Appalachian Trail Hut-to-Hut Hiking – Pemigewasset Wilderness

From: $649

per person dbl occ

Dates: Jul-Oct - see all dates

Activity Level: 4(?)activity level details

Activity Level and Qualifications

This trip is rated Vigorous (4). The hiking portions of the trip involve carrying a 15–25 lb. backpack over steep, rocky, sometimes exposed terrain with elevation gain and loss of 3,000ft, and up to 8 miles daily.

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 overall enjoyment is your overall fitness level.

Total Days: 4

Reserve This Trip

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7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

Appalachian Trail Hut-to-Hut Hiking – Pemigewasset Wilderness

Trip Highlights

  • Hike through the colorful, rugged Pemigewasset Wilderness
  • Stay in comfortable, charming huts each night
  • Summit South Twin and Galehead Mountains
  • Be on the lookout for rare animals and plant life

New Hampshire's White Mountains are home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the Northeast, and the famed Appalachian Trail takes us straight through the heart of it. The Pemigewasset Wilderness, our destination on this trip, is 45,000 acres of colorful, rugged terrain rich in history after decades of heavy logging.

Our challenging and rewarding hike follows picturesque routes and includes summits such as South Twin and Galehead Mountains. We trek from river valleys up to alpine peaks, seeing beautiful and rare plant life along the way. With a little luck, we might even spot moose or other wildlife!

Each night we retire to pleasant huts, allowing us to travel with lighter packs than normal backpacking—a perfect blend of outdoor adventure and comfort.

Looking for another option on the Appalachian Trail? Check out our Presidential Peaks hut-to-hut hiking trip.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Meet for dinner and orientation at the Highland Center in Crawford Notch.
  • Day 2 - Hike this magnificent trail to the most remote hut in New Hampshire.
  • Day 3 - Summit South Twin Mountain as we make our way to Zealand Falls Hut.
  • Day 4 - Cherish the last few hours along the trail as we depart.

Activities:

  • Hiking
Group Size: 4-12

Accommodations:

One night - AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch; 2 nights - rustic shared-room bunkhouse lodging at AMC huts.

Weather

During the summer daytime temperatures range between 60°-80° F, with evening temperatures dropping into the 40s and 50s. After September 1stfall temperatures are 40°-65° during the day, with nights ranging from 20°-50°. While wind chill can drop temperatures 10°-20° or more during the summer, this is particularly noticeable in the fall when wind chill above tree line can be in the single digits, with 40-50 mph being common. The White Mountains are well known for inclement weather. Rain, wind and hail are to be expected any time of the year so adequate layers, raingear and a pack cover are essential.

More Trips Like This:

Consider these other great trips.

Trip Itinerary and Details

  • Day 1 - Meet for dinner and orientation at the Highland Center in Crawford Notch.

    The trip begins in New Hampshire's breathtaking White Mountains. We meet at the AMC Highland Center in Crawford Notch. Please arrive anytime between 3pm and 5pm to check in and get comfortable. For those who would like to get out before dinner, lodge staff can recommend short hikes in the area. Trip members will meet their guides at 5:30pm for a trip orientation followed by a family-style dinner at the Highland Center. We'll overnight in dormitory-style rooms at the lodge. Dinner included.

  • Day 2 - Hike this magnificent trail to the most remote hut in New Hampshire.

    Our destination today is the most remote hut in the New Hampshire chain, Galehead Hut, at 3800 feet. After breakfast we shuttle to the Gale River Trailhead at 1600 feet to begin our journey. Warm up with a gentle descent aside a beautiful tributary brook eventually meeting up to an old logging road that climbs easily along the west side of the North Branch of the Gale River. Our trail gets a bit more challenging as we pass through the outwash of an overgrown slide, eventually emerging at a gravel bank above the stream where there are fine views up the valley and toward the Twin Mountains. The trail now becomes significantly steeper and rougher as we climb to the junction with Garfield Ridge Trail. As we ascend along the Ridge trail, catch glimpses of our final destination, Galehead Hut. All meals included.

    Hiking: 4.6 miles; 4-6 hours. Elevation gain: 2200'

  • Day 3 - Summit South Twin Mountain as we make our way to Zealand Falls Hut.

    Our hut crew prepares wonderful hot breakfast for us today before we load our packs and hit the trail again. Look forward to your guide's expertise contributing much to your hiking today, as opportunities to discover the surrounding area abounds. We start the day's journey with a good climb to the highest point on the trip: South Twin Mountain, an accomplishment in itself. In 0.8 miles we gain 1100 feet of elevation! Our guides are sure to pace our group, as we still have 6 miles to go. At the completion of South Twin, the next 4+ miles meander up and down the Twinway ridge with amazing views along the ridge. The final 1.5 miles drops quickly losing 1110 feet in elevation to Zealand Falls hut. This hut is a prime location to enjoy some of the area's most picturesque waterfalls and provides outstanding views at the eastern edge of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. We might even be lucky enough to spot a moose or observe other local wildlife! All meals included.

    Hiking: 7 miles; 6-8 hours. Elevation gain/loss: 1,100'

  • Day 4 - Cherish the last few hours along the trail as we depart.

    After breakfast today, we depart from Zealand Falls Hut one of two ways: either hike from Zealand Falls to the Highland Center or follow the more leisurely route to the Zealand Trailhead. We plan to arrive back at our starting point between 2pm and 4pm today, and lunch can be purchased at the lodge for those wishing to eat before heading home. Trip participants are also welcome to stay an additional night at the AMC member rate discount to rest before leaving at trip's end; reservations should be made prior to arrival if at all possible. If you are flying home tonight, please allow extra time for uncertainties or delays accordingly. Breakfast included.

    Hiking: 2.7–5.5 miles; 1.5–2.5 hours. Elevation gain/loss: 500–800'

Notes on Itinerary

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.

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.  This trip is operated rain or shine.

See pricing and dates detailsTab

Trip Dates:

2016

  • Jul 14–17
  • Aug 18–21 Sold out
  • Sep 2–5
  • Sep 26–29
  • Sep 29 – Oct 2
  • Oct 6–9
  • Oct 13–16

2017

  • Jul 13–16
  • Aug 17–20
  • Sep 1–4
  • Sep 25–28
  • Sep 28 – Oct 1
  • Oct 5–8

Or, book a
private departure.

From: $649 per person dbl occ

2016 - $649 (REI member); $724 (Non-member)

2017 - $699 (REI member); $774 (Non-member)

Deposit

Full trip price due at the time of signup; fully refundable up to 30 days prior to departure.

Price Includes

All accommodations; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; professional guiding; taxes; transportation to and from trailheads when required; gratuity for the hut crews (though you may always opt to give more if you like).

Not Included

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

Consider as you sign up

  • Airline tickets - Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip is confirmed with the minimum number of participants required to operate.
  • Travel insurance - To protect your travel investment, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. Please contact us or see details.
  • REI membership - Get a member discount on most REI Adventures trips plus other valuable benefits.
  • REI MasterCard® - Earn 5% back on REI Adventures trips and all REI net purchases. Learn more.

Additional Information

Cancellation and Transfer Policy

Full payment is due at sign up, fully refundable up to 30 days prior to departure.

If you decide to cancel your trip, the following fees apply and are due when we receive notice of your cancellation:
30+ days prior to departure = $0
15 to 29 days prior to departure = 50% of the total trip cost is non-refundable
0 to 14 days prior to departure = 100% of the trip cost is non-refundable

If you instead transfer to another trip, the following fees at due at the time of the request:
15+ days prior to departure = $0
0 to 14 days prior to departure = 100% of the trip cost is non-refundable

To protect your investment, we recommend that you purchase travel insurance.

Single Accommodations

Accommodations are bunk-style huts along the routes we hike. Each hut has a number of rooms, each one sleeping several people in bunks. 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. Additional trip information will be provided 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.

Appalachian Trail Hut-to-Hut Hiking – Pemigewasset Wilderness 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. 

Gear List Summary

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. 

No header

Gear Checklist

Provided

  • Group First Aid Kit
  • Lunch Food and Snacks for Each Day
  • Trekking Poles

Required

Recommended

Optional

Travel Documents

  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)

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 AdventuresAppalachian Trail Hut-to-Hut Hiking – Pemigewasset Wilderness
 
5.0

(based on 5 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Group camaraderie (5)
  • Guides (5)
  • Accommodations (4)
  • Activity level (4)
  • Exceeded expectations (4)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Casual adventurer (3)
    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
    • All the details planned for me (5), Destination (5), Good value (4), I liked the itinerary (4), Active adventures (3)

Reviewed by 5 customers

Displaying reviews 1-5

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5.0

Awesome Anniversary 2015

By TYEDYE

from Jacksonville, FL

About Me Adventuous, Outgoing, Spontaneous

Pros

  • Accommodations
  • Activity Level
  • Exceeded Expectations
  • Food
  • Group Camaraderie
  • Guides
  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
  • Quality Equipment Provided
  • Well Organized Itinerary

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about REI Adventures Appalachian Trail Hut-to-Hut Hiking – Pemigewasset Wilderness:

      This trip affirmed my love for the outdoors, traveling, and gave me an insight to what I can do and how much more I want to experience. The weather had potential to put a dmaper on the trip, it poured rain the first day, however, all the group members and guides were so positive it turned the day around. Then we awoke to snow. I have very poor blood circulation and did not prepare for snow, however, agian the positivity of my guides, and group memebrs and help to get me back on track made the day fantastic. Then once we reached the summit, and made it to the other side of the mountain the sun came out and the clear site line of the mountain range was indescribable. The last day was bitter sweet, but beautiful weather, awesome hike, and friends to last a lifetime. I can't wait for my next adventure with REI. This was truly a memorable experience.

      • 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?:
      • My Wife and I were celebrating our 2 year anniversary and wanted to take an adventurous trip and embark on a new journey. This trip fell on the week of our anniversary and it was close to where we got married. It was perfect timing!
      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
      • There wasn't one thing, everything was amazing. From the people in my group, to the croo at the huts, the guides we had, the scenary, even the up and down weather, made the trip exciting and unforgettable.
      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
      • Make sure you ask all the questions you have. Don't hesitate! Everyone is very nice and informative. They do not mind answering your questions and are very prompt in respinding. Also, make sure to check all the gear you will need and know your body, your limts, and physical fitness, this way you can be specific in questions and plan accordingly.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      This was a GREAT trip.

      By Adam NYC

      from New York City

      About Me Casual Adventurer

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Activity Level
      • Exceeded Expectations
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Appalachian Trail Hut-to-Hut Hiking – Pemigewasset Wilderness:

          I just returned from an early October trip, and the temperatures seemed to have a 20-25 degree range per day, so layers are key, and no cotton, def go synthetic. If you forget something or are in doubt, don't worry: the AMC center has a lot of supplies you can borrow. I borrowed rain pants. I wish i had brought a pillowcase as i slept on a shirt for 2 nights, and fur-lined slippers or mocs for hanging in the hut. If you think you are going to wash, you are delusional as the huts have cold water sinks only. Toothbrush, facial wipes, deodorant, moisturizer, lip balm, tiger balm: Done. And Advil. Don't skimp and Advil. I liked having both a wool hat and a baseball cap. Gloves with some kind of grip would have been helpful as you will be putting your hands on boulders. Loved having hiking poles, especially for south twin and the decent into Zealand hut. 2 water bottles a must. Food: you need not bring anything unless there is something you MUST have. Plenty provided. Headlamp a must. Earplugs a must. Some people brought instant coffee. Not a bad idea. I went with Tequila instead. I bought extra wool socks and was so happy about it. Had a merino wool hoodie too that was awesome, too. Did I mention the Advil? If you are still reading, I just want to say how much I enjoyed not only the group of 9 people, but also our two guides, Sarah and Travis. Sarah knew every rock and tree by name and had a good sense when were need to rest or layer up/layer down. Travis knows so much about the outdoors as anyone I've met and his enthusiam was awesome. We were in really good hands. I came away wanting to return to the Whites. Just a great trip that will not disappoint.

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • As someone who has not gone hiking all that often, but is enthusiastic about fitness, this was the perfect trip for me. I had never been to the White Mountains or any part of the AT in New England so this trip made sense. REI also made the whole pre-adventure planning pretty easy.
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • Day 2 was an awesome experience: The rip up South Twin first thing was an amazing start to the day. Later, after eating lunch on the ridgeline our guides, Sarah and Travis, who were fantastic, split the group and allowed those who wanted to go to West Bond to do so. If you have it in you, I recommend it, but it was work! You'll be so happy to hit Zealand hut at the end of the day.
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • You will hike as many as 20 miles during the three days, but the breakdown per day is 5 miles day 1 ; 8 to 10 miles day 2; and then 5 on day 3, so almost a warmup then warm down. As mentioned, I am not an experienced hiker, so it was my fitness that saved me. Definitely train for this trip. I run in a hilly area, so that was good for me.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Fun in the wilderness

          By Mystic Mike

          from Mystic, CT

          About Me Active Hiker

          See all my reviews

          Site Member

          Pros

          • Accommodations
          • Activity Level
          • Food
          • Group Camaraderie
          • Guides

          Cons

          • Killing Time On A Mt Top

          Best Uses

            Comments about REI Adventures Appalachian Trail Hut-to-Hut Hiking – Pemigewasset Wilderness:

            The huts are fantastic. Both had new bunk rooms with more spacious bunks. The hut croo's cook a great dinner and breakfast. The guides are fun, patient,knowledgable and make the trip safe. Hiking with a group is always a good experinece.

            • 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
            • Why did you choose this trip?:
            • We had hiked with REI across the presidentials in 2014 and had a great time. This time we were looking for an experience in the wilderness with the comfortsof the huts.
            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
            • Hiking from Zeland hut to AMC highland center with our guide Julia. She let us set the pace and we were able to summit Mt. Tom and get back in time for lunch. We learned all about the birds and flowers of the mountains along the way.
            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
            • Be prepared for a good hike each day. Day one starts easy, but goes up fast. Days two and three cover a good distance with up and down. Walk, run, bike or hike to be prepared to go up and down 180 flights of stairs.

            (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            So much fun

            By Mike W

            from Charlotte, NC

            About Me Casual Adventurer

            Pros

            • Accommodations
            • Appalachian Trail Huts
            • At Huts
            • Exceeded Expectations
            • Food
            • Group Camaraderie
            • Guides
            • Well Organized Itinerary

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about REI Adventures Appalachian Trail Hut-to-Hut Hiking – Pemigewasset Wilderness:

                Just a wonderful experience. So much fun. The guides were super.

                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                • All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                • The whole trip was incredible. Beautiful scenery, challenging trails, wonderful guides, nice fellow participants. I had never stayed in any of the Appalachian Trail Huts (really more like hostels) which was great fun. Also, meeting along the way hikers doing the entire trail was a treat.
                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                • As REI's description states, this is a strenuous hike with some steep uphill and downhill sections, so read the description and itinerary carefully, and prepare in advance. Everyone in our group did fine, but we had all prepared in advance. Nearly everyone also brought hiking poles. I was glad I did.

                (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Incredible!

                By giniabeans

                from Gaithersburg, Maryland

                About Me Avid Adventurer, Casual Adventurer

                Site Member

                Pros

                • Accommodations
                • Activity Level
                • Exceeded Expectations
                • Food
                • Group Camaraderie
                • Guides
                • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                • Quality Equipment Provided
                • Well Organized Itinerary

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about REI Adventures Appalachian Trail Hut-to-Hut Hiking – Pemigewasset Wilderness:

                    This trip was amazing. The wilderness is beautiful and the huts are fabulous. The comraderie of the group and guides exceeded my expectations and I was really sad to leave. It was an intense hike, especially summiting South Twin, but it was worth it in the end. I would recommend this to anyone and I will always remember how amazing it was!

                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Convenient, Destination, Good Value, Group, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                    • I wanted a trip that was close-by and not too long.
                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                    • Hanging out with the other hikers and summiting the mountains.
                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                    • Definitely bring trekking poles!

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