Hut-to-Hut Systems vary in the kinds of facilities and services they offer but, basically, they are networks of huts or cabins connected by trails for hut-to-hut hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. They are active all year ‘round with winter being one of the best times of the year for hut use.
Here are the three top hut-to-hut systems in the U.S. with links to more information about them and their reservations systems.
Maine Huts and Trails
Secreted away in the deep backcountry of northwestern Maine, this remote network of off-the-grid huts lets adventurous explorers hike, bike, paddle and ski from the headwaters of the Dead River to the foothills of Sugarloaf Mountain year-round. The huts are powered entirely by green energy, and each outpost consists of a main lodge surrounded by shared bunkhouses. On-site staff at each lodge provide guest services, including food preparation. Huts also feature full plumbing and heating amenities.
10th Mountain Division Hut Association
Tenth Mountain Division Hut Association has its headquarters in Aspen, Colorado. They provide an opportunity for backcountry skiing, mountain biking, or hiking with a hut-to-hut system of 34 huts connected by 350 miles of suggested routes. This is serious backcountry travel; the average route is six to seven miles long with an average 2,000-foot climb from an 8,000-foot trailhead. Someone in each self-guided group must have leadership, route finding, avalanche awareness, and first aid skills. Nine outfitters are authorized to guide on the hut-to-hut system, four winter, and five summer. They are Aspen Alpine Guides, Aspen Expeditions, Paragon Guides, and Crested Butte Mountain Guides for winter. Summer guides are Aspen Alpine Guides, Indian Summer Outfitters, Paragon Guides, The World Outdoors, and Timberline Bike Tours. READ MORE about the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association
San Juan Huts
Based in Ridgeway, Colorado. The San Juan Hut System extends from the high mountains around Ouray, Telluride, and Durango, and descends for hundreds of miles toward Moab, Utah. Huts are located in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, Gunnison, San Juan and Manti La Sal National Forests. The huts support backcountry skiing, nordic trails, alpine climbing and snowshoeing, backcountry country mountain biking trails, trail running, backcountry camping and alpine hiking. READ MORE about San Juan Huts