Hike-in Required
Potable water
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The Ludlow Hut is one of four backcountry huts in the Sierra managed by the Sierra Club. Built in 1955, the Ludlow Hut stands near the north end of the Desolation Wilderness and is ideally placed as a shelter for a snowshoe or cross-country ski trip or as a break from hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, which passes on the other side of adjacent Richardson Lake.

The hut has no power or running water, but it has two wood-burning stoves with firewood provided, pots for cooking water, and a loft that can sleep up to 15 people. Tools are provided for chopping kindling from the provided wood, and an outside firepit sits in front of the hut. The bathroom is an elevated outhouse about 75 feet from the hut. 

Access to the hut is easiest from the Old Rubicon Road that parallels McKinney Creek from the Tahoma area at Lake Tahoe's west shore. It requires a 5 mile hike, as the road is too rough for all but the most capable four-wheel drive off-road vehicles. Follow Old Rubicon Road for about 3.8 miles, at which point Forest Road 14N39 takes you the final 1.1 miles to the hut.

An alternative access is from Sugar Pine Point State Park, which is slightly longer and requires an overnight parking fee. 

Named after William Ludlow Jr., a member of the Army Corps of Engineers whose picture and story are framed on the hut's inside walls, the Ludlow Hut is maintained by volunteers, and the state of the hut and supplies such as playing cards and hand sanitizer depends upon the courtesy of the previous visitors. 

Reservations are required, and this hut can sell out well in advance for weekends in the peak snow season. Reservations are $20 per person per night and can be made by calling the Claire Tappan Lodge at 530.426.3632.

Logistics + Planning

Parking Pass

Not Required

Open Year-round


Price per night



Communal sleeping and living space. Secluded location. Firewood provided.


Communal sleeping and living space. No utilities. Can get crowded on weekends. Possible motorized traffic along the hike.

Pets allowed


Managed by

Sierra Club


Wood stove
Firewood provided
Outdoor fire pit/BBQ


Nearby Lodging + Camping


Just as an FYI: I just called to check about dogs, they said all their backcountry huts are dog friendly. (Ludlow, Peter Grubb, Benson & Bradley Huts).
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