Ski resorts are already opening for the winter season all over the country. But a true mountain experience does not usually include luxurious resorts and the huge crowds they bring. It actually is more about exploring the backcountry covered in pure snow, enjoying the quietness and calming whisper of the countryside, and staring at clear night skies by a cozy fireplace.
The views of the high, rugged peaks directly above the hut are stunning. The experience will definitely be one to remember – in the winter, water is obtained by melting snow. The hut, located at 10,200 feet, accommodates eight people via padded bunk style-beds. There is a photovoltaic stove and lamp, wood stove, firewood, cookware, and utensils. Staying there will surely be a unique adventure.
If you are looking for authentic backcountry skiing, stay in an authentic backcountry cabin. Boulder Hut was one of the original privately held ski lodges in the province and was named one of the Top 10 Backcountry Huts in North America by Unofficial Networks, a partner of USATODAY Lifestyle/Action Sports. The ski terrain is suited to all abilities and wide ranging weather conditions. You’ll be skiing on high slopes or between trees.
The Doublehead Cabin offers sweeping views of Mount Washington and the Presidential Range, not to mention easy access to Doublehead ski trail, which was cut by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Located on the east side of 3,053-foot North Doublehead Mountain in New Hampshire, it’s accessible via a steep, 1.8-mile trail used for hiking and backcountry skiing in the winter. Its amenities include eight wooden bunks and a wood stove.
One of the oldest yurts in the state, the Snorkeling Elk Yurt is located in the Tushar Mountain Range, near Beaver. Its length is 20' diameter, sleeps eight on four wood slabs, and there is room for two more on the floor. This is a pet-friendly place so you can bring Fido with you on the incredible adventure. You’ll enjoy the view of the Cedar Mountains, Brianhead, and the Pine Valley mountains. It elicits a feeling of vastness, privacy, and awe.
The Bull of the Woods Yurt is just about two miles away from Taos Ski Valley. Hikers, backcountry skiers, boarders and snowshoers like it for the easy access to fantastic terrain. The yurt lies along the ridge between Wheeler Peak (13,161 feet) and Gold Hill (12,700 feet). You may ski into the high alpine slopes for remarkable background and vistas of pristine wilderness. Thrill-seekers love to take advantage of the extended verticals.
Spend the night in this tiny, Scandinavian-style log cabin, and you'll wake up to views of Lake Tahoe from your front door. The Wild Cat Cabin, located 2.5 miles from the nearest parking lot in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, lets Nordic skiers, snowshoers and hikers experience the quiet side of this popular vacation spot. It also provides easy access to the Flume Trail, which is known as one of the most scenic mountain biking trails in the country.
The hand-built hut is perched at 11,600 feet. It is also a charming eco-friendly lodge with rustic wood interior, multiple decks and a wood burning fire place added for a cozy touch. You will never forget the experience and feeling of waking up in the morning and being surrounded by the beauty of the San Juan Mountains.
This is a classic backcountry yurt – isolated, primitive and close to thousands of acres of backcountry ski terrain, some of the best in the entire state. The approach to the yurt with 8,500 feet in elevation is about 2.5 miles. It sleeps up to eight people who can enjoy the view of the 2,000-foot couloirs spilling from the summit of Branham Peak just outside the front door.
The hut was built in 1990 among the wonderful Scandinavian peaks of the Matanuska Glacier area in the Chugach Mountains. The insulated hut sleeps 10 people and has a 2-burner Coleman cook stove (but you have to bring your own fuel). Keep in mind that the hut is very off the grid. This is the place to go if you really are looking for a secluded snowy adventure. In the winter you can either walk or fly there – the views are absolutely jaw-dropping.
All the Rendevous Huts are lovely, but Cassal offers especially killer views of the Cascades. If cross-country skiing is your passion, the Cassal Hut, the most remote and private in Washington’s North Cascades, is your dream come true. The hut sits along more than 100 miles of groomed trails through the remote Methow Valley. It sleeps as many as 10 people, and offers a fully-equipped kitchen and a wood-stove heater, among other basic amenities.
For an adventurous and unique backcountry catskiing and snowboarding experience, without the crowds, you should consider the Island Lake Lodge. There are no TV’s or phones in the rooms – the idea is for you to relax and take in the stunning views (there is a cell phone signal booster if you need to get in touch with someone). You’ll have access to 7,000 acres of dry Rocky Mountain snow.
Your adventure starts before you get to the lodge - you can’t drive there; it is completely snowbound. Park 4 miles away and ski or snowshoe your way to the front door. The lodge is perfect for a secluded trip a romantic getaway and anything in between. It is located totally of the beaten path and is off the grid – two wells supply water and propane fuels water heaters, parlor stoves and ovens. You can rent just one of four rooms or the entire place.
The Pioneer Yurt is a 24-foot diameter yurt that sleeps up to 16 people. It has a full kitchen, bunks with pads, wood and propane stoves, solar-powered lanterns and speaker, a great wood fired sauna and even a library. You’ll find large open bowls, rugged peaks, and rolling meadows in the vicinity. Ski the steep and deep – the surrounding mountains are perfect for ski mountaineering.