Legends, Lore, Meals & More Await Hikers at AMC’s High Huts of the White Mountains

Northern New Hampshire is a hiker’s paradise, and the Appalachian Mountain Club’s High Huts of the White Mountains offer a unique brand of hospitality, including overnight accommodations with hearty home-cooked dinners and breakfasts. Each of the eight High Huts is spaced a day’s hike apart, with self-service and full-service seasonal options.

The Huts’ origins can be traced back to the 19th century, when lack of adequate shelter above treeline hampered early trampers’ alpine forays. In 1888, Appalachian Mountain Club members set about building the network of what’s known today as the High Huts, similar to those found across the European Alps.

Beginning at Lonesome Lake in Franconia Notch and traversing the highest peaks in New Hampshire, ending at Carter Notch in the Mount Washington Valley, the eight High Huts are spaced a day’s hike apart along a 56-mile-long stretch of the Appalachian Trail. Accessible from each other, the huts can also be reached from individual trail heads.

Whether you are an experienced mountaineer or taking your children on their first hike, all of the huts are renowned for their unique mountain hospitality. Along with providing home-cooked meals and overnight accommodations, Hut naturalists present programs on the legends and lore of the mountains, and share Hut history, from the changes in transporting supplies (think donkeys and helicopters!) to the recent use of green technologies. All of the Huts have always been off the grid.

Huts include:

The present-day Madison Spring Hut is constructed on the site of the AMC’s first high mountain hut, built in 1888. Madison Spring, located above Madison Gulf, has spectacular views of the Presidentials, Kilkenny, and Pilot ranges.

The Carter Notch Hut, built in 1914, is located between Wildcat Mountain and Carter Dome.

The highest, largest and most popular hut, Lakes of the Clouds Hut is situated on the southern shoulder of Mount Washington. Visitors enjoy expansive views and proximity to rare alpine flowers.

Mizpah Spring Hut is set on the southern flank of Mt. Pierce and overlooks Montalban Range, the Dry River Wilderness, and Crawford Notch.

Located in Zealand Notch, the four-season Zealand Falls Hut is located near waterfalls at the eastern edge of the Pemigewasset Wilderness.

The most remote hut, Galehead Hut offers spectacular views of the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area. It was completely rebuilt in 2000.

Greenleaf Hut, at treeline on the shoulder of Mount Lafayette, provides outstanding views of the Franconia Range.

The westernmost hut in the system, Lonesome Lake Hut, is located near Franconia Notch State Park and offers a spectacular view of the Franconia Range across a clear glacial tarn.

At ground level, the AMC maintains facilities at the Highland Center at the head of Crawford Notch in Bretton Woods and the Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham Notch.

The Highland Center is an outdoor education center and four-season lodge with accommodations that range from private rooms with private baths to lodge bunkrooms with shared baths. The dining hall serves breakfast, lunch and dinner for lodge guests, through hikers, outdoor recreationalists and members of the public. Kids will want to tackle the outdoor mountain playscape on the Highland Center lawn.

Joe Dodge Lodge  is surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest and is the perfect jumping off point for a day hike on one of the many trails nearby. The Lodge features comfortable beds and bunks, and dinner and breakfast are included in your stay. Both locations offer a wide variety of free, walk-on programs for guests, from guided day hikes to evening talks on astronomy and other topics.