Appalachian Trail Hut-to-Hut Hiking – Presidential Peaks

Trip Length 4 Days
Group Size 4–12
Activity level
Starting from
$799 for REI Members
$899 for non-members
Departures Jun 2021-Sep 2021

Journey through the dramatic high peaks of New Hampshire's White Mountains on this guided hut-to-hut hike.

Rising up at 6,289′, New Hampshire’s White Mountains are a stunning sight to behold. Dramatic, high peaks lead to sweeping vistas, gorgeous sunsets are replaced with spectacular sunrises, and rugged trails lead to rewarding adventure experiences. We spend most of our time following the iconic Appalachian Trail, but we take a few detours through other picturesque routes in the area. As we progress along the trail each day, we experience challenging terrain, stay in remote huts, and—weather permitting—we summit the incredible Mount Washington.

Along the way, our expert guides point out rare alpine vegetation, lead us to beautiful waterfalls and join us in experiencing the charm and camaraderie of these remote mountain huts. While our packs will be relatively light by normal backpacking standards, the trails we follow and the unpredictable mountain weather promise to provide a challenge to even the most seasoned outdoor enthusiast. Despite the challenge, the journey is more than worth it.

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

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Trip Highlights

  • Hike the famous Appalachian Trail, full of brilliant Northeastern scenery
  • Summit peaks like Mount Washington
  • Stay in charming, remote mountain huts

Activities

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 3,000', 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.

  • Hiking

What's Included

All accommodations; 3 wool blankets and 1 pillow at huts; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; professional guiding; taxes; transportation to/from trailheads when required.

Accommodations

One night in dormitory-style same-gender rooms with shared baths at AMC Highland Center; two nights in rustic dormitory-style mixed-gender AMC huts.

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Meet for dinner and a pre-trip orientation at the AMC Highland Center.

Our trip begins today at the AMC Highland Center in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire. Arrive at the AMC Highland Center between 3pm and 4:45pm to check into a dormitory-style room. If you arrive earlier in the day, the lodge staff is happy to recommend short hikes in the area. We meet our guides and fellow travelers at 5:30pm for an orientation and a review of the trip itinerary and gear list. We enjoy a family-style dinner, then turn in for the night in order to be well-rested for tomorrow’s hike. Dinner included.

Day 2

Hike to Lakes of the Clouds Hut, and perhaps summit Mount Washington.

We shuttle to the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trailhead to begin our hike. The first 1.5 miles of the trail is relatively flat with excellent views of waterfalls, ponds and the surrounding rugged cliffs and rock faces. The final 1.5 miles will test our endurance as we navigate an extremely steep and often wet trail to the Lakes of the Clouds Hut, the highest in the chain. The hut is co-ed bunkhouse style, with cold running water and composting toilets. Time, wind and weather permitting, an optional hike to the summit of Mount Washington (6,288') may be possible. Wind speeds on Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern United States, are some of the strongest ever recorded at up to 231 miles per hour. All meals included.

Hiking: 3.1 miles, 3 hours, Elevation gain: 2,512'; Optional Mount Washington summit; 3 miles, 2.5 hours, Elevation gain/loss: 1,300'

Day 3

Hike Crawford Path to summit four peaks en route to Mizpah Spring Hut.

Crawford Path, first established in 1819, is a designated National Recreation Trail. It leads us over Mount Monroe (5,372'), Mount Franklin (5,003'), Mount Eisenhower (4,780') and Mount Pierce (4,311'). There is an abundance of rare alpine plants and flowers to be seen as we hike along ridgelines. Descending below the tree line, we reach Mizpah Spring Hut (3,800'), the youngest hut in the system. Note: Crawford Path Trail is almost exclusively above tree line; therefore, an alternate route will be used if wind and weather conditions are not favorable. All meals included.

Hiking Crawford Path: 5.1 miles, 6 hours, Elevation gain/loss: 1,233'. Hiking without summits: 4.8 miles, 5 hours, Elevation gain/loss: 1,233'

Day 4

Hike up Mount Jackson, our final leg of the Appalachian Trail.

Our final hike, weather permitting, takes us to the summit of Mount Jackson (4,052'). We then descend on the Webster-Jackson Trail and shuttle back to the AMC Highland Center to arrive between 2pm and 4pm. We enjoy a celebratory lunch together, then prepare for departures. Or, extend your stay to explore more of the White Mountains on your own. Breakfast and lunch included.

Hiking: 4.5 miles, 5 hours, Elevation gain/loss: +275'/-2,152'

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.

What to pack

You might also consider

Travel documents

  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)
  • Photo Identification

Contact Us

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 REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.