with minimal environmental impact.
  • Itineraries connect trails with overnight hut stays, and meals are included.

Overview of Hut Trips

Hut trips involve hiking from one backcountry shelter to the next over multiple days. At each hut, travelers can rest, relax, refuel, and reconnect with the outdoors before setting off to the next destination.

Most hut trip operators offer all-inclusive guided experiences, providing meals, route planning, gear transfers, and expert leadership. Travelers need only carry a day pack with essentials while on the trail.

Compared to backpacking, hut trips provide more comfort and community thanks to the shelters’ amenities. However, they still allow deep immersion in nature away from crowds and modern distractions.

Sustainable Design of Colorado’s Backcountry Huts

In recent years, sustainability has become a priority for Colorado’s backcountry huts. Eco-conscious construction and operations help these off-grid shelters minimize their environmental impact.

Many newly built or renovated huts utilize renewable energy systems, taking advantage of Colorado’s abundant sun and wind. Solar arrays and micro wind turbines generate clean electricity to power lighting, kitchen facilities, and charging stations.

Water conservation is also important for remote shelters with limited access. Composting toilets, waterless urinals, and low-flow fixtures reduce water usage. And sustainable materials like beetle-kill pine limit the structures’ carbon footprints.

Eco-Friendly Hut Trip Operators in Colorado

Today, an increasing number of Colorado hut trip operators aim to provide sustainable and low-impact experiences:

San Juan Hut System

The San Juan Hut System runs guided and self-guided hut trips in the San Juan Mountains. Their eight backcountry huts utilize solar and wind power and other eco-friendly technologies.

10th Mountain Division Hut Association

The 10th Mountain Division Hut Association manages 34 off-grid huts for year-round use. Their newest shelters meet stringent sustainability benchmarks, with zero-waste policies also implemented.

Adventure Hut

Adventure Hut focuses exclusively on eco-conscious hut trips targeted at families and novice adventurers. Their educational trips explore sustainability, conservation, and environmental ethics.

Individual Huts

Some other individual Colorado huts include:

  • 10th Mountain Hut
  • Broome Hut
  • High Lonesome Hut
  • Thelma Hut
  • Opus Hut
  • Janets Cabin
  • Nokhu Hut
  • McNamara Hut
  • Eiseman Hut
  • Uncle Buds Hut
  • Benedict Hut

Unique Benefits of Hut Trips for Sustainable Travel

Hut trips enable visitors to responsibly experience Colorado’s natural splendor in deeper and more meaningful ways. These trips have lower environmental impacts than other accommodation options and provide unique benefits:

Connection With Nature

Days spent entirely on trails and nights under the stars or in cozy, off-grid huts foster an intimate bond with the natural world. Without modern trappings, travelers can profoundly reconnect with nature.

Sustainable lodging

Backcountry huts utilized on guided trips demonstrate eco-friendly and low-impact hospitality. Guests can see sustainability in action by staying at these remote shelters.


Many hut trip leaders provide environmental education, teach leave-no-trace ethics, and raise awareness of conservation and sustainability issues.


Expert guides make hut trips achievable for less experienced hikers. This allows more sustainable travel opportunities compared to independent backpacking.


Hut-to-hut journeys take travelers deep into Colorado’s backcountry for exciting multi-day adventures not possible with other forms of lodging.

Special Focus – Hut Trip Itineraries in Colorado

Colorado offers endless hut trip route options spanning the state’s diverse ecosystems and terrain. Here are a few recommended itineraries:

Four Pass Loop Guided Hut Trip

  • Four days and three nights.
  • Connects mountain huts via four high alpine passes.
  • Stunning views of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.
  • Expert guides and sustainable amenities are available at the Beascatcher and Margy's huts.

San Juan Solstice Hut Trip

  • Eight days and seven nights.
  • Circumnavigates the remote Grenadier Range.
  • Celebrate the summer solstice amid the San Juan's peaks and valleys.
  • Overnights at eight charming, off-grid mountain huts.

10th Mountain Hut Ski Tour

  • Six days and five nights.
  • Iconic 10th Mountain Division Huts linked by backcountry ski tours.
  • Designed for intermediate and advanced skiers.
  • Allows ski access to incredible terrain without camping.

Eco-Friendly Gear for Hut Trips

To maximize sustainability on hut trips, using eco-conscious gear is also important:

Sustainable Apparel

Choose natural fiber clothing from ethical brands to avoid plastics and reduce microfiber pollution.

Reusable Containers

Bring a metal water bottle, insulated mug, and reusable utensils to cut single-use plastics.

Eco-Friendly Toiletries

Use biodegradable soaps, sunscreen, toothpaste, and other toiletries made from natural ingredients.

LED Headlamps

LED technology dramatically cuts battery usage over traditional headlamps. Rechargeable models are also available.

Packable Solar Panels

Tiny panels can recharge devices and batteries using the sun. They add minimal weight and pack down small.

Practical Tips for Responsible Hut Tripping

While Colorado’s backcountry huts enable low-impact adventures, practicing responsible behaviors is still essential:

  • Strictly follow leave-no-trace principles on trails and at overnight sites.
  • Properly dispose of waste at designated facilities.
  • Be gentle with mountain ecosystems by staying on marked paths.
  • Refrain from removing natural artifacts like antlers or wildflowers.
  • Keep group sizes small to limit environmental strain.
  • Consider carbon offsets to counter travel-related emissions.


What is included in guided eco hut trips?

Guided hut trips typically include all lodging, activities, meals, snacks, trip planning, gear transfers, and expert leadership. Travelers need only provide appropriate clothing/gear and get themselves to the trip starting location.

What are the sleeping arrangements in backcountry huts?

Most huts offer shared bunk-style sleeping quarters ranging from private rooms to larger dorms. Bedding is provided, but some travelers choose to bring lightweight sleeping bags or liners.

Can someone with no hiking experience manage a hut trip?

Beginner-friendly hut trips cater to all abilities. Choose operators like Adventure Hut that offer easier routes and activities tailored specifically for families and novice hikers.

How environmentally friendly are composting toilets?

Waterless composting toilets at backcountry huts allow human waste to decompose naturally without contaminating waterways. This makes them an excellent eco-friendly alternative.

Avatar photo

About the author

Simone Weisman

My deep appreciation for nature and active living strongly aligns with the vibrant outdoor culture of Colorado. My enjoyment of yoga, hiking, and exploring scenic trails provides me with a unique perspective that I bring to This personal passion enriches my ability to connect with and inspire our audience, whether they’re local residents or visitors seeking to explore all that Colorado has to offer.