5.5 miles, Full day
Whether you visit in the summer or in the winter, you will fall in love with this trail, the scenery, and the comfortable cabin.
The description and points of interest on this guide were written and recorded while leaving the cabin and heading back to civilization. This cabin can be reached in numerous ways, coming from Copper Mountain, Vail resort, or the Colorado Trail coming over the nearby pass. The route shown in this guide shows one of the numerous routes to Copper Mountain resort. When you are near Point of Interests 6 and 7, there are yet more alternatives to get from the cabin to Copper Mountain. However, if you follow this route, it will get you to the Union Creek Center where you can catch a shuttle bus to the Alpine Parking Lot, if that is where you are parked. (Currently, that is the designated parking spot for those staying at Janet's Cabin.)
Janet's Cabin is part of the Tenth Mountain Division Hut System. The cabin has indoor toilets, a well-stocked kitchen, and sleeps up to 20 people. It has a wood-burning stove and electric lights that are powered by solar panels. It also has propane stoves. You will need to provide water from a nearby creek in summer or from melted snow in the winter. Visit the websites listed with this guide for more information about the cabins and for suggested packing lists.
One of the joys of staying in Janet's Cabin is the great side-trips you can organize while staying there. It is like a gigantic outdoor playground in the surrounding mountains. Of course, if the weather is bad or you're just feeling sluggish, you can also hang around the cabin and relax. The views are incredible.
And one last treat awaits you upon your arrival. There is a wonderful, wood-heated sauna behind the cabin in its own little building. It feels good all year long since the evenings are pretty darned cool, even in the summer.
Don't forget to reserve Janet's Cabin well in advance. (nearly a full year in most cases)
You are at over 10,000 feet for much of this excursion. Try to acclimate slowly, drink plenty of water, and take frequent breaks.
You won't need to pack a pillow, camp stove or tent. You will, however, need a sleeping bag, food, and changes of clothing.
If you have snowshoed to this cabin in the past and rode up the Copper Mountain lifts, this is no longer allowed as of the 2010/2011 season. You will have to hoof it from the base all the way up unless you have some sort of skis or snowboard attached to your boots.
You will likely be sharing the cabin with others. Be kind, courteous, and thoughtful. Pack out all your trash. Read the rules posted in the cabin.