White Mountains Hut-to-Hut Snowshoe

From: $350

per person dbl occ

Dates: Jan-Dec - see all dates

Total Days: 3

Activity Level: 3-4

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Monday–Friday,
7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

White Mountains Hut-to-Hut Snowshoe

Price:

2014

REI Member: $350

Non-member: $400

2015

REI Member: $350

Non-member: $425

Trip Dates:

2014

  • Dec 12–14
  • Dec 26–28

2015

  • Jan 2–4
  • Jan 16–18
  • Feb 6–8
  • Feb 27 – Mar 1
  • Mar 6–8
  • Dec 11–15

Or, book a
private departure.

Group Size: 4-10

Activity Level: 3-4

Activities:

  • Hike/snowshoe 6-7 miles each day with elevation gain/loss of 1,000’-2,000’. Participants carry packs weighing 25-35 lbs, including some group gear and food.

Accommodations:

Appalachian Mountain Club Highland Center, 1 night.  Rustic bunk-style lodging at AMC Zealand Falls Hut, 1 night

Trip Highlights

  • Snowshoe through New Hampshire's White Mountains through the Zealand Valley
  • Overnight at a comfortable, remote hut with hot meals
  • Take in jaw-dropping views of nearby forest and mountains, blanketed by winter
  • Enjoy a challenging trek along classic trails and follow expert guides

The arrival of mountain snow doesn't have to mean the end of hiking season; snowshoes are the perfect way to continue outdoor adventure through the winter months. This hut-to-hut snowshoeing getaway in New Hampshire's White Mountains take us on an exceptional loop from picturesque Crawford Notch to the remote, snow-covered Zealand Valley and back.

Trip participants will hike on snowshoes and carry enough gear to travel safely in winter (25-35 pounds). If clear weather prevails, we enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding forest, peaks, and ranges from numerous summits and viewpoints along the way. Mid-journey, we stay at the remote Zealand Falls Hut for a rustic, but comfortable, night and a hot meal.

Our route is a challenging loop, linking a number of classic trails in the area. Participants should be physically fit and have some experience hiking in cold weather on snow and ice and must be prepared with all items from the provided gear list.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Meet at Crawford Notch for dinner and an orientation.
  • Day 2 - Snowshoe into the heart of the Whites to our remote hut.
  • Day 3 - Our return trip takes us on the A-Z trail before bidding farewell.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Meet at Crawford Notch for dinner and an orientation.

    Your trip begins today at the Highland Center at Crawford Notch in New Hampshire. Given REI’s commitment to 100% carbon-neutral travel, this wonderful lodge showcasing green construction and energy efficient design is the perfect place to begin our adventure.  After an afternoon arrival between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. we’ll enjoy dinner at 6:00 p.m., then meet as a group to review the trip itinerary as well as safety protocols on the trail. We’ll also go over the gear list and make sure that everyone is adequately prepared for the hike. Meals provided: dinner.

  • Day 2 - Snowshoe into the heart of the Whites to our remote hut.

    After a hearty buffet breakfast at the Highland Center, the group will get together to go over last-minute preparations and to divvy up food that will be taken to Zealand Falls Hut (each participant will be asked to carry a small amount of food for the entire group, as this is part of the overall experience and planning). Lunches will also be picked up before we head out. The group will be driven to Zealand Road (approximately 5 miles by vehicle), an access road open only during the summer and parts of spring and fall. From there, we’ll snowshoe in about three miles on the road before taking the Zealand Trail the rest of the way to the hut, a total distance of approximately 5.5 miles. After arriving at the hut, if time and conditions permit, we’ll take a quick trip up to Zeacliff, a rocky outcrop with amazing views of the valley below. Meals provided: breakfast at the Highland Center, bagged lunch, dinner at Zealand Falls Hut.

  • Day 3 - Our return trip takes us on the A-Z trail before bidding farewell.

    The group will have breakfast at Zealand Falls Hut before heading back to Crawford Notch today.  Strong groups in good weather may travel via the A-Z Trail, which stands for “Avalon” (a small peak that we may summit today) to “Zealand”, a 6.6-mile hike over fairly rugged terrain. The first part of the hike will involve a gradual ascent (2.7 miles) to the crest of the Willey Range via the col between Mt. Tom and Mt. Field. From there, we’ll take the Willey Range Trail (0.9 miles) to the summit of Mt. Field (4,340’) before descending via the Avalon Trail to the bare, open summit of Mt. Avalon (3,442’, reached in 1 mile). A half-mile later, we’ll rejoin the A-Z Trail for the final leg (1.8 miles) back to Crawford Notch and the Highland Center. Groups facing poor weather conditions or other limiting factors may travel back on the Zealand Trail.  Meals provided: breakfast at Zealand Falls Hut, bagged lunch.We plan to finish between 2:00pm and 4:00 p.m. Trip participants are welcome to stay an additional night at the AMC member rate discount or to head home from there. If you are flying home tonight, please allow extra time for uncertainties or delays accordingly.  Meals provided:  breakfast and lunch.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedules listed above, these itineraries are subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control including weather and terrain conditions.  This can include changes in the huts to be used, trails to be hiked, etc. 

Important Information about Air Travel

Contact REI Adventures prior to purchasing your airline tickets to confirm that the trip has the minimum number of participants required to operate.

Price Includes

One night lodging and dinner and one breakfast at the AMC Highland Center; one night lodging and dinner and one breakfast at the AMC’s Zealand Falls Hut along our route; lunches on Days 2 and 3; snowshoes and trekking poles; professional guiding; taxes; transportation to and from trailheads when required.

Not Included

Transportation from your hometown to group meeting point; park entrance fees where required; insurance of any kind; alcoholic beverages; soft drinks; guide gratuities and items of a personal nature.

Qualifications

This trip is rated Moderate Plus (3-4) as snowshoeing is an aerobic activity and we will be carrying packs weighing 25-35 pounds while traveling on some rugged terrain with elevation gain and loss each day.  To maximize your enjoyment of the trip and to avoid sore muscles, we suggest that you engage in a regular exercise regimen beginning at least three months prior to your departure.  Most important to your enjoyment of the trip is your overall fitness level. 

Weather

Winter-time temperatures usually range between single digit negatives and positive 30’s F.   It is important to be prepared for all types of winter weather conditions including winter travel conditions as you drive to the Highland Center.  Roads are maintained but winter driving conditions may be present.

Closest Airport(s)

Manchester Airport, Manchester, NH – 115 miles, 2.25 hours

There is no reliable transfer service from any airport to our meeting place. Anticipate renting a car if flying in for this weekend getaway.

Single Travelers

In the field, we'll be sleeping in a bunk-style hut along the loop we plan to hike. Travellers may share single-gender dormitory style rooms at the AMC Highland Center. As such, private rooms are not available on any of our departures. There are no additional single fees assessed for single travelers.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Weekend Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and detailed pre-trip information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

White Mountains Hut-to-Hut Snowshoe Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering.  To obtain maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection.  This gear list has been created to help you choose equipment for the trip.  Try to bring only what is necessary - this will help you and the field staff. 

Weather

Winter-time temperatures usually range between single digit negatives and positive 30’s F.   It is important to be prepared for all types of winter weather conditions including winter travel conditions as you drive to the Highland Center.  Roads are maintained but winter driving conditions may be present.

Gear Checklist

Provided Gear
  • Snowshoes and/or Microspikes
  • Trekking poles
Sleeping Gear
  • Sleeping bag (rated -10 to +10 degrees F)
Outerwear
  • Waterproof jacket and pants, lightweight waterproof and breathable (REI Elements or Goretex)
  • Expedition weight fleece jacket
  • Down jacket or vest
  • Waterproof over-mittens or shell gloves
Clothing
  • Two layers of mid- or lightweight thermal top and bottom made of synthetic (such as REI MTS) or wool
  • Expedition weight fleece or wool pants
  • Hiking or ski socks, made of wool or synthetic (one pair per day plus a spare)
  • Sock liners-synthetic/wool liners- optional
Clothing Accessories
  • Balaclava or other breathable face covering (synthetic or wool)
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Warm Gloves (bring an extra pair)
  • Lightweight glove liners of wool or synthetic
  • Gaiters - they greatly help to keep snow out of your boots
Footwear
  • Insulated hiking boots: heavy duty, waterproof, and well broken-in. Sorel-type boots do work. REI sales specialists can give great recommendations on snowshoe boots to keep your feet warm and dry
Travel Accessories
  • Two 1-quart water Nalgene bottles
  • Two water bottle insulators (to prevent freezing)
  • Backpack - 2,000-4,000 cubic inches
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Ski goggles
  • Headlamp with spare batteries
  • Personal snacks (your favorite energy foods and drinks)
  • Sunblock and lip balm
  • Personal first aid kit, small and light with personal medication
Optional Field Gear
  • Pocket knife or small multi-tool
  • Waterproof pack cover
  • Camera with spare batteries and film
  • Hand and toe warmers - lightweight, disposable
  • Small binoculars
  • Thermos
  • Down or synthetic booties for the huts

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresWhite Mountains Hut-to-Hut Snowshoe
 
4.7

(based on 9 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Activity level (9)
  • Accommodations (7)
  • Guides (7)
  • Well organized itinerary (7)
  • Group camaraderie (6)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Casual adventurer (7)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active adventures (8), All the details planned for me (7), I liked the itinerary (7), Destination (5), Good value (5)

      Reviewed by 9 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-9

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      5.0

      Winter's Wonderland

      By Dozer

      from Chattanooga, TN

      About Me Avid Adventurer

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Accommodations
      • Activity Level
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides
      • Quality Equipment Provided
      • Well Organized Itinerary

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures White Mountains Hut-to-Hut Snowshoe:

          REI does a great job making sure everyone is outfitted with the proper gear for a safe trip. Our guide Matt, was extremely knowledgable about all facets of cold weather hiking, local vegetation, routes and kept us well fed.

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • Have always wanted to try snowshoeing. This was an excellent opportunity to try it out.
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • Which one do I select? Weather was perfect! Minus 15 degrees is great hiking weather. Throw in about a foot and a half of snow, a nice little mountain, and it just doesn't get much better than this :)
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • If you enjoy testing your cold weather skills, this is a good hike.
           
          5.0

          Beautiful! Great experience!

          By valeriyayevsha

          from Brooklyn, NY

          About Me Casual Adventurer

          Pros

          • Activity Level
          • Guides
          • Quality Equipment Provided
          • Well Organized Itinerary

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures White Mountains Hut-to-Hut Snowshoe:

              Fun trip, will gladly do it again. Got bit too crowded in the hut after the hike. Otherwise, planning my next trip already!

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • I Liked the Itinerary

              (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Fantastic intro to the Whites in winter!

              By RMT

              from Asheville, NC

              About Me Avid Adventurer

              Site Member

              Pros

              • Accommodations
              • Activity Level
              • Exceeded Expectations

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about REI Adventures White Mountains Hut-to-Hut Snowshoe:

                  We did the trip in reverse of the itinerary here. We started from the Highland Center and took the A-Z trail up a steep trail for a few miles to the summit of Mount Tom, before breaking trail through fresh powder down to the Zealand Hut. The second day was all downhill on the road back to our waiting van. I can see how they got the activity level of 3-4. The first half of our first day (or the first half of the second day with the itinerary listed here) was a solid 4, with the rest of the weekend being an easy 3. I had never snowshoed before and had no problems adjusting from hiking in the south.

                  We also didn't get the lunch described here, just made some PBJ the morning we left. It was good and frozen by the time it came to actually eat it, so it was kind of a waste even packing it. There were plenty of candy/energy bars that were supplied and it was too cold to actually stop to eat.

                  The hut was crowded when we got there, but all the extra bodies helped keep it warm. Dinner Saturday night and breakfast Sunday morning was very good. The guides cooked and did all the dishes which was awesome.

                  I liked leaving the details of our trip to REI and the guides. I will be looking for another REI trip to do in the future!

                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                  • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                  • Wanted to do more winter hiking and I had never snowshoed, so I felt more comfortable going with a guided trip.
                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                  • Finally making it to the top at the Zealand Hut! It's a steep last 0.1 mile section, but a view and a bed await you at the top.

                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Amazing Trip!

                  By Lisa VT

                  from Vermont

                  About Me Casual Adventurer

                  Site Member

                  Pros

                  • Accommodations
                  • Activity Level
                  • Exceeded Expectations
                  • Group Camaraderie
                  • Guides
                  • Well Organized Itinerary

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about REI Adventures White Mountains Hut-to-Hut Snowshoe:

                      What a way to enjoy winter!

                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                      • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                      • The destination and the price were right.
                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                      • Amazing views with a great group and guide.
                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                      • If there isn't enough snow to snowshoe, pick up some boot traction (Microspikes) before the trip.

                      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Highly Recommend This Trip

                      By Iza

                      from Philadelphia, PA

                      About Me Casual Adventurer

                      Pros

                      • Accommodations
                      • Activity Level
                      • Exceeded Expectations
                      • Food
                      • Group Camaraderie
                      • Guides
                      • Well Organized Itinerary

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about REI Adventures White Mountains Hut-to-Hut Snowshoe:

                          Best weekend trip I have ever done
                          Great people
                          Beautiful and challenging hiking

                          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                          • Why did you choose this trip?:
                          • I was looking to fit in a quick trip before the holidays and the new year. Wanted to finish 2011 on a fun note. Once I realized that REI had planned trips I did a little research and came to the snow shoeing hut to hut trip in NH.
                          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                          • Night hiking with head lamps and our guide-Mike and pretty much the entire trip. We had an amazing group that wanted to get as much out of the trip as possible so we pushed to go further and faster from day one. The Zealand hut was a great experience in addition to the incredible hiking.
                          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                          • If you've got them bring your own poles and micro-spikes. If there isn't enough snow for snow shoeing you'll hike in the snow and the micro-spikes are highly recommended as it gets pretty icy up on the trails. Plus REI does not provide these for you so you will need to shell out $60 for them.

                          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          Climate Change

                          By Andrew T

                          from McHenry, IL

                          About Me Casual Adventurer

                          See all my reviews

                          Site Member

                          Pros

                          • Accommodations
                          • Activity Level
                          • Group Camaraderie
                          • Guides
                          • Quality Equipment Provided

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about REI Adventures White Mountains Hut-to-Hut Snowshoe:

                              The Highland Center is great! The food there was great as was the breakfast. The buffet is full of all kinds of goodies. The guides were great and their knowledge of the area was very instructive. You do not need a sleeping pad, just a good sleeping bag. The cots in the Hut are all padded. Make sure your headlamp has a full charge as you'll need it when you get to the hut.

                              One thing I liked about this trip was how the lunch was provided by the Highland Center. We got a menu the night before where we chose what type of sandwich and snacks we wanted for the next day which the Center had ready for us the next morning to take along.

                              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                              • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                              • Why did you choose this trip?:
                              • I am always interested in new areas I have never been to. I also took up snowshoeing to try to break up the boredom that happens in my area when the snow and temperatures begin to fall.
                              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                              • The hiking/snowshoeing definitely! It was a great experience. As always, the group is fun to interact with and we got to know a little bit about one another and our experiences. By the way - Happy Anniversary!
                              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                              • Give this trip a try! I understand the idea of cold weather and snow might turn you off... Many people I talk to always make that comment, "I don't know that I would like the cold." Sure, it is cold, I won't lie. But it is beautiful! You literally walk on tree-tops (the snow is so deep that you can see over trees that are typically 10' tall. If you get lucky and it snows, even better! It is gorgeous when it snows. Again, yes it is cold, but they make some wonderful gear that keeps you very comfortable. Most of the hike we were reduced to light clothing as we moved about. The guides and the Lodge are well equipped to make your adventure as comfortable as possible. We slept in 15 degree weather on our night at the hut and I was toasty warm. If you are a light sleeper, I do recommend earplugs though. Also, as another Adventurer posted, if you do not have snowshoes with the "televator" that MSR has, leave them at home and just use the shoes that the guides have. They made all the difference. Also, ask the guides if your group can split up if some of you are feeling more adventurous. We were able to split and summit 2 mountains! Amazing. Enjoy!

                              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              Great trip

                              By Babz

                              from Boston

                              About Me Casual Adventurer

                              Pros

                              • Accommodations
                              • Activity Level
                              • Exceeded Expectations
                              • Group Camaraderie
                              • Guides
                              • Well Organized Itinerary

                              Cons

                              • Quality Equipment Provided

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about REI Adventures White Mountains Hut-to-Hut Snowshoe:

                                The food was not particularly imaginative, so this is not a trip for foodies.

                                Check your equipment thoroughly before you go. One of telescoping poles didn't work too well, so I had a shorty pole!

                                Everything else was equal to or better than I expected, and I would recommend this trip to anyone!

                                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, I Liked the Itinerary
                                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                • This was only my second time snowshoeing with an overnight, and I didn't want to go alone!
                                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                • The group. It was a good size, not overly large, really congenial, and all of us were at about the same physical level, so I didn't feel like we were always waiting for people or always trying to catch up with the guides.
                                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                • Make sure you are physically ready for this - it was pretty demanding.

                                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                4.0

                                Wonderful trip in beautiful NH

                                By mrsduncan

                                from New York City

                                About Me Casual Adventurer

                                Pros

                                • Activity Level
                                • Group Camaraderie
                                • Well Organized Itinerary

                                Cons

                                • Food

                                Best Uses

                                  Comments about REI Adventures White Mountains Hut-to-Hut Snowshoe:

                                  Terrific trip! A couple of details that could be improved upon for future trips are planning better with slightly more food for the group, and more 'teaching' from the guides about things like local history, sustainability, leave-no-trace camping, technical aspects of skiing/snowshoeing/winter camping, etc.

                                  The guides were fun and we appreciated how they gave the group options about which routes to take and allowed for easier or more challenging hiking options. It was also a perk that they had access to equipment to loan out in case anyone forgot something important.

                                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                  • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                  • Great group of people and NH is stunning! Zealand Falls area is a great option if you're looking for a winter hut trip.

                                  (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  Great Trip

                                  By kaddac

                                  from Dedham MA

                                  About Me Casual Adventurer

                                  Site Member

                                  Pros

                                  • Accommodations
                                  • Activity Level
                                  • Guides
                                  • Well Organized Itinerary

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about REI Adventures White Mountains Hut-to-Hut Snowshoe:

                                      Great trip - having 2 guides was great, it gave everyone the ability to choose from 2 routes tougher or easier. The guides Mike and Jaime where very good and extremely knowledgable. We made it to Zealand Falls hut in 3 hours by noon had lunch and made a run for Zeacliff and then the Top of Zealand Mountain and back to the hut by 5:15 for dinner. Great day 13 Miles

                                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                      • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me
                                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                      • Use the provided snow shoes unless you have MSR's with a heal lift for the uphill action.

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