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Peter Grubb Hut and Beyond

Peter Grubb HutThe easy access and short distance to Peter Grubb Hut (3 miles from the highway) make this trip extremely popular with skiers, snowboarders and snowshoers alike. Chances are, due to the popularity of this trip, you will be able to follow a packed trail all the way into Round Valley.

The best place to start is at the I-80 exit for Boreal ski resort. Parking is available at Boreal Ski Resort or at the Sno-Park at the southeast end of the road. The trail starts at the north end of the exit and follows a wide dirt road for about 10 minutes. Once on the trail a sign showing a cross-country skier heads up right, while the snowmobile track veers left. The trail to the right is very easy to follow and will bring you up to Castle Pass (around 7500ft).

Continuing straight on the PCT will bring you to the Peter Grubb Hut. Staying overnight at the hut provides a comfortable way to explore some of the backcountry to the north, ensuring a degree of solitude that will almost certainly be lacking on the trip to the hut. On clear days you have excellent views of Castle Peak and the Donner Summit area from Castle Pass.

Alternate Routes: (Only to be attempted with proper gear and clothing) Castle Peak: Continuing on from Castle Pass, one can follow the ridge eastward. This is a popular backcountry ski trip so within two or three days of a storm, the trail will be set. Follow the ridge to the summit. This should take an additional 1-2 hours. The most straightforward descent is back to the Peter Grubb Hut, but there are many other options, explore safely!

Another great circuit that our resident Doctor and I found is for cross-country skiers looking for a backcountry experience. In the beginning of the hike, where the trail splits, follow the snowmobile trail. (This is not a good idea on a Saturday or Sunday!!!!) Follow the snowmobile track (red diamonds and arrows mark the way) all the way up to the backside of Andesite Peak. Continue on the snowmobile track down about 15-25 minutes. This will put you out in a fairly large, open meadow. Go out the back of the meadow and head east/northeast (there are probably no tracks leading in this direction). Go left, around the rock outcroppings that will be on your right. Follow this drainage for about 30-60 minutes and you will arrive at the Peter Grubb Hut. This ski takes navigation skills, so make sure you are prepared!!

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