Hut to Hut on the Appalachian Trail
White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire
July 18, 2010 - July 24, 2010
"It was a challenging hike, but, thanks to our guide, very well thought-out and organized. It was also a great group of women-- so we also made good, new friends as well as finishing the hike with a real sense of achievement and accomplishment!" A Ellington, Northampton, MA
- Traversing the windswept ridges and craggy peaks of the White Mountains
- Climbing Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the Whites
- Experiencing "hut culture"
- Hot meals and beds in the high mountains
Traversing some of the tallest peaks in the region, this section of the Appalachian Trail is widely regarded as one of its most magnificent sections. But it's not only the beauty that makes it unique. Spaced a day apart are a series of huts that offer hot and hearty meals and a warm bed at the end of the day. If you want to spend time hiking the AT, without having to carry a full backpack, come join us as we hike hut to hut!
This trip is for:
women in very good physical condition who enjoy spectacular and at times strenuous mountain hiking with staying in rustic huts. While extensive hiking experience is not essential, you should be prepared to hike uphill for two hours at a time, on a trail that is usually rocky and uneven and has few if any switchbacks, with a pack containing your clothing and water. Some of the path is exposed and women with a significant fear of heights may find it difficult. Rating:
1 2 3 
- one night at the Highland Center
- four nights in rustic mountain hikes
- one night in a North Conway motel
Maximum group size: 10
Trip price includes:
- Experienced guides
- Six nights lodging, including one at the Highland Center, four in huts, and the last night in a motel
- Meals from dinner Sunday through the following Saturday's breakfast, except for lunches
- Round trip transportation from the Manchester, NH airport is available for $75
Arrive at the AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch at 4:00 pm. If you're flying plan to be at the Manchester airport (MHT) by 2 pm on July 18
If you're driving, you can plan to leave anytime after breakfast on July 24. If you're flying, you can plan to fly out anytime after 1 p.m. on the 26th.
you can download the complete trip information
July is usually a lovely month in the White Mountains. However, like any mountain environment, the weather can be quite variable with high winds and rain. Although adverse conditions would not cause us to cancel the trip, modifications in the itinerary might be made if conditions warrant.
Sunday: The trip begins at 4 pm at the AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch. If you're flying we'll meet you at the Manchester, NH airport at 2 pm. This center, the newest one built and run by the Appalachian Mountain Club, is a great place to start the trip with its showcasing of green construction techniques and energy efficiency. We'll start getting to know each other that night at the four course dinner they serve and review safety considerations before going to bed early.
Monday: After arranging a car shuttle, we have time to visit the Crawford Notch Depot Visitor Center before starting our hike. Built in 1891, the depot offers visitors informative displays on the surrounding natural environment and provides a good introduction to the area. Our destination tonight is Mizpah Springs Hut and there are several different ways we could go, depending on the weather and our time: the Jackson-Webster Trail takes 5 to 6 hours and gains 3000 feet whereas the Crawford Path takes about 3 hours and gains 2000 feet. Whichever we take, our hike will be rewarded with great views.
Tuesday: We continue north on the Crawford Path today, which takes us up and over Mt. Pierce, Mt. Eisenhower, and Mt. Monroe before reaching Lake of the Clouds Hut. Although our net elevation gain is only 1200 feet, our actual elevation gain is considerably more and will take us between 3 and 5 hours. There are two lakes there and after our hike we'll want to cool at least our feet, and perhaps all of us! The Hut tonight is the first, largest, and most popular of all the huts in the system and undoubtedly has some of the most spectacular views.
Wednesday: Today is a layover day. While you could choose just to lay around, we highly recommend a hike to the top of Mt. Washington, at 6,288 feet the highest peak in the White Mts. It is always a bit unsettling to get to the top of Mt. Washington and see people in heels who have driven up or taken the cog railway, but it would be a shame to avoid it. There are a couple of museums on top that are worth seeing and the Alpine Garden Trail we take on the way back is the most picturesque ridge hike in the White Mountains.
Thursday: This is our longest and most demanding day, about 7.5 miles, as we traverse around Mt. Washington and pick up the extremely rocky Gulfside Trail to Madison Hut. One fun aspect of this trail is the option of taking loop trails over the summits of Mt. Clay, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Adams. If we do all the peaks (which will depend on both the weather and how fast we are going) our total elevation gain is over 4,000 feet and will take all day.
Friday: On our final hiking day we bid goodbye to the ridges as we descend 3500 feet on our hike down to Pinkham Notch. There we’ll reclaim our cars and then head to a nearby hotel for hot showers. We'll share a final farewell dinner that night, celebrating our achievements, and bidding goodbye to the mountains and each other.
Saturday: If you're driving, you can plan to leave anytime after breakfast. If you're flying, you can plan to fly out anytime after 1 p.m. on the 24th.