The Alpine Club of Canada

Sapphire Col Hut

Sapphire Col Hut

The ACC operates the largest network of backcountry huts in North America. Located between The Dome and Castor Peaks on the Asulkan ridge, the Sapphire Col Hut gives access to high-quality quartzite mountaineering on the ridges and faces of the the Asulkan Group. See all of our huts here.

At A Glance

Trail distance: 9 km  
Elevation Gain: 1375m
Trailhead: Asulkan Parking, Glacier National Park  
Family Friendly: No
Activities: Backcountry skiing, Hiking, Mountaineering
Technical Considerations: Glacier Travel, Avalanche Terrain; ATES Class 3

Located high in Glacier National Park, the Sapphire Col Hut is a great midway bivy shelter on the Asulkan Ridge or base for climbing Mt. Swanzy in summer and for ski touring in winter. The hut is the smallest in the ACC network. Advanced technical mountaineering and glacier travel skills are required in all seasons. This facility is a mountain shelter with minimal supplies and users must be prepared to be fully self-sufficient.

Capacity: 4
Hut Location: 51.2091, -117.5002
Heat: Unheated
Light: No
Stove: No
Oven: No
Mattress: No
Open: Year-round

The Hut Experience

Staying in a backcountry hut is a shared, rustic experience. Sleeping, kitchen and living areas are communal. Guests area expected to bring their own sleeping bags, food and personal items.

All of our huts are user-maintained, meaning that the custodial work of keeping the hut clean, chopping firewood and shovelling snow is done by the guests. The ACC provides major service and renovations to all of our huts each year to ensure they are in good repair.

There are no transition days between bookings. Guests are responsible to sanitize before and after use of the huts.

Download our hut cleaning and sanitation guidelines here.


Located between The Dome and Castor Peaks on the Asulkan ridge, the Sapphire Col Hut gives access to high-quality quartzite mountaineering on the ridges and faces of the the Asulkan Group. Sapphire Col is above the tree line in serious avalanche terrain and requires travel on a crevassed glacier. Getting to the hut requires mountaineering equipment and skills, knowledge of safe glacier travel techniques and whiteout navigation skills.

Sapphire Col Hut is a basic mountaineering shelter. Apart from a toilet system, this metal bivouac shelter is unequipped; with no heat, stove, utensils or sleeping pads. Water is obtained from a nearby melt pond or by melting snow.


A mountaineering loop can be done beginning at the Wheeler Hut, then to Asulkan Cabin and ending at Sapphire Col. Note: this route is exposed to ice fall and other hazards. A descent via the Lily Glacier completes the loop. Advanced to Expert backcountry travelers only.


An overnight parking permit is required (free of charge) when accessing the Sapphire Col Hut from the Illecillewaet Valley or Illecillewaet Campground trailheads.

In person:
July – September at the Illecillewaet Campground kiosk.
October – June at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre.
Check Glacier National Park website for hours of operation.
If unable to obtain an Overnight Parking Permit in person during the Rogers Pass Discovery Center’s hours of operations, call or e-mail to make arrangements. (Allow 3-5 business days)

By phone: 250-837-7500
By e-mail:


A valid national park pass is required for all visitors to the national parks. For fee information and purchase locations visit:

You will need the group leader’s name, destination, number of people in group, license plate of ALL vehicles being left at the trailhead, and your ACC reservation number. Winter users must verify whether planned routes require a Winter Permit.


Pricing is subject to change without notice.


Pricing is subject to change without notice.

Summer (May 1 to October 30)
There are no pre-set booking schedule for these dorm-style huts. Guests may book and stay for any period.
Overnight rates are inclusive of all ACC hut fees and charges, and do not include national park pass fees.


Sleeping Capacity: 4

Bedding: No mattress pads, bring your own

Cooking: No stove provided – bring your own stove and fuel

Bathroom: Outhouse

Lighting: No lights

Heat: Unheated

Water Source: Snow melt

Other: Mattresses not provided



  • Mountaineering
  • Alpine Rock Climbing
  • Trail Hiking


  • Ski Touring
  • Ski Mountaineering

Summer access to Saphire Col follows the route to the Asulkan Cabin and then steeply across rock and the Asulkan Glacier to the col between Dome and Castor Peaks. This route is only recommended for experienced mountaineers. The hut is open all year but is seldom used in winter.


Quick Description: A 4 km mountaineering route beginning at the Asulkan Cabin.

Approach Description: Printable PDF

ACC Members may make reservations up to 6 months in advance. To access this benefit, please LOG IN to your membership account and follow the prompts.

If you are not an active member, you may SIGN-UP to join a community of alpine enthusiasts.

Non-Members are welcome to make reservations up to 3 months in advance.

Please call our reservation team at 403-678-3200 ext. 0 if you are looking to make a booking within 1-week of check-in. 

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References And Links