|Length||9.4 miles round trip|
|+1850, -1850 round trip|
|Season||Late December through mid-April|
|Snowmobiles Use||Not permitted [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]|
|USGS Topo||7.5' series, Tahoe City, Granite Chief|
|Start||Highway 89 at the intersection with the Pole Creek road, 6.2 miles south of Interstate 80, 7.5 miles north of Tahoe City, and immediately south of Pole Creek.|
Bradley Hut makes a great destination for lunch before returning to the trailhead or as a comfortable shelter for an overnight stay. Spending a night or two at the hut affords time to ski the meadows, bowls and ridges that surround the hut. But do not ski under the corniced ridges in the area and be aware that many of the nearby slopes are avalanche prone.
While a good road makes navigation to the hut relatively easy, the elevation profile for the tour to Bradley Hut shows it's true character — except for one short downhill to Pole Creek, the tour to the hut is a very steady uphill climb. The 1700 feet of climbing can make for a long slog into the hut if you are breaking trail.
Once you reach the hut you can return via the road or choose from two alternate return routes. One is the beautiful and interesting Bradley Hut Loop tour that includes some outstanding ridge skiing. The other is the Bradley Hut and Deep Creek tour that is best left for powder conditions and to those who revel in a very steep descent through trees.
The original Bradley Hut, a memorial to Josephine Bradley, was constructed in 1957 in Five Lakes Basin between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts. The hut was removed from this location in 1996 and 1997 because it was within the boundary of Granite Chief Wilderness that was established in 1984. Construction of the new Bradley Hut in the Pole Creek drainage commenced in 1997 and opened for use in late 1998.
Bradley Hut is owned and operated by the Sierra Club, but is open to the general public for use. The hut sleeps 15 on the upstairs wooden floor with cooking and eating space downstairs along with a wood heating stove. Make reservations to stay overnight at this Sierra Club hut by contacting:
Clair Tappaan Lodge
P.O. Box 36
Norden, CA 95724
800-679-6775 (toll free)
As one might expect, reservations for weekends and holidays are difficult to obtain. Volunteer for a summer or fall work party at one of the Sierra Club's huts to get reservation priority (contact Clair Tappaan Lodge for more information).
Waypoint 1 to 2
Miles: 0.0 - 1.9
Elevation change: +650 feet
From the trailhead (1) ascend generally east on the convoluted snow-covered road for 1.9 miles until you reach a road junction (2). The road to the west (left) is part of the Saddle Trail Loop and the Silver Peak tours. The tour to Bradley Hut continues north (straight) on the main road.
Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 1.9 - 2.4
Elevation change: +50, -150 feet
Continue north (straight) on the main road, then northwest and finally cross Pole Creek on a bridge for a total of 0.5 mile until you reach a road junction (3). The road to the east (right) is part of the Pole Creek Loop tour and leads back to Highway 89. The road to the west (left) leads to Bradley Hut.
Waypoint 3 to 4
Miles: 2.4 - 3.0
Elevation change: +200 feet
Turn west (left) and follow the road for 0.6 mile until you reach a 180-degree turn to the right (4).
Waypoint 4 to 5
Miles: 3.0 - 3.2
Elevation change: +100 feet
Make the turn and continue on the road to the east for 0.2 mile until you reach a road junction (5) where the main road turns 180 degrees to the left and heads west. The road to the north is part of the Pole Creek to Deep Creek tour.
Waypoint 5 to 6
Miles: 3.2 - 4.1
Elevation change: +450 feet
Ski west on the road for 0.9 mile until you come to a distinct open area (6). The topographic map shows a road junction in this clearing, but it is very unlikely that you will see it.
Waypoint 6 to 7
Miles: 4.1 - 4.7
Elevation change: +250 feet
Climb on the road to the west (straight) for 0.6 mile until you reach Bradley Hut (7). In the clearing you left behind, do not take the road south (left) if it is visible. Also, there is another road junction 0.1 mile before reaching the hut. It is unlikely that you will see the junction, but if you do, continue straight ahead on the north (right) fork.
Return to trailhead
Miles: 4.7 - 9.4
Elevation change: +150, -1700 feet
Retrace the route for 4.7 miles to the trailhead (1).