The Appalachian Mountain Club’s (AMC’s) Lakes of the Clouds Hut on the shoulder of Mount Washington marks its 100th year of operation this month when it opens for the full-service season June 3.

About 4-1/2 miles southwest along the trail, AMC’s Mizpah Spring Hut is set to open for its Golden Anniversary on that date, celebrating its 50th year of operation.

These two high mountain hikers’ huts join another six operated by AMC along a 56-mile-long stretch of the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. The huts are off the grid and operate using environmentally sustainable systems such as solar and wind power. These backcountry hostelries provide meals, lodging, and educational programs in spectacular mountain locations, often miles from the nearest road.

The AMC hut system—the oldest system of mountain huts for hikers in America–got its start in 1888 when the club built a stone hut at an elevation of 4,800 feet in the saddle between Mounts Adams and Madison in the Northern Presidential Range. The original hut is gone, but other versions of huts have been built in its place in intervening years. The current Madison Spring Hut—which boasts an airy design and expansive views of Durand Ridge from its broad bank of windows—was rebuilt in 2010 and reopened for the 2011 season.

The huts are open to all, AMC members and non-members alike. Access is via the Appalachian Trail and hiking trails leading from roadside trailheads.

Many hikers travel to the AMC huts with groups of families and friends. An increasingly popular option is to join a Guided Lodge-to-Hut or Hut-to-Hut Adventure. Led by AMC guides, these programs provide participants with the opportunity to travel with a group and learn about the natural history and human history along the trail. Among the huts visited in this year’s guided programs are those marking significant anniversaries–Lakes of the Clouds and Mizpah Spring—though trips to other huts and lodges are slated as well. A schedule is available at outdoors.org/lodge-to-hut.

The full-service season is set to run through Sept. 19, Sept. 26, or Oct. 17, depending on location.

Day visitors and overnight guests are welcome. Lodging reservations are required and may be requested at AMCLodging@outdoors.org or (603) 466-2727.

AMC huts in the White Mountain National Forest are operated under a special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service. AMC’s Lonesome Lake Hut is operated in partnership with the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation.

Founded in 1876, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of America’s Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. AMC helps people of all ages and abilities to explore and develop a deep appreciation of the natural world. With chapters from Maine to Washington, D.C., guidebooks and maps, and unique lodges and huts, AMC helps people get outdoors on their own, with family and friends, and through activities close to home and beyond. AMC invites the public to support its conservation advocacy and research, youth programming, and care of 1,800 miles of trails. More information is available at outdoors.org.

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