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| Tanya Ishikawa | News

San Juan Huts recognized as August 2022 RACC Member of the Month

San Juan Huts is being recognized as Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce Member of the Month in August. Kelly Ryan of San Juan Huts was interviewed for the Member of the Month program, an ongoing effort by the RACC to promote patronage of our area’s small, independent companies and nonprofits. She shares information about how the recreation business came to be and what’s new.

How were the huts in the San Juan Hut System built?

Our Sneffels Traverse Huts from Telluride to Ouray were the first and were built in the late 1980s. Originally these huts had to be removed during the summer months and were only used as ski huts. Since then we have built both the Telluride to Moab and Durango to Moab mountain bike routes. My father, Joe Ryan, built all of the huts, which took a tremendous amount of determination, stubbornness and hard physical labor.

How were the hut sites selected?

The sites were selected to be in safe and scenic locations with the best access to backcountry skiing, biking and hiking and within a day's travel by self-propelled means.

Who is the founder and how is he involved these days?

Joe Ryan is the founder and he jumps in to help and advise when needed or inspired.

Who else is behind the scenes?

We have a wonderful team of about 13 awesome individuals, including a few key members described here.

Kelly Ryan, Joe's daughter: Raised stuffing map packets for quarters and bumping down dirt roads to her dad’s work sites (a.k.a. the huts), she is now running the daily business of the huts and starting to drag her 1.5-year-old daughter with her.

John Phelps: Helping keep the whole ship on track, he has turned into an endurance machine since starting to work with the huts. This year he is tackling the Colorado Trail Race and the Telluride 100 Mountain Bike Races, and is also jumping in the Telluride Mountain Run for his first race of this kind.

Rich Welichko: Landing in the San Juans from the Bayou, he can often be found volunteering with the Ouray Trails Group when not working with the huts or scrambling up peaks.

Amy Gray: Longtime marathon runner and road biker, she is delighted to call the San Juans home. She has jumped into mountain biking and rock climbing since joining the San Juan Huts team.

Brett Saville: Often found hauling heavy loads into huts with his trusty dog, Zeik, in the summers, he explores the San Juans on his snowboard in the winters.

What do you wish more people knew about San Juan Huts?

Dogs are welcome at our hiking huts. Kids 12 and under are free at all of our huts. Active-duty military are complementary on our six-night/seven-day bike trips.

Do you have any new offerings?

Our newest trip is Tour of the Canyons, a mixed-surface, two-night/three-day ride from Grand Junction, Colo. to Moab, Utah.

What do you value from being a Ridgway Chamber member?

The community.

To learn more about San Juan Huts, visit Also feel free to give the staff a call at 970.626.3033 or email .

For information about recreation businesses in the Ridgway area, go to

San Juan Huts North Pole Hut San Juan Mountains
San Juan Huts mountain biking
San Juan Huts John Phelps mountain biking to Moab Utah
San Juan Huts Tour of the Canyons biking
San Juan Huts backcountry skiing Ridgway Colorado
San Juan Huts night camping Ridgway Colorado
San Juan Huts interior at night Ridgway Colorado
San Juan Huts backcountry ski camping Ridgway Colorado

Visitors Center & Ridgway Area Chamber

The Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce promotes business and community development in the Town of Ridgway and the surrounding area. The Ridgway Visitor Center, located at 150 Racecourse Road, Ridgway, Colorado 81432 (across from Citizens Bank off of HWY 62), The visitor center is closed as of October 1st and will reopen Memorial Day weekend.

P.O. Box 544
Ridgway, Colorado 81432

See you in Ridgway

Adventure, night life and all around easy living await you in Ridgway Colorado, gateway to the San Juan Mountains.

Copyright 2023 Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce. View sitemap