Backcountry Made Easy

Hut System Basics
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Franconia
Franconia Notch

Huts: What and Where
Exactly what is a hut? Huts are backcountry lodging for hikers and skiers, and can be found all over the world, including Nepal, many parts of Europe, and Canada. Some of the best-known hut systems in the United States are in California, Colorado, and New Hampshire, run by a variety of organizations, such as the Sierra Club and the Appalachian Mountain Club.

Huts that are part of a hut system are typically spaced so that visitors can easily travel from one to another in a day. The big plus is that staying in huts allows travelers to carry less equipment. Accommodations range from primitive to "rustic plush"—those with amenities like flush toilets, running water, and electricity. Some are fully staffed and provide meals for visitors, while others are on a "self-service" basis, meaning visitors must provide and prepare their own food.

Regardless of the location and type of hut you choose, make a reservation as early as possible, because huts tend to fill up months in advance. Here are just a few of the hut systems your family may want to consider visiting:

Popular Hut Systems

AMC Huts and Lodges. The Appalachian Mountain Club has eight backcountry huts in New Hampshire, in addition to several lodges and hostels; see www.outdoors.org for details.

Canadian Huts. Check out the many options throughout Alberta and British Columbia; see www.alpineclubofcanada.ca/facility.

Colorado Huts. One of the best and most scenic systems in the United States is the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association, consisting of 24 huts. Make reservations for these and other Colorado huts systems at www.huts.org.

Sierra Club Huts. In California the Sierra Club offers a variety of hut and lodge experiences; see www.sierraclub.org/outings/lodges.


Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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