Hipcamp host Lee T.
Hosted by


During these winter months, we are a Ski In, Ski Out destination only, similar to a yurt or hut trip. We currently have about a 60+ inch base and growing (updated 2/27/20). In order to access the cabin, your choices are  to either snow shoe, cross country ski or snowmobile the last two miles up the mountain (vehicles will not make it up the mountain). We are t



During these winter months, we are a Ski In, Ski Out destination only, similar to a yurt or hut trip. We currently have about a 60+ inch base and growing (updated 2/27/20). In order to access the cabin, your choices are  to either snow shoe, cross country ski or snowmobile the last two miles up the mountain (vehicles will not make it up the mountain). We are the perfect backcountry getaway for outdoor enthusiasts and for high altitude training . Generally we are accessible from early June thru early November (and only then) by four wheel or all wheel drive vehicle.

During summer months access is via ATV and 4 wheel drive vehicles along 2 mile county road. Guests (athletes and vacationers) enjoy access to many trails as well as over 100 miles of groomed trails in the winter season. The area is filled with old growth forest and a few scars on the land, the only remaining evidence of the once popular mining economy. Our southern exposure gives us sunny afternoons and a beautiful view of Mt. Hope.  The area is very quiet and secluded. The few sounds you may hear are passing ATV’s and snowmobiles or dog sled teams.

The cabin features a full bathroom and kitchen including cooking utensils, modern plumbing and electricity via a cistern and a solar array and generator.

We have satellite tv and limited internet service.  The cabin is heated by wood stove.  Firewood will be provided for your stay.  We do run a generator on the property about eight hours a day to charge the solar batteries and to do general chores.

The Retreat is located seven miles south of Leadville, on ten acres within the Paddock State Wildlife Area which is about 1300 acres. There are several 14,000+ ft peaks nearby. Mt. Sherman is the closest. There are many miles of mining, forestry and county roads both for the extreme athlete (bikers and runners) and the snowmobile or ATV enthusiast.  No matter what time of year, this is a beautiful place.  Fall is especially beautiful when the aspens change color!

The elevation is near 11,000 feet above sea level. Altitude sickness is not uncommon for persons from lower elevations. Due to geographic location, please be aware: “ALPINE CONDITIONS EXIST ALL YEAR LONG”! During snow season, hazards always exist under the snow. Snow can happen any day of the year. Slippery, uneven surfaces are the norm. Please come prepared with proper foot wear and trail gear.

Book your unforgettable back country adventure today!

Lodging provided
1 site
Up to 6 guests per site
Walk to listing
No ADA access
Campfires allowed
Toilet available
Pets allowed
Potable water available
Kitchen available
Showers available
Picnic table available
Wifi available
Bins available
Have a question? Send Lee a message!
  • Check in: After 4PM
  • Check out: Before 11AM
  • Cancellation policy: Strict
  • On arrival: Meet and greet
  • Minimum nights: 2
  • Accepts bookings: 12 months out


Offered on the Host's property or nearby.


The Leadville Trail 100, mountain biking, snow biking.


This area was heavily mined over the last 150 years. There are many abandoned mining roads and trails.


The Arkansas River as well as several of the local lakes.

Off-roading (OHV)

We welcome ATV enthusiast who are responsible and mindful of the delicate alpine tundra.

Snow sports

Timber biking, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, several downhill ski areas in a one hour drive.

Whitewater paddling

The Arkansas River

Wildlife watching

This area is home to bear, mountain lion, elk, deer, mountain goats and moose as well as many other species. Be careful. Your...Read more


Natural features you'll find at The Retreat at Empire Gulch in Colorado.


We are just below tree line and enjoy a variety of old growth pine and aspen.


Nearby are Turquoise Lake, Four Bay Reservoir, and Twin Lakes.


Location is surrounded by 14,000 foot peaks

River, stream, or creek

This area is known as the head waters of the Arkansas River which is used by fishermen, rafters and kayakers.


Lower Empire Gulch is marshy and is a natural beaver habitat.

The vibe at The Retreat at Empire Gulch

3 Written reviews
This listing has no reviews yet.
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Hipcamper Alexandria
Alexandria S.
recommends this listing.
February 20th, 2018

This place was absolutely incredible to stay at. Highly recommend for anybody who loves an adventure but also enjoys the comfort of a cabin.

The camp host Lee was a huge help. Welcomed us with fresh made cookies! What a treat.
He gave us easy to follow directions and made sure there was blue marked signs on our way up. The trail was a county road and provided a wide path to follow. Aspen trees lined our way. The cabin was easy to find and a joy to be in. He greeted us upon arrival and told us the ins and outs of the cabin.

Upon arrival the cabin was in tip top shape. Very clean and cozy. They had a fire started for us and blankets out to warm up in. The cabin was stocked full of any kitchen item you may need. Extra blankets, chairs outside and inside, tiki torches on the porch, and cozy beds. The bathroom had plenty of toilet paper and towels. They brought up potable water and had cold tap water for dishes.

The property was connected to a bunch of trails and endless areas to explore. We adventured to see the beautiful sunset by a old ghost mining cabin.

Again this cabin was amazing to stay in and we will definitely be back.

View from the hike about 1 mile in.Hiking in to the cabin about 1.5 miles inView from the back porch of the cabin.First arriving at the cabin
Hipcamper Lee
Response from Lee, the Host, on February 20th, 2018

Thank you so much for your input and we look forward to your next visit

Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Brandon

Great back country cabin!

Brandon D.
recommends this listing.
February 25th, 2019

We stayed a few nights at the retreat during February 2019. We needed to snow shoe in to make it to the cabin but made it within a couple of hours.

Overall the cabin was well kept, had all of the basics you would need and the host was friendly and accommodating. They made sure the batteries were charged, we had hot water and had plenty of fire wood to keep the cabin warm.

The property is remote with some nice trails close by that make it an excellent place to enjoy nature while still having to rough it.

It was easy to find the property and the host was fast and clear in all of their communication. I would definitely stay here again.

Hipcamper Maeve

Perfect weekend in the mountains

Maeve A.
recommends this listing.
January 2nd, 2020

Our stay at the Retreat was everything we had hoped for. The hike in is beautiful and very clearly marked, and we arrived to find the cabin immaculately clean, with a cozy fire waiting for us in the wood stove. We spent a really great weekend snowshoeing in the Paddock State Wildlife area, and warming up inside with movies and games. The cabin has everything you could want for a cozy getaway- maps of the nearby hiking trails, hot running water, wifi and Netflix, and an extensive game library. Our Host kept us stocked up on firewood and drinking water, and gave us great tips on where to hike for views of Colorado's highest peaks, and where to get a delicious breakfast in Leadville on our way out (check out the Silver Llama!) There are incredible views of Mount Hope off the back porch, and with clear night skies there was great stargazing. We can't wait to come back next year!

A short hike from the cabin takes you to views like this!Beautiful views off the back porch!The trail in is very easy to follow and has been packed down by other hikers and snowmobiles. We even saw a team of sled dogs go by!Hiking in to the retreat!
A Hipcamper
A Hipcamper
recommends this listing.
July 8th, 2018
Hipcamper Christopher P.
recommends this listing.
February 19th, 2018
The Retreat at Empire Gulch
United States
1 Site

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