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
3 hour walk up the trail from the summer access point (our 2wd van made it up fine).
The hut has tools strewn about but this only takes up half of the downstairs space. Upstairs is empty and fine. Minor paint fumes, but didn’t cause me and hiking partner any issues.
Aug. 29, 2023
We booked the visit for 10 people. Ended up 6 people. Nobody else was there. We were able to reach to the beginning of the trail with the car. So We hiked around 1h 40 min to the hut. The conditions of the trail and the weather were perfect. When we arrived, this volunteer, Jeff, was working on the hut and told us that the hut was closed due to maintenance so we had 2 options: Go home or sleep there with him working around until 2 am or so. (In the website says that the roof renovations were already done the 15th of August). Everything inside the hut was full of tools and materials. We decided to sleep inside. I was helping Jeff with the hut renovations. Other than that our stayed was alright. We tried to not bother him too much and we just went to the hut to sleep.
Aug. 26, 2023
Almost complete with the construction on Phelix's roof. Clean-up will take some time and the hut will not be ready until the bear closure starts (Aug 15-Oct15). Wasp nest on the railing of the bridge about 2.5 km up the trail from the current parking (only little bridge with a railing). Saw a black bear on the road up (by the fork up Phelix Creek Rd). Also the outhouse has been fixed and gross tp cleaned up.
Aug. 11, 2023
Drove up to almost the old truck, hiked up in less than 2 hours (1st km still overgrown). Spent the weekend with a rotation of 15 people putting in insulation, lots of wood bracing and strapping, outer plywood, and a water proof layer. The roof is not quite done, we hope to finish up this coming weekend and clean up soon. If anyone is planning to come up and can help carry garbage down (we'll make it as light as possible), we will be forever grateful
Aug. 5, 2023
Phelix Hut remains closed for use by the public as repairs continue. We anticipate repairs to take a bit still, so make sure you have tents with if you're going up. Lots of people camping in area. Drove in almost to the old truck and hiked up in about 2 hr on Jul 28, put up a huge amount of steel framing etc onto the new roof, and hiked down in 1.5 hr Jul 30. Trail is in fine condition, but fairly overgrown at the bottom. No bear encounters
July 29, 2023
Trail is becoming overgrown in small sections but overall in good condition and easy to follow to the hut. Took us 2.5 hours to get to the hut with overnight packs. Trail leading to Gandalf was in good condition and easy to follow. Trail to Shadowfax a bit overgrown but easy to find with some basic route finding. Inside the hut was clean and everything was working properly. As previously reported there is active logging on this road so drive with caution. Activity was very minimal on the weekend - only one machine in operation and no trucks encountered. I suspect they reduce activity on weekends in anticipation of recreational visitors.
July 15, 2023
- First couple km after the burned car are very, very overgrown.
- Forest workers are in the area logging all the way up to the beginning of the trail (burned car). They could put up cement barriers after their shift to protect their equipment from being stolen. Something to consider if you park your car all the way up. They headed their way down around 2 pm.
- Did not encounter any bears, but forest workers saw a grizzly 3 days prior.
- LOT of moskitos at the hut but manageable walking up.
- We came with 2WD and hiked all the way from bottom. Would recommend 4WD or at least an SUV with good clearance to save walking along the logging road.
July 12, 2023
Blocks have been removed at the second bridge, cutting out about 1.5km of road walking.
When driving be sure to have a radio and call up so the crew knows you're on your way in—visibility is not great on the road and you do not want to get smacked by a logging truck!
Things are looking good otherwise. No snow at the lake, good trail.
July 5, 2023
Snow has just melted out of the alpine meadows and a few small patches of winter snow remain in shaded spots. Lots of glacier lily and anemone coming up, but alas snowed 5 cms on our way in June 19th with more snow at higher elevations. Will likely melt off quickly with warmer temps. Road and trail in good shape, expected bushy-ness with the alders where the trail follows the old road bed.
Hut in good shape overall. Loose plywood and bare insulation previously mentioned is still showing under the roof overhang to the left of the door. No water damage inside but just a matter of time before some critter moves into the roof. Loose boards and nails sticking up from the trap door. Could use a good deep clean and scrub down, a little spring love. Alas did not have the cleaning supplies this time round😊 Beautiful cabin!
June 20, 2023
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