Lake Tahoe Backcountry Huts

Clair Tappaan Lodge, Lake Tahoe Backcountry Huts

Clair Tappaan Lodge operates four backcountry huts in the Lake Tahoe area for year-round recreational use.  Each hut provides rustic accommodations for about 15 people and includes a sleeping loft, wood stove, and outhouse. These huts give ambitious skiers, snowshoers, and hikers a chance to explore the mountains without needing to build an igloo or pitch a tent. Each hut can be reached in one day or less from the nearest road by an average group with good weather. In bad weather, some may not be accessible at all. Navigation is the responsibility of the user. All huts may be difficult to locate in heavy snow years.

Huts are supplied with cut, typically un-split, firewood each fall. Sledgehammers and wedges are provided for splitting. Heavy visitor use may deplete firewood stores by spring. Each hut has at least one wood stove, good for warming huts and melting snow, but notoriously inefficient for cooking, especially with large parties (portable backpacking stoves are recommended).

Routine upkeep is the responsibility of the users; please leave the huts cleaner and in better condition than when you arrived.


To prevent overcrowding, the huts are operated on a reservation basis. Guests must bring their own food, sleeping bags and pads, utensils, flashlights, personal equipment, etc. The huts may not be used for commercial purposes without permission of the Sierra Club. Call (530) 426-3632 or email for reservations.

Hut reservations for the Winter months (December-April) are processed initially through a priority system beginning  November 1st.  Priority is given to volunteer work party participants.  Applications for the initial allocation, for both volunteers and the general public, are accepted by U.S. Mail (only).  Mail to: Clair Tappaan Lodge at P. O. Box 36, Norden, CA, 95724.  The application must include full payment and alternate dates (in case the first choice is unavailable).  Requests for reservations should be accompanied by a $25/person/night deposit; please add 10% to cover county transient occupancy tax (ToT). The initial round of winter reservations is based on written requests. These will be issued after the last work party has been completed (see above), typically in early November.

For our winter months (December – April), applications must be received by Clair Tappaan Lodge prior to November 1, 2019 in order to be included within the initial allocation. Please use this form: Backcountry Hut Application Form.

Results from the initial allocation will be communicated to applicants within the first week of November.  Spaces not allocated will be available on a first-come, first-served basis by phone (once the initial round has been completed).

Cancellation Policy:  Hut reservations are charged in full at the time of booking.  Refunds are available  if the cancellation is received more than 30 days prior to arrival date.

Hut-to-Hut Trips

Benson Hut and Bradley Hut are sometimes linked for a three-day, two-night trip between Donner Pass and Highway 89 near Squaw Valley. Bradley Hut and Ludlow Hut can be linked together but a snow camp midway should be expected. Linking Ludlow Hut with Echo Summit would take another two snow camps (e.g., Camper Flat and Lake Aloha). Note: These estimates are for an experienced, well-equipped group breaking trail in good weather.

Program Times: 
Weather Permitting
Start date: 
Thursday, April 1, 2021

Where is the activity?

Clair Tappaan Lodge (See address and directions on the rightbelow)

Clair Tappaan Lodge

19940 Donner Pass Rd
Norden, CA
(530) 426-3632