OPUS HUT: A European Hut in the Heart of the San Juans
If you think that the view is stupendous in this photo, wait until you wake up to it every morning
According to Opus Hut creator and owner, Bob Kingsley, the point of inspiration where the huts that he enjoyed while in Europe. Opus is a full-service hut in that fashion, serving its guests breakfast, afternoon soup, and dinner. Rooms are shared, or can be reserved as private for you, and / or your family. Comforters and pillows are provided. You tote a sleeping bag liner. We rocked our summer weight sleeping bags, because they needed an outing.
Hutkeeper extraordinaire, Ashley, plies her trade.
Once the inspiration coalesced, the hard work began. Bob found an old mining claim just off Ophir Pass Road, knew that it would be ideal, and secured it. The site is in the last grove of mature trees at 11,700’, and in an avalanche safe zone.
Opus Hut took five years to build, including the hand excavation of its foundation. And while its remote location might suggest a shanty, it is more a work of art.
The Hills Are Alive With The Sound of Music
Seasons at Opus Hut
In summer, Opus Hut is an ideal base of operation for hikes. It would be totally possible to park your car for five days, stay at Opus Hut, and walk out the door to any number of hikes.
If you are after a high-altitude base for mountain biking or trail running, Opus Hut may have no rival in the US.
Jester ponders his next move
Opus Hut really shines in winter. Right out of the door you have access to some of the most outstanding terrain, and powder, that the San Juans have to offer. You can do your own thing, or hire a guide to insure your safety and to get you to the best snow.
Getting to Opus Hut
Southwest Colorado and the little town of Silverton are a long way from anywhere. And that is part of its charm.
The nearest airports, and towns of consequence to Opus Hut, are Durango to the south, and Montrose to the north. If driving in from the north, you get to enjoy the Million Dollar Highway. Note that in winter the route from the north can be sketch, or totally closed for avy control. Durango generally provides more reliable access.
In summer you can drive to with a quarter mile of Opus Hut on Ophir Pass Road. Various mapping programs may indicate that you can drive from Telluride to Opus Hut. You can, but be prepared with high clearance 4WD. The road in from Silverton is 2WD friendly, with one small stream crossing. You won’t want to bring a performance sports car up this road, but most 2WD and AWD vehicles will do just fine.
In winter Opus Hut is a three-and-a-half-mile skin from Highway 550.
Snake River Cuttie from a high-alpine lake near Opus Hut. Which lake? That is on a “need to know” basis
I adore the simplicity of a bomber tent at timberline. Throw in a night time storm when you know that your camp is secure, and ZZ Top’s Sleeping Bag starts playing in my head as I drift off to sleep.
Opus Hut delivers that same sensation, with a roof over your head, outstanding meals, and sauna with world-class views.