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“Incredible route, great value, fun for all” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of San Juan Hut Systems

San Juan Hut Systems
Ranked #6 of 15 things to do in Ridgway
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Attraction details
Owner description: San Juan Hut Systems is a series of backcountry huts that lead you through spectacular Southwestern terrain and provides skiers, bikers, snowshoers, hikers, trail runners, boaters, horse packers and hunters with an experience of a lifetime. The Colorado huts allow for lightweight travel while maintaining a self reliant adventure.Our winter ski hut system offers over 60 miles of nordic trails and access to phenomenal remote backcountry turns. You are unlikely to cross another’s tracks. The San Juan Mountains present tremendous snow quality and first descent possibilities.Our two 215 mile mountain bike routes through Colorado and Utah provide a premium minimalist experience for the do it yourself adventurer. Whether you are looking for technical single track or scenic dirt roads we have an option for you. With the only destination hut-to-hut based system in the US, we take the weight out of bike touring by offering fully stocked huts and minimal route finding challenges.Our destination huts are our newest addition and offer adventures for hikers, bikers, trail runners, boaters, horse packers and hunters and can be used in a variety of ways. These can be excellent options for families and those confined to shorter trips.
Colorado
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Incredible route, great value, fun for all”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2010

If you enjoy the independence of a self guided trip and traveling at your own pace, this is an incredible opportunity not to be missed. What a unique experience it was. We filled the huts with our own group of 8 including family, friends and neighbors with ages ranging from 19-50yrs.

Huts were well stocked in great locations for scenery and solitude. See photos attached. if you set your expectations for camping food you will be delighted on the occasions where there is fresh available. They make a huge effort to make sure everyone gets something fresh and beers too. We didn't expect to have beer each night because we were warned that on occasion the previous party may wipe out the stock, these things happens. We were delighted with the cowboy cold beer at the end of the day.

We were very happy overall with our experience. We were so inspired by this adventure, on our return, we went to find something similar for the following year and found it difficult to match.

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5 Thank 2themtns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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51 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Southern California
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A Great Adventure!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2008

My wife and I did the Telluride to Moab ride in June '05. We were in our mid to late 40's back then and had an absolute blast! It was a fantastic adventure. My wife was a little hesitant at the start as you really don't quite know what to expect. We ended up sharing the trip/huts with two other couples whom we had never previously met. It turned out to be a great week in the hills. We got stronger, endurance-wise, as the trip progressed. The altitude at the start could give some people problems but you descend to lower climbs very quickly. The food was more than adequate with cold beer at all the huts except the first night at Last Dollar...take your own for that one! We found the maps to be very accurate as were the route descriptions. We also took all the singletrack options which were not a problem even with loaded panniers.
I'm not sure which trip 'Quite Frankley' took but if you're not into a wee bit of suffering during warm afternoons with hills, cannot navigate or read maps then maybe this is not the route/vacation for you! I think part of the definition of adventure should include 'uncertainty' in it somewhere. We also met Joe the owner a couple of times during the week actually out doing trail work for future riders. I believe he is a very experienced outdoorsman and really does care about his clients and their enjoyment of the whole experience.
If you want a real adventure then what are you waiting for??

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3 Thank enduroPete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
northern lower michigan
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“great ride, read the fine print on the discounts”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 December 2007

We did the telluride-moab hut to hut trail ride this last September and had a terrific time. The huts were rustic, just the way we wanted. The views were outstanding and the riding a great challenge. It was one of my favorite trips that I have ever done. Now, i have to say that we were blessed with terrific weather the whole time. No rain, no heat or real cold. I can see the experience being quite different if the weather was otherwise.

But, hey, that's life and we keep pedaling. I recommend this trip for people who can handle adversity (potential weather changes), rustic living, and challenging biking. When I say challenging, I mean tough hill climbing, not technical riding. There wasn't a technical spot on the trail if you take the main road, not the optional side trails. We pulled BOB trailers to carry some of our stuff. These trailers even handled the short optional single track we did as we approached Moab on the last day.

Again, highly recommended. The only down side was a disappointing discount offered on their website. We signed up over the winter and the offer said that if two couples signed up, the cost would be half price for each couple. One couple signed up on one day, the other couple signed up the next day and they didn't honor the discount. They said they knew the rules of the offer (nowhere to be found on the website) and the offer was not good. After the first phone call, the other inquiries were not returned. No reply emails, no returned phone calls. We spent $1200 more than we thought we should, based on the offer. The only disappointing part of the trip. I hardly remember that problem now that we're back and had such a great time.

We met the owner and other helpers along the route and they were very friendly. The huts were not all stocked the same but we had plenty at each one to make great meals.

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3 Thank michiganbiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
madison, ms
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“about as expected”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 November 2007

We went in summer to avoid the cold. It was "peak heat" they said. Well, that doesn't have anything on a Mississippi summer... so we were pleased with the "cool" temps. Humidity was like 4% so watch your water intake.

Huts have varying levels of food. Bacon/eggs were only at 1 hut, and there wasn't much.

Map is good. Paper directions contain errors, but by the time you learn the maps you can figure out the errors in the paper. Also.... why in the heck don't they have a gps data set? Or at least coordinates for the huts?

Route is dirt roads. FYI. Singletrack is available, but limited.

Also, see [--] for a few of our trip pics.

Would do again. Plan to take durango route next time. We drove from MS to CO nonstop (huge mistake) for this trip. Took 32 hours to get back, nonstop.

Was fun. Be sure to take tools to remove cassette so you can replace broken drive-side spoke. Leatheman plier tips will work in a pinch.

Graham ranch hut... what can I say. ENORMOUS mice infestation. Sleep outside if possible. It was like living in a hamster cage. UNREAL levels of rodents. Cannot stress this enough. But, there were hot showers here also.

One member took bob trailer. Mistake. Kept hitting rocks and it fishtailed at speed over 25mph. Expect speeds of 40-50 mph easily on the downhills.

Visit oldmanmountain for f/s compatible panniers. I bought front and rear.... excellent.

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2 Thank turbodog99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Telluride to Moab”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 September 2007

I concur with those reviewers who describe the condition of the huts as very inconsistent. One hut would be completely stocked with eggs, bacon, fruit, pasta, paper products, wine and beer and then the next would be severely lacking or devoid of many or most of these items. And the problems seemed to get worse as one rode further from Telluride, although some of the huts themselves were quite new and very clean. But we never starved or lacked for snacks for the next day's ride.

As a comparison, I live in NE, where the AMC maintains 8 high mountain huts. For about $80 / night you get a full, multi-course dinner and breakfast cooked for you AND the supplies and trash are packed in/out on the hut staff's backs. Compare this to the $100 plus per night at San Juan where the huts are resupplied by truck and all is self serve.

One of the more troubling nights was at Graham Ranch, where for some reason the composting toilet was locked and we were instructed to use the flush toilet in a little outbuilding. The well / spring had run dry and there was no water in the toilet tank so we had to use drinking water to flush the toilet. Not only potentially a big sanitary problem but we were forced to use the limited water supply and could have left the next group short. This is a serious problem and I am sure that local health officials would have a dim view of 8 folks a night not having proper toilet facilities.

The ride was very scenic and physically but not technically challenging. Having seen the number of roads and amount of federal land on which to camp, I would concur with Two Huskies that given a bit of planning and some strategic caching one could have had a similar adventure at much less cost and more within your control, although with more work.

All in all a nice trip but it could be better for the money. If you set your expectations accordingly you should have a fun time.

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4 Thank hikermtnbiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SJHS81432, Front Office Manager at San Juan Hut Systems, responded to this review, 26 July 2011
As one travels from the cool high alpine huts into canyonlands of Utah, the types of food that are in the hut must address the temperature of the area. Huts are restocked every 18/24 riders. We encourage "hut Etiquette" with signage and instructions in our Bikers Bible. This "Hut Etiquette",if followed, would leave clean, well stocked huts for groups to follow. At one of our huts, the well went dry. This can happen in the West. Really. The problem was resolved as soon as it was brought to our attention.

I find it interesting how this rider can not do without a flushing toilet but feels he can find comfort in a tent, not a hut, and secure that his cached food would still be where he left it and not consumed or hauled away by local wildlife. This individual knew before the trip and the and the supplies that would be provided.

We believe it may be possible that this rider road with the "A bit rougher tan need be" rider.
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