Hemlock Butte Cabin is a very primitive backcountry winter experience, and guests who stay here should be experienced in winter backcountry travel. It is this remoteness that makes the 4-mile ski or snowshoe to the cabin worth the effort.
The cabin was built by the Edelweiss Ski Club in 1990 and has room for about 12 people. There are often occupants from several different groups staying in the cabin at the same time. Only a few basic amenities are offered, so guests should be prepared to pack in most of their own supplies and gear.
The cabin is situated at the base of Southern Oregons Mount Bailey in Umpqua National Forest, near scenic Diamond Lake. Mount Bailey is a popular ski destination, averaging 600 inches of snow per year and boasting 6,000 acres of ideal skiing terrain.
Mount Bailey, part of the Cascade Mountain Range, is a shield volcano topped with a 2,000-foot tephra cone. The mountain is heavily forested with pine at lower elevations, which gives way to hemlock and fir at higher elevations. The peak rises above treeline and crests at 8,363 feet.
Several winter recreation trails crisscross the area. The Hemlock Butte Trail, which is used to access the cabin, is a challenging backcountry ski experience. Skierson this trail can enjoy views of Mount Thielsen, Mount Bailey and even the rim of Crater Lake on a clear day.
Advanced skiers can make the difficult trek up Mount Bailey, a 2-mile trip from the cabin with an elevation gain of 3,300 feet.
Skiers should make sure to have proper backcountry equipment and be aware of avalanche dangers.
The cabin is a three-story A-frame with a wood stove for heating the cabin and melting snow. The ground floor serves as the living area with benches around the stove. The middle floor is the sleeping area. The top floor is available for additional sleeping space via a wall-mounted ladder. The only provided cooking pot is for melting snow.
Firewood is provided through Edelweiss Ski Club volunteers and U.S. Forest Service staff, but guests are asked to use it conservatively. An outhouse with vaulttoilet is located near the cabin.
No electricity or drinking water is provided. Guests typically melt snow to use for drinking, cooking and washing. The cabin does not have beds.
Guests should bring sleeping bags and pads, a camp stove, cookware and utensils, lanterns or flashlights, a first aid kit, matches, extra toilet paper and garbage bags. All trash and food should be packed out, and guests are expected to clean the cabin before leaving.