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Crag Camp Cabin on Mt Adams

Randolph Mountain Club's Crag Camp Cabin
Randolph Mountain Club’s Crag Camp Cabin

Crag Camp Cabin, located on the north face of Mt Adams. For $15-$20/night, this is one of the best kept secrets in the White Mountains. Maintained by the Randolph Mountain Club, Crag Camp is one of 4 cabins and shelters maintained by the RMC on Mt Madison, Mt Adams, and Mt Jefferson, the second, third, and fourth highest peaks in the White Mountains, known as the Northern Presidentials.

While you could pay $96+/night for a bunk bed at the nearby Madison Spring Hut maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club, the crowd at Crag is a lot more fun and less constrained by formalities. You can also bring your scotch and dogs, if you’re so inclined.

Here’s a good video tour of the premises:

If you want some relative peace and quiet, weeknights are the best time to visit Crag Camp, although people still tend to crash pretty close to hiker’s midnight, at 9pm, or when the sun goes down. When I was there on a Friday night, I got the back bedroom all to myself so I could saw away in peace without disturbing anyone.

Crag Camp is located nearby another RMC Cabin called Gray Knob. To reach them, you need to climb about 3,300 feet of elevation up Lowe’s Path. one of the first trails developed in the Randolph area. This is a strenuous climb with or without a backpack, but it’s quite a good way to sweat the toxins of civilization out of your system before you arrive.

Crag Camp and Gray Knob are both fairly primitive cabins, so there’s no electricity or running water and you need to bring a stove, food, and a sleeping bag with you for the night. Lodging is also first come first serve. Cash is only accepted and if you don’t bring any money with you, you will be banished to a lower elevation hut or open camp site which costs less per night, payable by mail-in on the honor system.

When I was there in one June, Becca, the summer caretaker had just arrived at Crag Camp and we met as she was climbing up to the Mt Adams summit for the first time. It seems that being a caretaker at Crag Camp is a tradition in her family. She taught me more about the local wildlife, birds, and fauna over breakfast the next morning, than I’ve learned from anyone in a long time.

The Organ at Crag Camp

In addition to the awesome views and camaraderie at Crag Camp, there is an old pump organ in the cabin that was carried piece by piece up Mt Adams, by members of the RMC. This is apparently the third organ to grace the cabin. Unfortunately, the current organ is broken and under lock and key. I think it would be a great testament to the club and the spirit of Crag Camp if the organ could play again.


  1. I stayed at Gray Knob earlier in June. Becca was the caretaker there until the actual Gray Knob caretaker arrived. I did stop for lunch at Crag Camp on my way to Gray Knob. Sat on the porch and enjoyed the views of King's Ravine until the Black Flies drove me inside. The RMC cabins and shelters are great places to stay…

  2. I stayed at The Perch on Sunday night and really enjoyed camping there.

  3. Is that photo of Doug “The Old Gray” Mayer from Car Talk? I know he lives up in that area.

    (I’m doing research about Crag Camp so I stumbled on this old post, in case you’re wondering where this random comment came from.)

  4. I haven’t been to the new Crag Camp. But nif my memory serves this is a far cry from the original I visited in the mid 60’s.

  5. Looks like they increased the fees from 2022. From $15 to $30 a night for members, and from $20 to $50 for non-members. Still way cheaper than Madison hut, and probably worth every penny. This one is on the radar!

  6. I would say very different experience between Crag/Gray Knob and the AMC huts that at least partially justifies the cost difference. AMC provides dinner and breakfast as well as a designated bunk rather than a “piece of floor” (and in some cases a bathroom you don’t need to go outside to use). A better proxy is the self-service season at AMC – at least for those huts that do them – which is $60/night – still a little more money than RMC.

    Not suggesting one is better than the other but glad to have both as options for people to enjoy!

  7. I’ve stayed at both RMC huts several times including the old one. I recall a morning lying in bed at the old hunting camp watching the mice scurry in and out of the holes in the walls. Spectacular sun rises sipping my morning tea on the edge of King Ravine. Pure heaven on earth….

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