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Huts and Shelters

AMC Greenleaf Hut, Mt Lafayette
AMC Greenleaf Hut, Mt Lafayette

I’ve slept in a lot of huts and hiking shelters, but no matter how humble or beat up they are, they’re always a great comfort at the end of a long day of hiking. When I was getting back into backpacking a couple of years ago, I avoided shelters, preferring to pitch a tent or tarp. But hiking the Long Trail weaned me out of that habit fast, because the shelters were the only dry places to escape the incessant Vermont rain!

Since then, I stay in every shelter I can, as long as they’re not too crowded. Mice, spiders, holes in the wall, and leaky ceilings don’t bother me in the least. Despite their imperfections, shelters and huts, help keep the darkness at bay and protect hikers who slumber within. Here are a few of my favorites from travels near and far.

Shielin of Mark Bothy, Scotland
Shielin of Mark Bothy, Scotland
Hexacube Shelter, New Hampshire Appalachian Trail
Hexacube Shelter, New Hampshire Appalachian Trail
The Log Cabin, Mt Adams, Randolph Mountain Club
The Log Cabin, Mt Adams, Randolph Mountain Club
Cabot Cabin, Mt Cabot, White Mountains
Cabot Cabin, Mt Cabot, White Mountains
Mt Whiteface Shelter, The Long Trail
Mt Whiteface Shelter, The Long Trail
Skyline Shelter, The Long Trail
Skyline Shelter, The Long Trail
AMC Lake of the Clouds Hut, White Mountains
AMC Lake of the Clouds Hut, White Mountains
The Old Montclair Shelter, Camels Hump, The Long Trail
The Old Montclair Shelter, Camels Hump, The Long Trail
Ten-Mile Lean-to, Connecticut Appalachian Trail
Ten-Mile Lean-to, Connecticut Appalachian Trail
The Perch, Mt Adams, Randolph Mountain Club
The Perch, Mt Adams, Randolph Mountain Club
Moose Mountain Shelter, New Hampshire Appalachian Trail
Moose Mountain Shelter, New Hampshire Appalachian Trail
Jay Shelter (Under Repair), The Long Trail
Jay Shelter (Under Repair), The Long Trail
AMC Galehead Hut, The White Mountains
AMC Galehead Hut, The White Mountains
RPH Shelter, New York Appalachian Trail
RPH Shelter, New York Appalachian Trail
Canban Bothy, Scotland
Canban Bothy, Scotland
Old Eliza Brook Shelter, New Hampshire Appalachian Trail
Old Eliza Brook Shelter, New Hampshire Appalachian Trail
Rainbow Stream Lean-To, 100 Mile Wilderness, Maine Appalachian Trail
Rainbow Stream Lean-To, 100 Mile Wilderness, Maine Appalachian Trail
Plenar Hollow Lean-to, Western Catskills, New York State
Plenar Hollow Lean-to, Western Catskills, New York State
Winter Kitchen, AMC Carter Notch Hut, White Mountains
Winter Kitchen, AMC Carter Notch Hut, White Mountains
Brink Road Shelter, New Jersey Appalachian Trail
Brink Road Shelter, New Jersey Appalachian Trail
Journey's End Camp, Hiker Graffitti, The Long Trail
Journey's End Camp, Hiker Graffitti, The Long Trail

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11 comments

  1. Shelters are a great place to get out of the rain. While section hiking the AT in Massachusetts, I took advantage of the Hemlocks shelter to dry out during an all-day (and night) rain. Staying in a shelter also saves some time when breaking camp…

  2. Although I love backpacking, sleeping in a tent, hammock, under a tarp or the stars, I’ve found my time in a shelter a refreshing break. It’s all part of the same cool experience. I also enjoy sharing experiences and tips with other hikers I meet in places like that.

  3. I enjoy hiking alone at my own pace. I feel safer camping in the vicinity of others. I have found shelters to be a good way to do both.

  4. I love shelters. It is so nice to just put out my sleeping bag and be home for the night and to just get up and go the next morning. Shelters also prevent the need to set up a wet tent at home after the hike so it can dry out.

  5. No Harriman shelters? There are 9!

  6. I just found the pics of the shelters. Id like to the e mail address of the person who posted them. Im fascinated and have a million questions. Bill

  7. Definitely a tent guy, like feeling more secure and keeping the bugs and such out but some of these look pretty cozy..might have try a couple..

  8. Do you have any articles on shelter etiquette, for beginner hikers? Love these photos

  9. I’m a tent guy too unless the weather is really really bad but did enjoy the hut experiance in NewZealand last year.

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