Today’s blog completes the look at the huts in New Hampshire. Although I do not plan to sleep at the huts ($124 per night), they sure will be great stopping places and landmarks along the way. The last blog took a look at the first three huts: Lonesome Lake Hut, Greenleaf Hut and Galehead Hut. Let’s continue our virtual hike in the mountains of NH.
The Zealand Falls Hut (NOBO mile 1832) is the fourth hut in the system over the Whites. This hut can accommodate 36 people in two coed bunkrooms. It was completed in 1932 along with Galehead Hut and like the Lonesome Lake Hut, it is popular as a “family” hut due to its low altitude and relatively easy approach climb. It also has the lowest sleeping capacity of all the huts (36), but it is located in Zealand Notch at an elevation of only 2,700 feet.
Mizpah Springs Hut (15 miles north of Zealand Falls Hut) is the newest hut in the system (built in 1964). Materials were brought in by helicopter for its construction and the building was designed to withstand 200 mph winds. It sits on Mount Pierce at 3,800 feet and can facilitate 60 people in coed bunkrooms making it the second largest hut in the system.
The highest, largest, and most popular hut in the system is Lakes of the Clouds Hut (mile 1851). It started as a shelter constructed in 1901 in response to the deaths of two hikers caught in a storm on their way to the top of Mount Washington. Fourteen years later it was rebuilt as a hut, and has since been renovated at least five times – the latest in 2005. The hut is the largest of the chain providing bunks for 96 guests. Because of its size and popularity, it is also known as “Lakes of the Crowds” and is nestled in the southern shoulder of Mount Washington at 5,050 feet.
Madison Spring Hut, the seventh in the chain, is not only the oldest hut in the series and the oldest hut ion the Appalachian Trail but the oldest hut in the United States built in 1888. The original hut was expanded many times, however, in 1940, a fire destroyed much of the hut. The following year it was rebuilt and re-opened. The hut was extensively rehabilitated in the fall of 2010 and early 2011. It is the second highest hut in the chain (4800 ft), and sleeps the third highest number of guests (52) in two large coed bunkrooms. It is generally considered the most difficult of the full-service huts to access, based on distance and elevation required to reach it. It is located in the col (or pass) between Mount Madison and Mount Adams. In the photo it is Mount Adams that looms above the hut.
The last hut along this trek in the Appalachian Trail is Carter Notch Hut (mile 1873). It was established in 1904 as a simple log cabin; the building was rebuilt as a hut in 1914, making the current hut the oldest building in the hut chain. There are two small ponds located nearby, as well as a tremendous boulder field. Both are results of an 1869 landslide that ravaged nearby Carter Dome’s north slopes. It stands at an elevation of 3,288 feet and can accommodate 40 people in two bunkhouses.
Photo Zealand Falls: http://sectionhiker.com/zealand-falls-hut/
Photo Mizpah: http://terry.terryandjan.net/photos/WhiteMtns_00/
Photo Lake of the Clouds: http://sectionhiker.com/appalachian-mountain-club-huts/img_3151/
Photo Madison Springs: http://sectionhiker.com/on-the-shoulders-of-giants-climbing-white-mountain-sub-peaks/
Photo Carter Notch: http://naturallynewengland.blogspot.com/2010/08/in-shadow-of-cat.html
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