Built in 1998, this spacious hut sits in a subalpine basin at 1715 m beside Long Lake. It sleeps more than 25 people. The hut is open to non-motorized, non-commercial users.
Backcountry skiers visit the hut for dry snow and challenging runs. In summer, Mt. Gandalf, Mt. Aragorn, and Mt. Shadowfax are fun scrambling destinations. The VOC discourages visits to the area between August 15th and October 15th, when it is sensitive habitat for grizzly bears.
The hut has a wood stove (winter use only) and an outhouse. Firewood should be used sparingly, because it is carried in by volunteers. A creek south of the hut is open year-round for drinking water. For more information, see the VOC Wiki.
Blackwater Creek FSR is ploughed in winter up to the start of Phelix Creek FSR near km 13 (2WD accessible with low clearance). This is the winter parking lot. In summer, drive 4.4 km up Phelix Creek FSR to the barricades at the second bridge and park (2WD accessible with moderate clearance; keep left at the fork before the bridge). Walk up the road through a few cutblocks until the road becomes a trail and climbs through mature forest to Long Lake. If the lake is not frozen, walk around the north side to the hut. The total distance is 5.5 km and 600 m elevation gain (9.9 km and 1090 m in winter). In winter and especially in spring, there is overhead hazard along Phelix Creek FSR from large avalanche paths.
2021 Phelix GPS track
Drove to the end of the road and then hiked to the hut in about three hours. Snowshoes become necessary about two thirds of the way up to the lake. Really. Don't forget the snowshoes or you won't get far. Hut is in good shape all things considered. Lake is still covered in ice but looking blue around the edges.
May 20, 2023
It took us 6h to the hut on snowshoes. From the winter parking lot to the summer parking lot, in the first part there was no snow. In the beginning of the forest, the trail sometimes showed rocks and the ground. Most part of the trail was in okay shape for this time of the year. I wouldn’t recommend on ski’s. The snow on the top and around the lake was good. The hut was in good condition. We didn’t go beyond the hut.
April 22, 2023
Trail in was about as bad as it usually is this time of year. Spring conditions so icy, lots of exposed rocks, roots and dirt. We did a lap of Cabin Hill on Friday and it seems like it rained to the top because the snow was cement. Best described as MCL- tearing conditions. We went down NW Knob and it was awful. Friday Night there were 10 of us in the hut in total. Half our group bailed and then there were two others. Discussed going up to Peregrine Col but given the day before's scouting mission, we decided it was not worth it. We went up over cabin hill and exited that way which was good-ish snow. At around 1700m the snow became heavy and it was not much fun through the trees. All-in-all we only stayed pne night and I would not recommend.
April 8, 2023
All in good working order. The express fix that VOC made to the roof last week looks good and is holding up.
April 2, 2023
Eight of us went up, put the left side of the annex roof back on, and stabilized the right side of the annex roof, hopefully will hold until spring. Until roof is fully rehabilitated, adhere to the big warning banner on the main huts page.
March 25, 2023
The large amount of snow on the roof came off while we were touring on Wednesday March 22nd. The roof sheet metal and supporting plywood was peel off the South Side of the Dormer and partially off the North Side of the Dormer. The basic hut structure seems sound and access through the door wasn't too concerning. Some new snow fell Wednesday night and there was some leakage from melting snow during the day in the dormer sleeping area.
We stayed in the hut two nights after the roof damage and it was stable and still warm
And the skiing was amazing
March 22, 2023
The VOC has gotten a report from a group currently at the hut that snow falling from the roof pulled off some of the roofing. The hut should still be usable, but we will be doing repairs as soon as possible.
March 22, 2023
A group of 35 VOC and non-VOC members spent Friday and Saturday night at the hut. Skin track up is in good condition with all creeks filled in. Skiing Saturday and Sunday was incredible with 15+cm of fresh snow over the weekend. Sunday ski out was best I've seen it at Phelix, minimal ice crust in the trees and route relatively easy to follow. No immediate repairs needed, we removed snow from the outhouse and hut door. A sign should be added at the summer TH junction, make sure to go left towards the large concrete blocks. A weekend filled with the simplest of joys: good friends, great skiing, and lots of memories of our friend Will
March 11, 2023
Hut in great condition. Took us just under 4 hours to get there and 1hr15 to get back. Beautiful location. Saw a few type 0.5-1 triggers on N aspect cabin hill and a type 1 on S aspect Gandalf.
March 4, 2023
We got very lucky with the 30cm of new snow. It was fully waist deep as the new snow fell on the soft layer below. We found the best skiing off the NorthWest Knob. You can see the runs on the Gaia GPS winter layer. We also skied Return of the Kings and the coverage wasn't as good and there was more wind-effect. Would instead recommend returning down the skin track trees as that aspect was had very good snow.
The approach to the hut was about 5 hours and the return about 2.5 hours.
Hut is in great condition, we had 12 people on both Friday and Saturday night.
Feb. 26, 2023
Blackwater Road is a sheet of ice due to freeze/thaw cycle last week and subsequent cold. Otherwise, ski in/out is in fine (if at times icy) condition with a few small rockslides about 1km from the trailhead. Snow is quite wind-affected on many aspects, though we found good snow on some SW and NE facing slopes.
Feb. 24, 2023
Blackwater Rd was snow free for the first few kms and well plowed farther up. Thin but skiable snow along the road from the parking lot. Some exposed rocks near the bottom of the switchbacks/forest, but good coverage in the top half and around the hut. Lovely snow but poor visibility.
Feb. 20, 2023
The snow is lower this year than I expected but the trail was is really good conditions and the cabin was clean. We had a group of 3 and another group of 3 was there all week. There is still plenty of fire wood and we saw no rodents.
Feb. 17, 2023
Parked at the winter parking lot, the snow is not compact enough to drive up and good thing too as there were bits of a small landslide on the road in (rocks starting to come loose). The road in was easy half my group snow shoed and others toured. Either way the forest was icy! Hut was nice and toasty with a big group! Thankfully the wood has been restocked. Good times and all groups were respectful of the space.
Feb. 6, 2023
No stove at the hut currently, and wood is also used up. Borderline hazardous to walk up unprepared (without your own stove). Skinning was only difficult in the woods, where the snow was very patchy and the path was steep.
Snow was heating up during our stay, but we did not trigger any slides (lapped cabin hill and NW knob).
Caution should be used in steeper terrain, there is a weak sugary layer ~70cm below the surface.
Jan. 6, 2023
We couldn't find the coleman stove mentioned on the wiki. Luckily brought our own stoves so were fine, but would have been a problem if we weren't prepared.
There are 2 full propane canisters, and 4 empties in the cupboard
Approach took 7 hours on Dec 27th. Made good time skinning on the Phelix FSR. Lots of alders to thrash through after the rusted truck. The first 200m of elevation gain up the marked trail are challenging, low coverage around boulders and fallen logs, hardpacked making skinning difficult. Snowshoes or bootpack better. Higher up there is enough coverage to skin.
We skied many fun laps on cabin hill. Triggered a size 1 in the main bowl that ran down to the boulder field. Failed on storm slab 10-15 cm crown.
Did one run off the NW Nob, awesome at the top but lower down needs more snow to cover small trees.
Dec. 30, 2022
Not enough snow during the steep section to skin up. Was a bit of a struggle getting up there.
Lake completely frozen over, went across the middle of it no problemo. Good coverage for snowboarding at the top, although the snow was a little crusty.
Hut is not much warmer than outside, had every single piece of clothing on and was still a tad bit cold sometimes.
Dec. 17, 2022
Made it up to the winter parking lot easily with just snow tires. We saw part of an animal carcass and bones ~300m from the trailhead. Lots of animal tracks but no animals! Took us (2) ~5.5hrs up and 3.5 down on snowshoes. Hut was in good condition, didn't see the stove or heater.
Dec. 16, 2022
In the last third of the hike, due to the snow cover, it was very challenging to find many of the markers, and therefore resulted in a challenging end to the trip. It took me and a partner 8 hours to pioneer through the snow and get to the hut.
Dec. 12, 2022
Trail and hut in good conditions. The snow convers all the trail, but still not enough to allow safe skiing.
We had a 4x4 car but no chains. We parked at the winter car park, easily accessible (driving carefully). Possibility to park a bit further on the road.
It took us 6h to reach the hut, without rushing, with perfect weather conditions (sun and no wind). The hut was in good condition, though there was no coleman stove.
Dec. 4, 2022
We did not have chains with us so we had to park at the lower parking. Would need some serious 4x4 skills with chains to make it up to the upper parking, not recommended. Took us about 7 hours to get to the hut. Skinned up the road/trail until the steeper section (~1450m), hiked due to poor snow coverage, until the snow was deep enough to put the skis back on at around 1550m, then skinned across the lake, completely frozen. Lots of peoples clothing left behind, some garbage but generally all in good shape. Wood about 1/2 full, axes are uselessly dull. Not enough snow coverage for high alpine days but we skied 3 laps on Cabin Hill in seriously deep, cold pow. Saw a group of 5 snowshoers go up on our way down Saturday morning.
Dec. 2, 2022
The upper parking lot is accessible with 4wd / 2wd + chains. Trail in the forest is quite icy and not fully covered in snow. Boulders still aren't covered. We didn't put on our snowshoes until ~100m below the lake. Lake seems to be fully iced over now. Our group walked right over the center in the morning.
Nov. 19, 2022
With 5-10cm of snow at the base, the upper parking was still easily accessible with 4WD or 2WD+Chains. Enough snow to skin didn't start until 50-100m below the hut, with 60-80cm of snow measured at the hut. Boulders are definitely not covered yet, but reports from above the hut suggest upwards of 1.5m of snow. The lake was frozen over with tracks on the ice staying near the edge, but there was still some open water, and cracking from the lake during mid-day sun. It's still definitely early season conditions, but a few more dumps and the skiing should be considerably improved. At present though, expect to boot pack most of the way to the hut.
Nov. 13, 2022
We were able to drive up ~4km of the trail. You definitely need a 4WD or chains to get there. If not you can park at the bottom and start hiking from there.
The trail is easily accessible but need snowshoes as there are lots of powder snow. We were not planning on skiing but some other people mentioned there were still too many rocks to do so.
In the hut, we felt very comfy and warm.
Super recommendable! Magic valley covered in snow
Nov. 12, 2022
Parked at upper lot, already with a few cm on snow on the ground. Skinned up the first few km and then transitioned to boot pack. Just shy of the lake, we put on skins on again. There was about a meter of snow up at the cabin. Not much skiing due to coverage but there were still turns to be had.
On Friday night, we shared the cabin with two other parties. On Saturday night, we shared the cabin with four other parties, including one dog. There was less coverage on the trail coming back down on Sunday, presumably packed out with the multiple parties with snowshoes who came up on Saturday.
Nov. 12, 2022
The Blackwater logging road already had snow on it. We were still able to drive all the way to the parking without chains (Subaru AWD) but it was slippery at times.
Most of the trail in was already snow-covered. The first 2/3 of the trail had thin snow coverage (not yet skin-able) , but the last third had a good 2-3 feet of snow coverage. We were the first ones to hike in since the snow had fallen so had to break trail in our hiking boots, so it took us an hour more than usual to hike in (3.5 hours instead of 2.5 hours).
We cleared all the snow from the outhouse. The latter up to the outhouse seems to be getting a bit loose (connection between ladder and platform); could use attention. Other than that the hut was good (other than there being a few more items left behind than usual, like shirts, socks, floaties).
Nov. 11, 2022
My friend and I just hiked up to the hut two nights ago. We did park at the winter parking lot at the bottom, but probably could have made it up to the summer parking lot by the blockade (eased on the side of caution with 2WD). Minimal snow until you hit the switch backs on Phelix Creek Trail, it went from 10cm to about 5 feet of snow for the final 1km through the forest. Lots of snow for the final 2km to the hut. The lake is close to being fully frozen, we just hiked along the shoreline fairly safely. Only saw bear tracks on the forestry road. The hut is in great condition although there was a small mess we attempted to clean up. Only thing we noticed that was broken is the fan on the wood stove. Overall grateful for this cabin and a nice escape into nature! Will definitely do it again!
Nov. 9, 2022
Very nice place, clean and organized. I paid for the night online
Oct. 17, 2022
REMINDER: Only use firewood during winter, and even then use it sparingly. The wood is nearby deadwood arduously harvested, collected, and carried by volunteers.
- Road washout was cleared before we got there.
- Firewood is stocked for the winter, the trapdoor underneath the hut is full of split firewood. The area underneath the hut to the right of the door is full of non-split firewood.
- fixed the trapdoor (no longer falling apart), it may need to be replaced in the next ~5 years, seeing lots of wear and tear.
- old toilet seat
- old stove
- used fire extinguisher
- leaky pot
- new toilet seat
- 'Phelix Trail' sign
- new fire extinguishers
- new stove
- new (not leaking) pot
- windows might need to be looked at next year, they aren't sliding properly and some hopefully not necessary parts are sitting next to the windows. They work perfectly fine unless opened or slid.
Oct. 16, 2022
Made it to the upper, summer parking lot, but only barely, in a 2wd, front wheel drive hyundai tucson. Clearance is more important than 4wd, but without 4wd you have to keep your speed, which is hard to do with the 7 or 8 stream cuts across the road. Had to take those at 5 kph. Front wheels were spinning out as I struggled to make it up the lose gravel hills. Bottomed out once. Good tires essential. Mine are 1 year old all weather tires.
But theres lots of spots to park on the road, go as far as you can. 4x4 essential if wet. Road is 4km.
The trail in is kinda overgrown for the first 1-2 km. No risk of getting lost.
There are no beginner hikes in the area. Every trail requires bouldering and route finding. Don’t go here in summer if you’re uncomfortable hiking with the use of your hands.
There were 8 people registered at the hut for the weekend. But there ended up being 20 who slept there.
The ladder up the outhouse is not particularly stable, just be careful using it.
Sept. 25, 2022
The trail at the beginning was a little overgrown. Bushes would need some cuts.
The kitchen equipments were dirty.
A group of 10-15 people started a party for more than 1h, not caring for the other people sleeping. We thought they were other guests but after our complaints, they left and slept outside. What’s the point of paying to reserve the hut when whoever in the area can use it?
Sept. 5, 2022
The Hut is very well-kept and convenient. There are books and card games for entertainment. There is also a guitar if you know a few notes. Stoves, pots and pans, propane bottles, lighter, lights, and even candles. The only thing was the door is heavy and some people are not very considerate to others. They came in and out of the Hut, making too much noise cooking and letting the door shut without holding onto it.
Aug. 30, 2022
Phelix Creek FSR was in great shape; the trickiest section was the first washout but it wasn't even that bad. Made it up to the 4.4km barricade in a Subaru Forester with no issues. The first 2km of trail after the burnt-out truck was overgrown and had lots of evidence of recent bear activity but we didn't run into any for the whole duration of the trip. The rest of the trail up to the hut was fine. The hut and outhouse was really clean when we arrived and acted as a much-needed escape from the mosquitos at the lake. The only issue was the wobbly outhouse ladder from earlier reports. It was absolutely gorgeous up there with all the wildflowers blooming right now but the bugs were ruthless... I got over a hundred bites throughout the day and evening; those little buggers didn't even flinch when you directly sprayed them with muskol. Bringing bug nets would be wise.
Aug. 20, 2022
Phelix FSR was mostly in good shape. Washout area towards start of trail was easily crossed with our converted 4x4 Chevy Astro van. A work party would be able to clear this area pretty quickly so that the road would be level and easily passable with any vehicle. Most decently capable vehicles should be able to get by this spot as is. Trail was thick and overgrown starting right at the rusted truck, for maybe one km, then less dense as you enter the forest and begin the climb to the hut. Hut was in good shape, but the ladder at the outhouse is definitely in need of repair (it's coming loose and is a bit dangerous to climb).
Bugs were bad, but views were gorgeous!
Aug. 15, 2022
2.5 hours up to hut on Sat. Very bushy trail in first few kms after the passing the fresh cut block. Used hut for cooking and cards but stayed in tent outside as busy. Paid fees in cash in box. Hut pretty clean but needed some tidying up. Outhouse needs bannister fixed as loose and one lady dislocated her wrist coming down on Sat.
Aug. 15, 2022
The ladder to the outhouse is no longer stable and quite wobbly. Hut was exactly as expected and suited our needs. There were a few lost and found clothing items, sunglasses, water bottles and foamies. We completed the "Mystery Puzzle" ~ no missing pieces! Another puzzle would be great too! The window at the right hand end of the upstairs loft has a broken latch, which prevented it from being opened.
The bottom part of the trail after the burnt out truck is really overgrown, until you get into the woods near the river.
Aug. 14, 2022
We parked at the roadblock before the bridge. Nice easy hike in, trail was a bit overgrown at the start but opens up as you get into the forest. Lots of muddy/minor flooded sections along the trail. Not bad all in all.
But be warned, BUGS WERE TERRIBLE!! Black flies to start the hike, millions of mosquitoes around the lake and a cloud of mosquitoes and horseflies to follow you up your objectives.
The stove at the cabin was looking in pretty rough shape. A few extra fuel bottles waiting to be used up, although with the state of the current stove, almost work bringing your own along to use instead.
Aug. 10, 2022
Trail up to the hut quite wet and muddy after the broken car and by the lake. The lake is high and has flooded out some of the trail around it. Pretty bushy at the start of the approach hike and very bushy on the trail north of the hut (towards the upper lakes and Shadowfax). Bug season is in full swing. Loads of folks (upwards of 40?) came through during the four nights I spent up there! But overall, wonderful scrambling weather up there!
Someone left a puffy and a sleeping mat - email me if these are yours!
Aug. 8, 2022
The rockslide/washout a few km up the Phelix Creek logging road was narrow, but driveable in a lowish SUV and also in a Toyota Sienna van. It looks a bit scary though so about half of the hikers stopped before it and walked the extra 3 km or so up the road. The trail itself was a bit overgrown but in good condition and well marked. Going around Long Lake was quite wet because the lake is flooding the path. It's now summer up there, so there's not all that much snow except on N aspects and the scrambles to Aragorn and Shadowfax were in good condition. I didn't actually go to the hut, but apparently there were many people camping around it and just a few sleeping inside.
Aug. 1, 2022
Approach trail to hut and up to gandalf in great shape! Snow started around 1600m, ground around hut extremely wet due to melt. Minimal post-holing on approach to hut and Mt. Gandalf.
Took about 2h40min up to hut, 2hr back down to car from hut.
Crux sections of Gandalf and Aragorn are free of snow, except the gandalf-aragorn col has significant overhead cornices.
Extra socks a must if you want dry feet :)
July 18, 2022