500’ – 800’
6,400’ – 7,400’ (1,000’)
Backcountry Hut Info
Tucked away at the northern edge of the Desolation Wilderness, the Ludlow Hut was built in 1955 in memory of Korean War veteran Bill Ludlow, who lost his life at age 23. With an approach distance of 5.5 miles, the Ludlow Hut is the most remote of the 4 Sierra Club huts. This approach, combined with a lack of sizeable ski destinations nearby, brings fewer backcountry skiers to this corner of Tahoe. With that being said, there are still a number of worthy descents nearby. Sourdough Hill and Lost Corner Mountain provide the most immediate skiing near the hut, both with short, yet featured, north and east facing runs. Aside from these nearby destinations, staying at the Ludlow Hut significantly cuts down the approach time to upper Blackwood Canyon. Skinning north from the hut to Ellis Peak, one can ski into Barker Pass and Blackwood Canyon. This area usually requires coming through the Homewood ski area backcountry gates, or a long, flat approach from the Blackwood Canyon Sno-Park.
From the parking area, skin along the relatively flat Rubicon OHV summer road for 4 miles until passing Miller Lake on your left. Just after Miller Lake, turn left (south) onto another summer road that gains elevation towards Richardson Lake and Sourdough Hill. If you lose this road, just aim for the bottom of the east aspect of Sourdough Hill. Located 300 yards uphill of the southeast corner of Richardson Lake, the Ludlow Hut is a simple A-frame design with a loft that sleeps 15. Downstairs, ample living space is furnished with picnic tables, 2 small wood stoves, and even a sink to drain your waste water. Like the Benson Hut, the Ludlow Hut is slightly more primitive than the Grubb and Bradley Huts, and does not have solar lighting. An outhouse is located 100’ away outside the hut.
Parking for the Ludlow Hut is located in the small West Shore community of Tahoma. From the “Y” in Tahoe City, drive 7.9 miles south on highway 89 to McKinney – Rubicon Springs Road, marked by brown “Rubicon OHV” signs. If coming from South Lake Tahoe, this road is located 10 miles north of the northern Emerald Bay avalanche closure gate. After turning off highway 89, follow the brown Rubicon OHV signs to the back of the neighborhood. If these are not visible, drive 0.3 miles from highway 89 on McKinney – Rubicon Springs Road and veer left onto Bellevue Ave. Take a right onto McKinney Rd, which becomes Spring Rd, and then take a left onto the continuation of McKinney – Rubicon Springs Road. Park at the cross streets of McKinney – Rubicon Springs Road and Evergreen Way. Here is where you will have to get creative with parking. Snow removal no parking signs decorate the neighborhood, and the key to not getting ticketed is to park behind the snow stakes. This will likely require a good amount of digging, so bring the big shovels. To start from this trailhead and avoid parking in the neighborhood, reserve a shuttle with the free Homewood Dial-A-Ride service. Door-to-door shuttles run from 8am to 5pm. Call 530-525-2922 the day before to reserve shuttles to take you from the Homewood parking lot to the trailhead, and back at the end of the trip. I have not used this shuttle service, so call to be sure that Homewood is ok with your intended use of the shuttle.