The ACC operates the largest network of backcountry huts in North America. A relatively little-known and little-visited valley, this area is one of the true gems of the Rockies! The Fryatt Hut offers a superb base for exploration both summer and winter with excellent alpine climbing and ski-touring all within fairly easy reach of the cabin. See all of our huts here.
Trail distance: 23 km
Elevation Gain: 765m
Trailhead: Fryatt Valley, Jasper National Park
Family Friendly: Yes
Activities: Mountaineering, Hiking, Backcountry Hiking
Technical Considerations: Avalanche Terrain
Located in the Fryatt Valley in Jasper National Park, this area is one of the true gems of the Rockies. The Fryatt Hut offers a superb base in both summer and winter, with excellent alpine climbing and ski-touring near the hut. The approach is usually completed in a long day, but some parties will utilize the Parks Canada campsites which are strategically located along the trail, breaking the trip into two days during the summer. Bikes can also be used for the first 11 km, as far as the first campsite at Fryatt Creek, which will substantially reduce the total approach time and makes for a fun trip out! In winter parties may choose to cross the Athabasca river. If the river is frozen thick enough, parties can cross immediately from the Icefield Parkway and, with good snow conditions, easily reach the hut in a day with an early start. Winter access involves crossing some avalanche paths – check conditions before you go.
Hut Location: 52.5053, -117.8819
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.
Update (Jan 25th, ’23): Parks Canada is anticipating approval of a Caribou Breeding Facility. If approved, this facility would be constructed on Geraldine Rd. Construction would impact access for Sydney Vallance (Fryatt) Hut Users. During construction, hut users cannot drive or ski on 93A or Gerlandine Rd. Winter access to Fryatt in 2023 is one of two ways:
1. Crossing the Athabasca river and intersecting with the trail. The user must assess the safety of crossing the river.
2. Parking at Athabasca Falls and skiing the Athabasca River Route until picking up the Fryatt Trail. The distance from Athabasca Falls to the Fryatt Valley trail is approximately 4km.
A relatively little-known and little-visited valley, this area is one of the true gems of the Rockies! The Fryatt Hut offers a superb base for exploration both summer and winter with excellent alpine climbing and ski-touring all within fairly easy reach of the cabin.
The hut received a major facelift and interior makeover in the summer of 1999 and then again in 2012. The interior is roomier with a new bunk design, new benches and tables, flooring and kitchen. It has a propane system for cooking and lighting and a wood stove for heating.
The approach is usually completed in a long day, but some parties will appreciate the Parks campsites which are strategically located along the trail, breaking the trip into two days during the summer. Bikes can also be used for the first 11 km, as far as the first campsite at Fryatt Creek, which will substantially reduce the total approach time and makes for a fun trip out! Yet another option is to canoe across the Athabasca River, cutting off 7 km. In winter it is a good idea to inquire as to whether the Athabasca River has frozen over (usually by the end of December). If so, then parties can cross immediately from the Icefield Parkway and, with good snow conditions, easily reach the hut in a day with an early start. Winter access involves crossing some avalanche paths – check conditions before you go.
Summer (May 1 to October 30)
Sleeping Capacity: 12
Bedding: Mattress pads provided, bring your own sleeping bag
Cooking: Propane stovetops (propane supplied). Pots and pans, dishware and cutlery are provided.
Lighting: Propane lighting – propane is supplied
Heat: Wood stove – firewood is provided
Water Source: Snow melt, Creek
Summer Access: The Fryatt Valley trail begins with 11.5 km of flat hiking on an old fire road (mountain bikes are allowed on this section of the trail). The trail then goes up the valley, following Fryatt Creek and scrambling up a steep trail through a headwall. The hut is near the creek at the top of the headwall.
Winter Access: Download the Winter Access Map (Updated: Winter 2022/23). The map shows the route along the Athabasca River. Of course, if safe to do so, there is also still the option of crossing the river from the Icefields Parkway to shortens the approach by approximately 11.5km.
Quick Description: A very strenuous hike over Wooley Shoulder (5-7 hours)
Elevation Gain to Hut: 1,320 m (4,330 ft)
Approach Time: 5-7 hours
Approach Description: Printable PDF
Important Access Update (Sept 2023):
Geraldine Road closure:
On March 15, 2023 last year, Parks Canada closed all public access to Geraldine Road as construction on the caribou conservation breeding centre began. It was determined at that time that access to the trailheads would be maintained from June 9 through September 30 and then close again from October 1 through to June 8, 2024. There are bulletins on both the road access and the construction area closure. This differs from years previous, when the road would be seasonally closed to vehicles for the winter (unmaintained from early Oct to late May depending on snow levels) but could be travelled on by trail users if desired.
October Fryatt Hut bookings:
Options for guests accessing the Fryatt Hut in the shoulder season (Oct/Nov and April/May) are limited because the winter route is not a maintained trail and travels through marshy wet areas. Once the ground freezes, it can be traveled on by foot, snowshoe, ski, etc. from Athabasca Falls. Of course crossing the river is always an option, but not one that Parks Canada can recommend.
Important bulletins: Jasper National Park’s official area closure and travel restriction.
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