Guinn Mountain Hut Chili Fest

Guinn Mountain Hut Chili Fest

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 39.93955°N / 105.64925°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Jan 16, 2019
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Winter

Guinn Mountain Hut: Snowshoe and Chili Fest

What could be better than a nice scenic snowshoe outing in the mountains leading to a comfy hut?  How about adding a little Chili Fest at the Hut.  That’s exactly what a group of CMC Bobcats did on Thursday January 16th … it was a fun and delish adventure …



First let’s back up a bit and explore the rich history of the Guinn Mountain Hut.  Guinn Mountain (11,200 feet) is settled right between Eldora Ski area and Rollins Pass.  The building of Guinn Mountain Hut was initiated by Boulder residents Ingvar and Jofrid Sodal.  Ingvar Sodal is a Colorado Mountain Club legend.  In the 1960s he started the CMC Cross Country Ski School as well as mapped out many cross-country ski trails we use today.  Architect Jofid Sodal designed the Guinn Mountain Hut; also known as “The Arestua” (Norwegian for “Shelter.”)  The building of the hut in 1970 was completed by CMC Boulder Group Members.  The Ivangars,  along with others, created the trail from Jenny Creek to the hut, originally an old wagon road.  

Eldora Mountian Resort: Parking and Gate Access

Back to our trip … our Bobcat group met at CMC Coors Tek lot at 6am and carpooled to Eldora Mountain Resort.  Please note, Eldora Mountain Resort allows limited access to the Jenny Creek Trail via a gated system.  Please park outside the ski area parking lot, just before the entrance to Eldora Mountain Resort.


A little about the gate access …

There is an electronic gait at the bottom of (West) of Eldora Alpine Skiing Area, just below Thunderfoot Carpet Ride and just ahead of the Eldora Nordic Center.  This gate limits access to the Jenny Creek trail leading to the Guinn Mountain Hut and an electronic key card is needed to activate the gate. The gate is accessible 8:45am to 3:45pm.  You can obtain a free key card from Eldora Nordic Center (opens at 7am.)  Alternatively, you can also pass by the gate prior to the daily set up of orange fencing at 7am.  For verification you can always call the Eldora Nordic Center (303-440-8799 ext: 267.) 

Gate Access
Gate Access
Gate Access

Our group arrived shortly after 7am, so we spent a little bit of time inside the Eldora Nordic Center getting our electronic cards and enjoying some tea.

Key Card


Key Card

At 7:45am, we all scanned our electronic cards at the gate entrance.  The sounds of a slight buzz and the lifting of the electronic gait signaled the start of our adventure.

Key Card Opens the Gait

The Trek

We began the uphill trek on Uncle Bob’s run.  We hugged the left side and looked out for the Jenny Creek Trailhead … at just about the top of Little Hawk Lift, we saw the entrance to the well-marked Jenny Creek Trail Access.

Uphill on Uncle Bob's Run
Jenny Creek TH
Jenny Creek TH

We headed into the protection of the wooded trail along Jenny Creek Trail # 108.  The trail starts up hill and shortly comes to a well-marked intersection where the group did a clothing adjustment, stripping off layers due to heating up after the initial uphill.  As we crested the first hill, the ski area faded farther way. Our group of 7 headed quickly downhill into the Jenny Creek drainage.  The trail is well marked; blue diagonals or blue arrows frequently along the entire way. It is a bit open at the drainage area along Jenny Creek and a natural place to stop.  Our group was feeling powerful, conquering just about half the distance out in a short time frame. 

This initial distance gain was deceptive as the trail would soon steepen.  We quickly came together and set out again.  Shortly we took the right at the fork leading to Guinn Mountain Hut.

Take the RIGHT at the fork leading to Guinn Mountain Hut

The trail steepened and deepened, and our crew pushed on, keeping a quick pace.  It was so beautiful; as well as strenuous.  At one point we elected to skirt the trail a bit due to slope/snow conditions and we broke trail through some deep wind drifted snow.  Our next landmark was the cabin ruins, a welcoming sight.

Steeper Slopes

Cabin Ruins 

At this point some peeps were innocently asking “about how much farther?”  Well, truly the distance was not far, less than a mile, but it would be a tough last bit.  The slope, although still steep, lessened a bit as we switched backed through the beautiful, sunny woods.  At this point it was a full out bluebird day.  The anticipation of chili and a break were keeping us going.  As the trail opened, the expanding light lifted our fatigued spirits.

A short trek in open, more level snow pack revealed a beautiful sight: The Guinn Mountain Hut.  Yahoo – we made it.

Guinn Mountain Hut

Chili Break

Our pace quickened and soon we were in the cabin, maybe more excited about sitting than chili?  Everyone laid out their chili offerings … we took time to introduce our chilis.  The samplings ranged from meaty to vegan, red, white and green chilis.  All delish!

Guinn Mountain Hut

Fun and rejuvenating.  The rustic Guinn Mountain Hut is always open and maintained by CMC Boulder volunteers.  Note you can check the notifications calendar for overnight use and we submitted the one dollar per person day use fee via pay pal post trip.

Dollar a Day FeeAfter an hour of fun and some silliness, we headed back out.  We followed the trail back.  There was a light, happy feeling all the way back through the wooded trail to the ski area. Soon we were back at the gate. After we all exited through the electronic gate, we instinctively held up our ski poles and cheered.  Success!  Post social was an easy choice … we just headed up to the Eldora Mountain Lodge for brews.


Thank you to all who participated, bringing your winning attitudes, patience and delish chilis.


  • Distance: 9 miles
  • Elevation: 2,000 Feet
  • Time: 7.5 hours

Recipe: Steamboat White Chile


  • 1-2 pounds chicken breast or thighs: cubed (or ground)
  • 1 large can hominy
  • 3 fresh jalapeños peppers: chopped
  • 3-5 cans green chilies
  • 491/2 oz chicken stock
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 TBL spoon ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • ½ TBL spoon dried savory
  • cornstarch
  • graded cheddar cheese, scallions, cilantro, sour cream
  • tortillas



  • In a large pot sauté onion and garlic, then add cumin and cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink.  The add hominy, jalapeno peeper, green chilies, chicken broth, marjoram and savory.  Simmer, stirring occasionally until boiling. 
  • To Thicken: chill cornstarch and water mixture (thick), then drizzle into pot while stirring with whisk.
  • Optional Toppings: graded cheddar cheese, scallions, cilantro, sour cream
  • Serve with warm tortillas

Steamboat White Chili


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