We all want more time in the woods, and we know not everyone likes primitive tent camping. New Hampshire has been home to a mountain hut system for 130 years, where the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) operates eight backcountry huts in the White Mountains that make excellent base camps with added historical significance. These huts provide a unique experience because they require a hike to reach them, they are often surrounded by fantastic scenery, and a hut crew prepares a hot breakfast and dinner for guests during the full service summer season. These mountain huts make remote destinations more accessible by allowing guests to break up long hikes into two or more days. Beyond the White Mountains, AMC manages numerous other lodges and cabins throughout the northeast. Similarly, the Green Mountain Club maintains several cabins in Vermont, especially along the Long Trail.
If you’re looking to spend a night or two in a remote wilderness setting with a roof over your head, New England has plenty of rustic huts and lodges to keep you connected to nature without leaving you out in the rain. Whether you seek a trailhead lodge you can drive to or a secluded hut perched on an alpine ridge that is accessible only by foot, we’ve got you covered. Here is a small selection of our favorite mountain huts and lodges in New England.
- Lakes of the Clouds Hut, Sargent’s Purchase, New Hampshire: Managed by Appalachian Mountain Club. Sitting along the ridge below the summit of Mount Washington, this hut offers fantastic views of the sunrise and sunset.
- Madison Spring Hut, Presidential Traverse, New Hampshire: Nestled between Mount Madison and Mount Adams, this hut is a great place to rest, refill water, sleep and even pick up fresh-baked treats made daily by the staff.
- Mitzpah Hut, Perch Shelter, Hermit Lake Shelter, and Dry River Shelter 3, Presidential Traverse, New Hampshire: The four shelters are helpful in tackling this long hike, though it can also be done in a very long day. Price per night ranges from $8-15, but make sure to book early where needed or arrive early for first-come sites to ensure you get a spot.
- Galehead Hut, Grafton County, New Hampshire: Great hut below Galehead Mountain offering room and board - as well as tea, lemonade, pastries and other food and beverages - that might help make the 1,100 feet ascent that awaits a bit less painful.
- Jim Liberty Cabin, Albany, New Hampshire: Former logging camp cabin offering nine bunks for hikers to camp in just below the summit of Mount Chocorua via the Liberty Trail.
- Zealand Falls Hut, Carroll, New Hampshire: Managed by Appalachian Mountain Club. Easy, scenic trail with a waterfall just below the hut.
- Lonesome Lake Hut, Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire: Managed by Appalachian Mountain Club. Swim with views of Franconia Ridge and sleep along the trail to Cannon Mountain and the Kinsmans.
- Cardigan Lodge, Alexandria, New Hampshire: Managed by Appalachian Mountain Club. Accessible by car, this beautiful lodge also offers a High Cabin option along the trail to Mount Cardigan.
- Theron Dean Shelter via The Long Trail, Appalachian Gap, Vermont: Lean-to shelter near Mount Ellen and the Mad River Glen ski area with room for six to eight individuals , available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Glen Ellen Lodge, Appalachian Gap, Vermont: A first-come, first-served primitive cabin along the Long Trail between General Stark Mountain and Mount Ellen.
- Butler Lodge, Underhill State Park, Vermont: Managed by Green Mountain Club. This rustic cabin sleeps 14 just below the Mount Mansfield ridge.
- Taft Lodge, Underhill State Park, Vermont: Managed by Green Mountain Club. Long Trail’s oldest hut, the Taft Lodge was built in the 1920s high on Mount Mansfield and sleeps 24.
- Taylor Lodge, Nebraska Notch, Vermont: Originally built in 1926, this lodge provides a great place to enjoy a snack or lunch at the top of the Nebraska Notch hike - and in warmer months, an overnight stay is doable for those looking for a multi-day adventure.