If you are planning a backpacking trip or if you would like to spend a night up in the mountains, backcountry and mountain huts are the best solution to enjoy the peace of the night and the beauty of the early morning in the mountains.
From tiny shelters to modern and cozy structures, we selected our 10 favorite huts all around the world where you can sleep once in a lifetime.
Located in the Southcentral Alaska, Gold Mint Trail follows Little Susitna River back up to its headwaters at Mint Glacier. This is the perfect choice for a first backpacking experience, as it is simple track but offers stunning scenarios surrounded by granite-spired peaks and ridges along the way. For a more demanding adventure, you can hike among the tundra and the moiranes of the Mint Glacier.
You can spend the night in Mint Valley by sleeping on the Gold Mint Hut, a structure built in 1971 with up to 8 sleeps and basic stuff inside. The hut is maintained by the Mountaineering Club of Alaska (MCA) which requires a fee to access, but you can also find out lots of tent site to use in case the hut will be occupied.
If you are going to ascent the Mont Blanc, the Refuge du Goûter is a comfortable stage before the summit; it is located at 12,582 feet just below the summit Auguille de Gouter, which is the starting point of the French normal mountaineering route used to reach the summit of the Mont Blanc (Gouter Route).
It is accessible in around 5 hours and it hosts up to 120 mountaineers in the new technological structure, built among 2010 and 2013 with a ovoid shape, stainless steel coating and totally autonomous from the energetic level. A winter shelter with up to 20 beds is also available – but not guarded.
Enjoy an hike hut-to-hut with your friends in New Hampshire: you can across the dramatic peaks of the Presidential Range on a multi-day trip in the White Mountains by crossing a section of the Appalachian Trail. This area has the America’s holdest hut system, the Appalachian Mountain Club runs eight backcountry huts which are full-service in summer.
Lakes of the Clouds Hut is the highest and largest hut of the system (and the most popular and accessible as well), located at 5,030 feet adjacent to the two Lakes of Clouds and between the summit of Mount Washington and Mount Monroe. It hosts up to 90 people with different room accomodations.
Location: USA, New Hampshire
The Monte-Rosa hut is located at 9458 feet at the foot of the Monte Rosa massif and surrounded by the spectacular Gorner, Grenz and Monte-Rosa glaciers. The hut is the perfect starting point for hikes up to 13123 ft peaks and you can reach the hut through a high alpine hiking trail among glaciers and moraines which requires crampons to be used.
Completely rebuilt in 2009, the hut is called “rock crystal” for its special shape and the silver aluminium shell outside. It is a ultra-modern building which hosts up 120 people and it is virtually self-sufficient in the energy management.
Huascarán, part of the Cordillera Blanca range (Perù) is the fourth highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere and South America. With a 5 hours trail, you can reach the Refugio Huascarán, which is the ideal starting point to ascent to the summit of the Southern Huascaran 22,205 ft or other trekking, such as the Camino de los Dioses.
Built in a place that has an excellent view on the surrounding mountains, the hut is located at 15419 ft altitude, it offers all you may need for a stage there before proceeding with the expedition or other adventures and it hosts up to 60 mountaineers.
Location: Perù, Cordillera Blanca
High altitude mountains and glaciers characterize the trails around the Monte Rosa: the right equipment, a mountaineering experience or an Alpine Guide are needed to explore these places. If you would like to hike on the normal route to ascent the Monte Rosa or to hike around, Capanna Regina Margherita could be the right stop for you.
The hut is on Punta Gnifetti at a height of 14947 feet: it is the highest refuge in Europe and it houses an important labor for scientific research (certified by ISO for its minimal environmental impact). Dedicated to Queen Margaret of Savoy who overnighted when it opened in 1893, it now hosts 70 people with comfortable accomodations.
Location: Italy, Piedmont
Park Butte Trail is one of the most popular and moderately steep trail you can hike to enjoy the Mount Baker incredible views and its glaciers, but also admire wildflower-filled alpine meadows and rushing waterfalls throughout the lenght of the path. Continue hike up to an historic fire lookout built in 1932.
One of the few remaining intact lookouts in the area, it is located at 5450 feet elevation, (pay attention to climb the ladder to access). Camping is available inside but you have to arrive early to secure the lookout or share with other hikers; always bring with you a tent to stay in the near campsites, if needed.
Location: USA, Washington
Even if challenging and not well marked, the trail to Sefton Bivouac offers you stunning views of the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. Follow the Stocking Stream, cross steep ascents and after cresting the ridge, Sefton Bivouac will come into view against a backdrop of Main Divide mountains including Mt Sefton and Footstool.
Sefton Bivouac (5413 ft) is the oldest hut in the area: it was built in 1917 with materials carried directly on the site, early damaged by snow and repaired. It continues to be used regularly: it was designed to sleep up to four people, so please bring with you a tent, in case of it will be occupied yet.
Location: New Zealand, Aoraki/Mount Cook
For a different hut experience, specifically indicated for families with kids or to just enjoy an overnight stay in the backcountry, Frost Mountain Yurts are the option. You can also hike around on the Frost Mountain Summer Trail which leads you up to 1225 feet, from where you can enjoy a stunning view on the White Mountains.
Designed to sleep up to 6, the yurts are stocked with all you may need to cook and stay in the middle of a forest for your hut experience: a kitchen, a gas grill, a wood-burning stove and a solar shower will convince you to spend one or some nights in the Maine backcountry.
Location: USA, Maine
The Gran Sasso mountain is high 9553 feet and also called “the Lord of the Apennines”, as it is the highest mountain range of the central Italy. Due to the high altitudes of the area, you can find permanent snow and the southernmost glacier in the continent (Calderone) in the area.
The Duca degli Abruzzi Hut, owned by the CAI (Italian Alpine Club), is located on the ridge of Portella mountain at 7834 feet in the heart of Gran Sasso; it is a perfect starting point to explore all the Gran Sasso mountain routes and landscapes. It sleeps up to 24 people with simple but full-service accomodations.
Location: Italy, Abruzzo