Your wilderness adventure awaits, complete with modern mountain accommodations. Regardless of season, adventure is guaranteed, but please read this about access so you are educated about our wilderness travel options in all seasons: In summer, most guests will want to hike about 2.5 miles (or more depending on the choice of trails) to the site, as the hike is beautiful, and
Your wilderness adventure awaits, complete with modern mountain accommodations. Regardless of season, adventure is guaranteed, but please read this about access so you are educated about our wilderness travel options in all seasons: In summer, most guests will want to hike about 2.5 miles (or more depending on the choice of trails) to the site, as the hike is beautiful, and the drive is best reserved for motorbikes, atvs, or 4wd jeeps with big tires, lockers, and winches.
In winter (Nov 20th - May 21st), access is by over-snow vehicles such as snowmobiles (with proper experience), backcountry skis (with proper experience), snowshoes, or some combination. Expect 10.5 - 11+ miles of over-snow transport Guests booking around the start / end dates of the season can check with host about current conditions as these are USFS guidelines and depend on conditions.
El Refugio is your place to stay in comfort in the middle of Holy Cross Wilderness. Scandinavian design meets Colorado nature. El Refugio is a one room cabin with full bed for two and extra mattresses for a couple others. Property accommodates 5 inside (with sleeping bags for 5 as well - bring your own liners). Perfect alternative to 10th mountain huts with a huge variety of excellent skiing, hiking, and climbing just out the door. Leave No Trace style property blends the best of conservation and comfort; your LNT practices help us keep hosting awesome people.
Please remember food, water, and sleeping bag liners if you want to use our bags, wag bags (for use with the gray folding NRS toilet, located under the table), firewood/ starter (see notes below), and either your own small stove or jetboil/MSR/snowpeak fuel for the small 1-burner stove (preferable; in the kitchen bin). Pots and pans and utensils and such are available for your use. A solar shower is also available.
There is a small, very efficient wood burning stove inside the original cabin for emergency and winter use (please bring 6" length logs if you'd like to use this) and there is a fire pit/ring outside (please bring 8-16" length logs if you'd like to use this) on the ledge overlooking Holy Cross City and the mountains. Check local fire bans (Eagle County and White River National Forest) before burning!
Expect to have no cell service along the way so if you're using Google Maps, we would suggest downloading the area map to your phone before taking off. A printed topo map is an excellent item for your pack as well.
There are several different routes you can take when getting to the cabin, which you will pass in this order as you go along the 703/ Homestake road and you'll see outlined in detail further below. Please research these when planning your trip:
1. Hike in from the start of Holy Cross City Road (road 759) (3.7 miles, 39.403140, -106.443517)
2. Hike in from Fancy Pass Trailhead (~4.4 miles, 39.390546, -106.470555)
3. EASIEST ROUTE: Hike in from intersection of 727 and 759 (2.5 miles, for getting here you should have 5-8+” clearance and AWD, as the 727 road is a somewhat tricky drive and not appropriate for most compact rental sedans), 39.409698, -106.455588)
Note: For winter the best route is on Homestake Reservoir Road (road 703) for about 7-7.5 miles from the closure to the 759 Holy Cross City jeep road and then up to Holy Cross City
1. Off highway 24, take Homestead Reservoir Road (road 703).
2. Drive about 7.8 miles and take a right onto Missouri Creek Road (road 704). Note: before Missouri Creek Road, your GPS may try to take you to the right up Holy Cross City Road (road 759). Unless you have a high clearance, off-road vehicle, we would not turn here. However, you can hike in from this point. Please check signs regarding current parking restrictions if you choose this option.
3. Drive 2.2 miles and take a right on Fancy Creek Road (road 727). For this road you may want a good Colorado trailhead vehicle like a Subaru, unless you are used to driving your lower-clearance vehicle on narrow and at time challenging forest roads. Note: you'll pass Fancy Pass Trailhead which is another hiking route you can take to the cabin.
4. Drive 1.8 miles and you'll reach an opening where you can park your vehicle.
5. Head up the 759 jeep road to the cabin. Further directions and GPS coordinates provided at booking.
Winter (Nov 20 - May 20, approx, check USFS website for exact): Plan on the road being unplowed about 1/4 mile off of HWY 24, so plan on 7-7.5 miles flat (depending on where you can park) on the 703 road and then 3.5-4 miles up (depending on what quick shortcuts you are familiar with) on the Road 759 (right turn off of 703) over snow by snowmobile, snowshoes, touring skis, etc. We do our best to keep a skin/ snowshoe track up maintained but not always possible after new snow. Parking is often available at start of 703 road a little before bridge, or off of 24.
Note: if you would like exclusive guest use of the full property, please be sure to rent all sites/ buildings.
- Check in: After 3PM
- Check out: Before 11AM
- Cancellation policy: Super Strict
- On arrival: Go straight to camp
- Minimum nights: 1 night
- Accepts bookings: 9 months out Weeknight discount: 40% off
Offered on the Host's property or nearby.
Natural features you'll find at Tiny Alpine Cabin near Aspen / Vail in Colorado.
The vibe at Tiny Alpine Cabin near Aspen / Vail
Places to see near Holy Cross Refugio Tent Sites and Cabin
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Wow - what an adventure! Absolutely loved our stay at the cabin. My friend and I (and two dogs) backpacked in about 2.5 miles to get to the cabin. You would need a serious off-roading rig to get the entire way. The Holy Cross Wilderness contains some absolutely beautiful back country and the entire journey is worth every step. The cabin is cozy and situated just above Holy Cross City with gorgeous mountain views as far as the eye can see. The fire pit on the ledge just outside the cabin was a perfect place to relax and wind down for the day. Endless exploration in this area! Will definitely be back.
We stayed at Holy Cross Refugio while backpacking the Missouri Lakes Fancy Pass Loop. We took our time and hiked the loop counterclockwise. We stayed the first night at Missouri Lakes and then at HCF the second night. Ben was great at answering questions promptly, and the cabin was easy to find once we got to Holy Cross City. The property is situated well with amazing views. Plus, there was a little stream there to pump water from. The cabin itself is cozy and welcoming, with plenty of kitchen utensils and tools, sleeping bags if you need them, hammocks, and even a solar panel for powering lights or other small electronics. We will definitely be back when there are fewer bugs and more snow. Thank you so much for having us!
Holy Cross City & El Refugio will forever be in our hearts! This cabin is truly magical. It's so well-stocked (literally - it has everything you could need and then some) and is surrounded by some of the most beautiful wilderness in Colorado. The 2.5 mile hike in was super difficult for us, but SO worth it!!
We had such a wonderful stay at Holy Cross Refugio! The hike there and back is BEAUTIFUL but we ended up arriving at night and we were able to spot the cabin in the dark with the solar lights. The sunrise was magnificent. We parked a little past the Fancy Creek trailhead and it was about 4 miles there. There was also a lot of cooking ware and sleeping stuff in the cabin! Extremely homey. Thank you for a great stay!
This cabin is absolutely wonderful. It was exactly what we were looking for, and we truly enjoyed our time there. You feel completely immersed in nature and the sunset and sunrise are breathtaking when viewed from there. Will definitely go back in the near future.
Getting here is half the trip going up the incline. Better be in shape if not acclimated. Extremely hidden by rock and pine trees. Binoculars would help from Holy City to locate but not necessary.