The Appalachian Mountain Club runs many huts, but the Lakes of the Clouds Hut is the highest and most visited destination. The hut is positioned at 5,012 feet on a ridge below Mount Washington’s peak, New Hampshire’s and the Northeast’s highest point. The cabin is an ideal spot for viewing pink and white alpine flowers, sitting alongside the Lakes of the Clouds, or watching a spectacular sunset.
The hut beds about 90 hikers and is open for full service from June to mid-September, serving daily family-style breakfasts and dinners. Co-ed bunkrooms and separate washrooms with cold running water and composting toilets are available at the Lakes of the Clouds Hut. Bunkrooms are not heated, do not have lights, and do not have electrical outlets. Hikers are welcome to stop in for coffee, soup, or baked sweets for a nominal cost and/or donation if they happen to be passing by the hut during the day.
Lakes of the Clouds Hut can be accessed via the Lakes of the Clouds Trail. The trailhead is located next to the Marshfield Base Station and the trail itself is 4.4 miles out and back. The hut trail is rated as hard considering there are many boulders and large stretches of rock requiring all-out scrambles and bear crawls. 2,388 feet of elevation are gained on the trail to the hut.
Many hikers do not end their hiking at the hut, but rather use it as a jumping-off point while seeking even more challenging pursuits. Hikers can go on to tackle nearby Mount Washington or Mount Monroe.
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- Type: Viewpoint/Hut
- Elevation: 5,012 ft
- Parent mountain: Mount Washington and Mount Monroe
- Easiest trail: Lakes of the Clouds Trail
- Trail distance: 4.4 miles (out and back)
- Trail difficulty: Hard
- Trail popularity: Medium
- Elevation gain: 2,388 ft
- Estimated hike time: 4-5 hours
- Address: Base Station Rd
- Town: Jackson
- State: New Hampshire
- GPS: Lat 44.25886 Lng -71.31897
- Parking notes: The closest parking lot to the shortest trail is The Mount Washington Cog Railway parking lot. There are hundreds of parking spaces, but they do fill up early because many visitors hike the various mountains and take the cog railway. Additional parking can be found at the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trailhead parking lot located further down Base Station Rd.
- Parking directions: HERE
- Location directions: HERE
Carl Tamas –
Sunset over the highest peak of the White Mountains
It’s always a pleasure to pass what is arguably the most iconic of the AMC huts in the White Mountains. Surrounded by countless mountain layers, this hut always makes for a nice capture.