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“Durango to Moab San Juan hut trail”

San Juan Hut Systems
Ranked #6 of 16 things to do in Ridgway
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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.
Reviewed 25 June 2007

Great trip, highly recommend. This route is strenuous, not for beginners. The first night and next day my group all suffered from a little altitude sickness. We are from southern California at about sea level. We lucked out and had good weather but if it had not I doubt the trip would have been enjoyable. A warning for anyone going on this trip. On the 5th day, the route to the paradox valley hut. The directions are a little off and we ended up lost out in the desert for hours, running out of water trying frantically to find the trail down the mountain. In order to reach the cattle trail we had to follow the main road till it dead ended at the cliffs over looking the town of Bedrock and the Dolores river, turn around 180 degrees and head 300 yards north east-ish, to the left, a red sandy, rocking easy to miss cattle trail. To find the nasty little “hike a bike” trail down the mountain you also have to push your bike threw a lot of bushes and crap to get to the start of it, this can be confusing because the rest of the directions are pretty spot on. The trail is very hard to find unless you know where to look, and when we were there, there was no tracks to follow and nothing marking where the trail would be. The trail can be treacherous if not careful, full of loose sharp, steep rocks. The woman who runs the bedrock store at the bottom of the trail, told us stories of last season when a bunch of mountain bikers came down from this trail with broken bikes and broken bones. The group ahead of us did not find the trail at all and never made it to the paradox hut. My advice for anyone taking the Durango to Moab route is to skip the cattle “hike a bike” section on day five going towards the paradox hut and take the alternate route to the highway 90. That way seems safer and easier to find, and the road traffic didn’t seem to be as bad as the directions had warned, it’s the middle of nowhere and there was very few cars headed down the road. Aside from the bad directions on day 5 going towards the paradox valley hut, the trip was great.

3  Thank surferj24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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52 - 54 of 54 reviews

Reviewed 12 January 2004

I happen to live in the area where the San Juan Hut System takes off so the only thing I can t say about my trip is how the flight in was. However I do take the plane in and out of Montrose and find it as enjoyable as a puddle jump into a small town can be. As for the trip: The eight days on my hut trip were perhaps the best eight days of my life. For a place to sleep and food for 7 days and 6 nights, the price was totally reasonable. The trip takes 8 days. Bring enough water and snacks for the first (short) day. I did not have panniers nor did I need them. The info pack specifically said not to overload and I tried not to. I bought a peak-bagger camelback pack just fro the occasion and filled it and no more. MY trip was Great and at the risk of getting caught in the personal insult clause on this site, I have no idea what Frank Review is talking about. I must have taken my trip shortly after Frank because I remember reading his comments in the hut journals. He is wrong and must have been having a bad week. Though the huts were spartan with primitive facilities they were fairly clean and much better than lugging a tent. And though they were bare of frills, they were way over-stocked with food. I made egg and cheese omelets every morning, home/hut-made spaghetti and meatballs at night and chicken or tuna sandwiches and a ton of snacks that I made to take with me during the day. There was 2 large cabinets full of food, including butter, cheese, eggs and fruit, huge amounts of can goods and 2 big bins full of bread and crackers at each hut as well as propane, stoves, cookware, sleeping bags, first aid kits, and lights. Did I mention enough snack food to make a busload of diabetics reach for their insulin? There was beer in two of the huts, bag wine in three of them, and some local ranchers left me fresh cut corn in one. It was like being in a mini-adventure with friends helping along the way. Each hut had a map and directions for optional single-track side-trips and before you left you were given a route description so that you could plan your trip. There are 30 miles of road (dirt) between each hut and it is at altitude and so I do not recommend this for those less physical or you could wind up like frank and have to hitch a ride. Which is probably why he was in such a foul mood. This is definitely not a trip for the leave hotel at 10,eat at restaurant till 12, ride for 2 hours then hit the mall and bar crowd. The scenery was fantastic and each hut was peaceful and has exploring you can do on bike or foot. Most of the single tracks went through aspen and pine woods for the first few days then desert as I got closer to Moab. I cannot think of any thing that would have made it better except perhaps 8 more days. In fact, I just recently signed on the waiting list for their new hut trip from Durango to Moab.

16  Thank ourayvet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Evergreen, Colorado
146
Reviewed 17 September 2003

About 9 months ago we read about the San Juan Hut system and specifically the Telluride to Moab mountain bike part of the system through the National Geographic Adventure magazine. We all thought it would be a fantastic trip. We had all been to "hut" before, during the winter, which ranged from the huge log chalets of the Summit Hut System to the adequate and comfortable huts of the 10th Mountain Division. Also, Telluride to Moab, puts 2 of the most popular, scenic most highly recognized names in mountain biking and adventure travel out there. The system and its literature never makes big claims about the difficulty and distances of the ride. National Geographic shows photos of mountain bikers riding through aspens on singletrack without packs as though this is representative of the ride. Although this ride has some beautiful sections, it is primarily on gravel roads, through hot, remote section of country, with small, dark, huts, lacking in window, ventilation, and decent food. Apparently the Adventure article really revved up their bookings. Consequently the eggs, bacon, beer, we never there, not one egg in a week, many huts without Gatorade mix, no bread, no tortillas, no cheese, just can after can of beans, bulk grains, and dehydrated milk. All this for only $365.00 per hut put night!!!! Our group consisted of very experienced cyclists that have done trips all over the world. We found the huts to be equal to a shack in a third world country.

We would never recommend this trip to anyone. We picked September to
avoid the desest heat and the afternoon thundershowers and found
instead, hostile hunters blasting down these same single lane gravel
roads without any regard to use. They threw stuff at us, yelled at us,
covered us with dust and forced their way by us. We couldn't wait for
it to be over. Apparently the hot business in Gateway, the one town you
hit on day 5 is shuttling people to Moab or the top of the pass. The
common denominator in conversation at the local cafe is badmouthing the
owner of the hut system. The person making money from all of this.

We have well earned advice to anyone thinking of this trip. If you like to spend money on very bad accomodations, like to ride in heat, on gravel, with rednecks at every turn, like to read about bacon and eggs but never eat any, so this ride. Otherwise get a nice place to stay in Moab and do day rides there. Ride singletrack somewhere else.

46  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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