The Appalachian Mountain Club runs 8 rustic, but comparatively luxurious mountain huts in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, all located in spectacular locations. Listed south to north, these include
- Lonesome Lake Hut, located on a glacial lake on Canon Mountain
- Greenleaf Hut, just above treeline on Mt. Lafayette
- Galehead Hut, in the midst of the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area
- Zealand Falls Hut, located next to spectacular waterfalls
- Mizpah Spring Hut, located near Crawford Notch
- Lakes of the Clouds Hut, located on the southern shoulder of Mt Washington
- Madison Spring Hut, located at the base of the summit cone of Mt. Madison
- Carter Notch Hut, located at the foot of Carter Dome and Wildcat A
All of them were constructed close to the Appalachian Trail to permit hut-to-hut traverses through the White Mountains. Inside, hikers sleep in separate male and female bunk rooms that house anywhere from 40 to 90 visitors a night. Two meals, breakfast and dinner, are served in a common dining area, and all of the huts have been now upgraded with running water and toilets, but there are no showers or baths.
The huts are manned by workers called croo, formerly called Hut Men, back in the old days when the the huts were almost exclusively staffed by men. Each hut’s croo is responsible for taking care of guests, cooking meals and educating them about the unique environmental and natural resources in the region.
In addition, the croo is often called upon as first responders in an emergency and is responsible for carrying food and supplies up to the huts several times a week. The preferred method for hauling these loads over the years is still the packboard, with loads ranging from 85 to 100 lbs. Boxes of fruit, eggs, vegetables, flower and even an occasional six pack of beer are humped up on these packboards several times per week to feed hungry visitors. Climbing 3,000 ft with one of these loads is not for the faint-hearted, but it’s a great way for the croo, including this fellow, to stay in shape.
Greenleaf Hut was completed in 1930. It sits at 4,222 ft, about 1,000 ft below the summit of Mt. Lafayette, and overlooks Franconia Notch. During the day it is open to passing hikers and is a reliable place to fill up water bottles and reservoirs with potable water.
Most of the AMC huts are only open from late spring through early autumn, but several, including Lonesome Lake, Zealand Falls and Carter Notch are also open in winter. Getting to these huts in winter can be very challenging because guests need to snowshoe or ski into them. Depending on conditions, full winter gear may be required, and knowing how to traverse avalanche terrain safely is important.
Most Popular Searches
- greenleaf hut
- lonesome lake hut
- lake of the clouds hut