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Adventure, Alpine / October 24, 2016

4 places to get your hut on

Written by: Stewart Moore

Picture this: you’re looking out the window of a winter hut at snow falling in the wilderness. The mountains around you are quiet and dark, lit only by the moon and the milky way. A fire roars in the wood-fired stove, thawing the day’s powder off your ski boots.

That’s what a ski trip should be about—not lift lines and $20 cheeseburgers. So we’ve rounded up four of the top winter huts across the U.S. They’re worth checking out whatever your winter poison may be: skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing.

Maine Huts and Trails

Inspired by hut-and-trail routes through the Swiss Alps, Maine Huts & Trails offers four luxury lodges and one yurt. Those shelters are connected by 45 miles of groomed cross-country trails.

This system offers trails for beginners and experienced Nordic skiers alike. Each lodge features a gorgeous vaulted common area, private and shared bunkrooms, and a staff looking to make your experience off trail just as rewarding as your time on.

Capacity: 42 people per night

Amenities: Private and shared bunkrooms, 3 locally-sourced meals a day, hot showers, and electricity (from solar panels)

Price: $90 per person per night on weekdays, $130 per person per night on weekends.

Lake Tahoe Backcounty Huts

Ready to hit the Tahoe backcountry? Four huts operated by Clair Tappaan Lodge give skiers and snowshoers the ability to explore all the Sierras have to offer.

The Benson and Bradley Huts can be linked together for a three-day, two-night backcountry trip, while Bradley and Ludlow Hut provide access to beautiful forested slopes and bowls between Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, and Desolation Wilderness.

Capacity: 12-15 people

Amenities: Woodstove, outhouse

Need to bring: Cooking stove, sleeping bag and pad, utensils, flashlights, personal equipment, etc

Price: $20 per person per night. Apply via lottery system June-October.

Bull of the Woods Yurt

Located two miles from Taos Ski Valley, the Bull of the Woods sits at 10,000ft on the low point of the ridge between Wheeler Peak and Gold Hill. Tour along the ridge or drop down the extended vertical lines, the Bull of the Woods yurt provides access to some of New Mexico’s finest backcountry terrain.

The yurt is managed by Southwest Nordic Center, which also operates four other yurts in Southwest Colorado, three of which can be linked together for a classic hut-to-hut trip.

Capacity: 10 people

Amenities: Stove, cookware, utensils, woodstove, lanterns, sleeping pads

Need to bring: Sleeping bag, toilet paper

Price: $100/night on weekdays, $145/night on weekends.

Hellroaring Hut

Does 400 inches of snowfall and 10,00ft of elevation sound like your cup of tea? Venture out to the Hellroaring Hut, located in Montana’s Centennial Mountains amidst 20,000 acres of premier Continental Divide skiing terrain.

The topography around the Hellroaring Hut is a backcountry lover’s dream: mellow bowls, powdery glades, and steep alpine descents. Lead your own trip or book a guide with Hellroaring Powder Guides to get knowledgeable and safe access to some of the best runs of your life.

Capacity: 6

Amenities: Stove, cookware, utensils, woodstove, bunks, sleeping bags, solar panel for charging

Need to bring: Not much (food, skis, clothes)

Price: $300/night. Call for rates about guided trips and specials

These winter huts are great, so they often fill up fast. It’s usually a good idea to plan your trip several months in advance.

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about the author

Stewart Moore

Stewart Moore is a writer and endurance athlete based in Fort Collins, Colorado. Originally from Alabama, Stewart has hiked over 1,000 solo miles, completing the Colorado Trail in 2015 and a 500+ mile trip linking the Tahoe Rim Trail and the John Muir Trail together via the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016. Outside of hiking, Stewart enjoys trail running, snowboarding, ice climbing, fly fishing, and yoga (subjects which he also finds himself writing about).

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