Category Archives: Future of huts

Trip Report: Three Sisters Backcountry Hut-to-Hut Ski

Trip Report: Three Sisters Backcountry Nordic Traverse

By Perrin Boyd

The Three Sisters Backcountry hut-to-hut ski traverse is a self-guided 22-mile trek from Dutchman Flat near Mt. Bachelor traveling the eastern edge of the Three Sisters Wilderness boundary to Three Creeks Snow Park outside Sisters, Oregon.  This great ski adventure involves three days of skiing with overnights in two comfy, fully stocked, self-service huts.

Six friends from Northfield, MN gathered the night before our trip for a feast and discussion of logistics. Kelly, Mike, Sofia and I now live in Bend, Oregon.  Sam Demas, researcher for hut2hut.info, invited us all on the trek along with his wife, Laurel.  It was an opportunity we could not pass up. Continue reading

Backcountry Hut Company: Architectural Design & Business Model

Backcountry Hut Company: Architectural Design & Business Model

by Sam Demas, October 12, 2016; All photos courtesy Backcountry Hut Company

The Canadian company Backcountry Hut Company (BHC) has completed its design and has constructed a prototype for a pre-fabricated, modular hut system. The design is optimized for alpine and other outdoor clubs, lodge operators, and also private outdoor recreation enthusiasts.  Based on a conversation with BHC’s Wilson Edgar, this post is a brief description of the design concept, business model, and rollout plans.

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Plan for Adirondack Hut-to-Hut System

This report is required reading for those interested in what it takes to site and develop a new hut-to-hut system in cooperation with state officials and trail communities.

After months of research and community consultations, Leading E.D.G.E. LLC has released its “Conceptual Plan for a Hut-to-Hut Destination-based Trail System for the Five Towns of Long Lake, Newcomb, Indian Lake, Minerva, and North Hudson”.  The plan proposes 26 possible routes for consideration by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.  It thoroughly explores options for developing a trails and lodging system in the Five Towns region within the Adirondack Park (the largest park east of the Mississippi River).  It is based on the work of the Adirondacks Community Based Trails and Lodging System.

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Tent-to-tent as hut-to-hut in the N. Cascades National Park

Tent-to-tent

Photos in this post are courtesy of Stehekin Outfitters

Stehekin Outfitters has a unique business model: tent-to-tent hiking in a U.S. National Park.  This unique form of “hut-to-hut” seems like a great way to support hikers who want to go out for several days and don’t have the gear or experience to do full-on backpacking.

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Alpine huts for Scotland? News of a possible pilot project…

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Larig Leacach Bothy Courtesy Wikipedia

Is Scotland missing out on a key mountain tourism niche?

The Ramblers in Scotland think this may be true, and are proposing a pilot project to test this assumption.

While the Scots have “Bothies” — unimproved  backpacker shelters — European-style huts are not part of the accommodations infrastructure for walkers in Scotland, Wales, England.  They rely on a robust network of B&B’s and hostels.  This leaves gaps in mountainous regions.

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Outdoor Society argues for more huts in USA

Mathias Eichler, outdoors advocate and editor of the Outdoor Society blog, grew up in the foothills of the Alps.  He can’t understand why there are not more huts in USA, his beloved adopted land.  He is a great fan of our National Parks and advocate for recreational use of public land. {Featured image courtesy Mathias Eichler}

In two posts (click on titles in excerpts below) he discusses his ideas.  In an editorial “Whats next for America’s Public Lands?” he presents a case for more huts on public lands.  A separate piece “Eight Huts we need in the Mountains of the American West” presents brief profiles, accompanied by great pictures, of some huts he admires.

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Hut-to-hut in USA: situation and outlook

Hut to hut in the USA: situation and outlook

by  Sam Demas and Wilson Josephson

This is a preliminary overview of the 15 hut-to-hut systems in the USA.  There are a number of systems under development or expanding, and I’m hoping readers will tip me off to others that should be included.  Currently these 15 systems comprise 107 huts, yurts, and cabins, and offer 1,496 beds for long distance hut-to-hut hikers, bikers and skiers. This sketch of hut-to-hut infrastructure in the USA provides an overview by region, and very briefly discusses: business models, recreational uses, staffing, and some. Based on the data presented, it concludes with some musings about the future of hut systems supporting long distance human-powered travelers in the USA.  hut to hut in usa

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Hut-to-hut skiing: a tale of two Mt. Tahoma Huts

Featured Huts: A tale of two Mt Tahoma Huts

by Sam Demas

 

 

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More hut-to-hut hiking in USA? Part 2: Challenges

by Sam Demas

Creating more opportunities for people to use huts to support long distance hiking, biking, skiing is a complex undertaking.  If not done well, the potential for doing environmental harm is as great as the potential for doing educational and recreational good.

Part 1 of this article outlined the potential benefits. Part 2 outlines the challenges in thoughtfully regulating, siting, creating, and operating hut systems. Future posts will provide greater detail in many of these areas, and the operational profiles on this site provide information on how specific hut systems handle these challenges.  The audience for this piece is young people planning or dreaming of starting a hut system; it may also interest recreation planners and land managers.

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More hut-to-hut hiking in USA? Part 1: Benefits

More hut-to-hut hiking in USA?

Part 1: Benefits

By Sam Demas, hut2hut.info

Lets have a national conversation about huts

Americans love to hike their 167,00 miles of trails located on federal and state lands. We are building new trails to meet demand, and trail use is projected to continue increasing. But how do Americans feel about placing hut systems on some fraction of their trails? How do we feel as a nation about hut-to-hut hiking, skiing and biking? No one knows. It’s worth talking about.

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