Hut to Hut on the Appalachian Trail

Destination: White Mountains National Forest, New Hampshire

| Activities: Hiking and Backpacking

Traversing some of the tallest peaks in the region, this section of the Appalachian Trail is widely regarded as one of its most magnificent and challenging 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! If you are looking to hike one of the most challenging sections of the AT with the camaraderie of a group this is the trip for you! Maximum group size: 10


  • Traversing the windswept ridges & craggy peaks of the White Mountains
  • Hiking Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the Whites
  • Experiencing "hut culture" and meeting "the croo"
  • Relaxing with hot meals and soft beds in the high mountains


  • 1 - 2 experienced AGC guides based on group size
  • Six nights lodging, including two nights at the Highland Center and four in huts
  • Meals from dinner Sunday through the following Saturday's breakfast, except for all lunches
  • Permits
  • Transportation from and to the Manchester, NH airport
What's not included: Travel to and from Manchester NH, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities, lunches, and travel insurance.

Trip Info

This trip is designed for women in excellent physical condition who have previous hiking experience. You should be prepared to hike uphill for a few hours at a time, on a trail that is very rocky and uneven and has few if any switchbacks. Your pack will contain your clothing and lunches for the days you are at the huts and water for a day. Some of the path is rocky and exposed at times and women with a significant fear of heights, balance or knee issues will find it difficult. This trip is rated 5 and requires a high degree of fitness. Adding some specific conditioning such as strength training, endurance training, and longer aerobic workouts is suggested. This section of the AT has been rated one of the six most difficult due to the terrain and the elevation gain. The need for physical readiness cannot be overemphasized. Rating: 1 2 3 4 [5].

This trip is designed for women in very good physical condition who have previous hiking experience, who enjoy both spectacular and at times strenuous mountain hiking and enjoy 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.

Two nights at the Highland Center Lodge and four nights in rustic mountain hikes. In the huts and lodges we'll be staying in bunk-beds in dorm-style rooms with shared bathrooms down the hall. The huts will provide wool blankets and a pillow. People have found a sleep sack, sleeping bag liner or camping sheet has added to their comfort. We will try to have rooms within the hut for our group when possible but there may be times we need to share our room with others not in our group

Day 1 - Highland Center Lodge
Day 2 - Mizpah Spring Hut
Day 3, 4- Lake of the Clouds Hut
Day 5 - Madison Spring Hut
Day 6 - Highland Center Lodge

Breakfast and dinners are prepared by the 'croo' at the huts. They can accommodate most dietary preferences and restrictions but, depending on your specific circumstances, we may ask you to bring supplemental food. Please call the office if you have any questions whether your specific dietary/allergy needs can be accommodated and to help with your planning.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

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 will start getting to know each other that night at the four-course dinner they serve and review safety considerations before going to bed early. Overnight Highland Center. (D)
We will shuttle from the Highland Center to the Webster Cliffs trail head. A short 15-minute shuttle. Where we will join the AT as it ascends to Mount Webster and Mount Jackson. We will quickly get introduced to the terrain and elevation of the AT in New Hampshire. We will learn why Mt Webster is on the ’52 with a View’ list and knock off our first 4,000 ft peak in New Hampshire. Our destination tonight is Mizpah Springs Hut. Our hike will be rewarded with great views, not to mention a hot and hearty meal, from the hut. Our mileage is approximately 6 miles and we will gain over 3,000 ft of elevation. Overnight Mizpah Springs Hut (B, D)
We continue north on the AT via the Crawford Path today, which takes us up and over Mt. Pierce, with the option to include Mt. Eisenhower, before reaching Lake of the Clouds Hut. Mt Monroe is next to the hut and once we settle in and re-energize, we head out to hike its loop trail. Although our net elevation gain is only 1,200 feet, our actual elevation gain is considerably more and will take us between 3 and 5 hours. There are two small lakes at the hut and after our hike we'll want to cool at least our feet, and perhaps all of us! The Lake in the Clouds Hut is the first, largest, and most popular of all the huts in the system and undoubtedly has some of the most spectacular views. Overnight Lake in the Clouds Hut (B, D)
Today is a layover day, meaning we don't have to pack up. We will continue on the AT via the Crawford Path to the top of Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern United States at 6,288 feet. It is always a bit unsettling to get to the top of Mt. Washington and see people in heels that have driven up or taken the cog railway. Mt Washington is famous (or infamous) for its highly erratic weather, especially its fierce winds. There is a museum on top that is worth seeing and on our way back we will take the Alpine Garden Trail, which is one of the most picturesque ridge hikes in the White Mountains. Overnight Lake in the Clouds Hut (B, D)
This is the hike that makes this trip rated a 5. Although not a long hike, about 7.5 miles, the trail requires constant attention because of its' rockiness and that combined with the elevation gain/loss makes this our longest and most demanding day. We will continue on the AT 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. Note: Due to the difficulty of the day, if your guide is concerned for your safety on the trail, she will discuss with you the option of returning to the Highland Lodge via the Mt Washington shuttle and meeting the group on Day 6. Overnight Madison Spring Hut (B, D)
On our final hiking day we bid goodbye to the ridges and the AT as we descend 3,500 feet on our hike down off the mountains. There we'll reclaim the van and then head back to the Highland Center for hot showers and a delicious meal. We'll share a final farewell dinner that night, celebrating our achievements, and bidding goodbye to the mountains and each other. Overnight Highland Center (B, D)
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. (B)


(23 reviews)
4.7 Food
4.3 Lodging
4.4 Safety

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "What made this trip special for you?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

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Kathi B.
3 years ago

Views, Hut Croos

Susan C.
3 years ago

Beautiful surroundings, knowledgeable guides

Jackie M.
3 years ago

The WEATHER!! Amazing, beyond what I could have hoped for! I know AGC could not control this but it certainly put the experience over the top! But Carrie and Nancy were so organized, patient, and most of all knowledgeable about our surroundings. Hiking I was expecting, learning was a bonus! I also appreciated going only as fast as the slowest person, although that was not me, it still made the trip even more enjoyable that we were not rushed -- we were able to take our time and enjoy the beauty around us. I know had the weather been different we might not have been able to take our time like we did, but thankfully we could. I truly was never fatigued, no blisters, and again the weather was amazing. I was also thankful that we had 10 women together day in and day out and we all got along and respected each other. Only negative was we didn't hike a section of the AT I thought we would - Webster Cliffs.

Amy S.
3 years ago

The guides did a fantastic job of setting a comfortable pace and making sure we were all safe and on track. Loved the group of ladies I traveled with and we had a blast. I enjoyed the group setting because of the team work required and the emotional support we gave each other to get through this difficult hike.

Rachael S.
3 years ago

Nancy and Carrie were amazing resources of information and guidance.

Mary S.
3 years ago

Diane S.
4 years ago

This trip was everything I expected and more. I wanted to be challenged and the worst weather ever made it possible! Navigating the terrain in fair weather was not a problem, but in bad conditions, it was pretty taxing on the body. I had way more fun than I expected and being the high peaks (when we could see them) was truly fantastic to experience. I had never been to the White Mountains and was so impressed by their beauty.

Cynthia D.
4 years ago

The group of participants were really great. The itinerary captured the essence of the trip.

Julie S.
4 years ago

Staying at the Huts and meeting wonderful women.

Pamela W.
4 years ago

It was awful weather so while we did the hike we failed to summit/saw little/got soaked. Haha I learned how to improve my equipment situation! Also EXCELLENT guides. And a good upbeat group though again, AGC, I dont think you are parsing people who say they can do a 5 with the fitness requirements. This was really slow for me and its super frustrating. Im not sure where I stand on future trips bc of it - maybe will do the ViaDinarcia (sp) if a friend who is my level also signs up but Im tried of standing in the rain/at the top of Katahdin freezing like in Slack Packing Maine last summer waiting on the woman who thinks she is a hiker but hasnt done the requisite strength training that women > 50 must do. Can you spell it our better? I understand AGC is about women meeting their goals/that we are a group and support eachother etc but what about me? What about the person who did the fitness work/ who complied with the standards for a 5?

Mary H.
5 years ago

The trip was excellent. This was my second trip with AGC and I really appreciated the opportunity to hike with such experienced leaders. Like my first trip, there was variability in the skill and physical capabilities of the participants. The Crawford Notch trail presented many physical challenges not to mention an extreme weather change. The pace of hiking was slower than I would have preferred, but it was a really good group of women and we had a lot of fun. The trade-off was worth it.worth

Elizabeth T.
5 years ago

Deborah B.
5 years ago

The Huts (the Croos - absolute respect in my heart for them, size, comfort and amenities); the food - simply excellent and just what was needed; the scenery - lots of variety; guides - very knowledgeable on the geological features, excellent at following a trail that at times did not seem to exist, knowledge of birds, plants and clouds...LOVED that! Lastly, the group of women on the trip. I came to this trip solo and I feel like the adventure of the trip bonded all of us on a level that we all respected. It was very clear that many of them live differently then myself but I was able to put that in the background and keep my judgment out of the trip. Very enlightening and a good reminder not only to me but a good reminder to all that it is possible to respect one another completely when your focus is not only the typical negative things we are all bombarded with on a daily basis.

Suzanne R.
5 years ago

Loved the physical challenge - I picked the 5 in difficulty because I wanted a challenge and this trip brought that.

Chris A.
5 years ago

I was looking for a trip that tested my abilities. This was it!! It was beautiful and arduous and definitely let me know what my current limits might be.

Helen A.
5 years ago

The scenery was spectacular, the other women were terrific (we all got along famously), and even in the worst weather I always felt safe because I knew our guides had our backs.

Nancy P.
5 years ago


Jean R.
6 years ago

Staying in the Huts; Climbing Mt. Washington

Ellen C.
6 years ago

Wow!! What an adventure!! I'll admit I was a little smug coming to New Hampshire from hiking in the Sierras. I thought it was going to be a good hike---not mellow--but I was not expecting the über rugged terrain and steepness plus the sheer majesty of the Presidential traverse! I love a good Butt kicker and that's what I got. As soon as I wrapped my head around the fact that this was a major difficult trek and shifted gears ---I was happy! Some thought this was a level 5---and it would have been ---except we weren't carrying anything but day packs, didn't have to set up camp or cook and had swanky trail accommodations. The actual hiking was difficult and you need to be in good shape w/ all your joints and limbs in good working order. But at the end of the day you can relax in the lap of luxury and recuperate w/ a nice cup of hot chocolate that SOMEONE ELSE made for you!! A great trip!!

Simone O.
6 years ago

The huts, the guides, and the women

Patty B.
6 years ago

I love to be challenged when I go on these trips, and this trip definitely challenged me. The ruggedness of the terrain was something that I never expected, but I enjoyed it because it was so different than any other hiking I’ve done.

Diana M.
6 years ago

Excellent views, great food, great guides

Sydelle H.
6 years ago

Great leaders. Well thought out trip except for really tough day...July 28th.. Please make this easier...or change hike to level 4/5.

  1. Where do we eat?

    Dinners and breakfast will be at the huts or the Highland Center. These meals are served family style and typically alot of fun as well as delicious. You provide your own lunch and will be carrrying it with you. Suggestions on what to pack will be provided in the pre-departure document.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    The huts can accommodate vegetarian and vegans on this trip. The ability to accommodate more restrictive diets is difficult at the huts because of their remote nature so please call the office before you register. If you're vegan, you will want to bring some additional protein bars.
  3. I'll be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    Singles are not available on this trip as we will be sleeping in bunk rooms. On our other trips you only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we'll pair you up with someone and then switch roommates everytime we switch lodging.