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Backpacker Magazine – September 2008

Adventure Weekends: Luxury Hiking and Camping

We've got a selection of cozy shelters and trail-side restaurants from Washington to Maine. Check out these hikes in the Rockies, the Northeast, and the Northwest.

by: Jenn Fields

Ecola State Park, OR (George Wuerthner)
Ecola State Park, OR (George Wuerthner)
Glen Canyon, UT (Geoffrey Sandine).
Glen Canyon, UT (Geoffrey Sandine).

NORTHEAST

2 days
Mount Greylock State Reservation, MA
Just pack raingear, extra layers, and snacks–the Harbor House Bed and Breakfast in Cheshire (413-743-8959) is your posh shelter for this 23-mile out-and-back over Mt. Greylock, the state's high point. From the Appalachian Trail junction on Notch Road, head south through oak, birch, and fir as you climb to the 3,491-foot summit. Pass views of the Taconics and Hoosacs on the descent to Cheshire. Hike 0.8 mile up MA 8 to the inn. mass.gov/dcr

3 days
Harriman and Bear Mountain State Parks, NY
Escape the city and lounge in log shelters in the Hudson Highlands on the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail. From Bear Mountain SP, head west to cross 1,119-foot Bald Mountain and the black-rock cliffs beyond on the way to West Mountain Shelter. Continue 11.6 miles through swampy dips and steep climbs to the Fingerboard Shelter the next day. Finish on Lake Askoti via Hogencamp Mountain. nysparks.state.ny.us/parks

4 days
Maine Huts & Trails, ME
When completed, this new hut system will have 11 cabins spread out over 180 miles in the Western Mountains backcountry. Each will offer private rooms, mattresses and pillows, hot showers, and home-cooked meals. But you don't have to wait: Poplar Stream Falls Hut opened last February in Carrabassett Valley, and the Flagstaff Hut, 10 miles to the north, will open in December. Plan now for a 35-mile, four-day out-and-back ski or snowshoe connecting both huts. Start at the Campbell Field trailhead. Reach the first hut via the Narrow Gauge Trail, beneath Mount Bigelow, and the Poplar Stream Trail. Continue through wetlands (watch for moose) past Flagstaff Lake to Flagstaff Hut on day two; night three is back at the Poplar Stream Falls Hut. mainehuts.org




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READERS COMMENTS

Star Star
Randi
May 03, 2013

You completely missed the High Sierra Caps in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. The tent cabins have linens. There are hot showers, and some of the best chefs in the state of California come up there to cook for the campers.
You can hike great backcountry with nothing more than your clothes, a liner sheet, and a toothbrush

Charles ingalls
Apr 12, 2010

I saw 2 chupacabra's on the at near massie's gap.

Nor Cal Lover
Apr 09, 2010

Yosemite and other great national parks have "tent cabins" you can camp in and are surrounded by very beautiful areas. What about Big Sur? I'm not quite sure I would have called the title luxury camping. There are places in WA that have cabins you can hike to and will have your bed and food waiting for you when you arrive and will pack a lunch for you the next day; that would be luxury to me and I didn't notice it on the list.

Raul
Apr 09, 2010

The AT is constantly being mentioned in lists similar to this one. As for the south: what really attracts people to go there for outdoor activities? Unless you want to go out hiking in the woods and be hanged by some "hill billies" wearing white hoods, I'd stick to the greater areas west of the Mississippi (being Mexican I would never visit the south).

Tom Faranda
Apr 08, 2010

One strong vote for the Harriman and Bear Mtn walk above. I know the area - I live nearby - and it's quite nice.

Jerry
Apr 08, 2010

I'm not sure who put this list together but the title is certainly misleading. Huts and off trail camp spots do not luxury make. If you want great digs and dining, try the Rogue River trail. A hike to the Oregon coast that will not be forgotten. You need nothing more than a daypack and a camera for 4 full days of adventure and backcountry lodges.

Mike
Apr 08, 2010

Thanks for leaving Vermont off - I appreciate it.

Brian
Apr 08, 2010

I find it interesting how often the mid-atlantic gets passed over by the outdoor press. 500 plus miles (more than any other state) of the AT are in VA, you'd think we would be mentioned a bit more in these types of features.

I know we're not as sexy as the northwest, the sierras, or the rockies...but come on man, how about some love for VA!

tr
Apr 08, 2010

LeConte Lodge in GSMNP is great. 5 different approach trails provide plenty of variety. Don't forget to order the bottomless glass of wine with dinner.

Floyd
Apr 08, 2010

How about the Cranberry Backcountry in West Virginia? Fairly wild, but there are also several Appalachian trail shelters available. This is bear country, though we saw no bears. I backpacked there 15 years ago, so check with the Gauley Ranger District about trail shelters and whether bear canisters are needed.

Bill
Apr 08, 2010

How about California? Couldn't find anything out here? 30 million of us feel left out.

Sharon Elsey, Adventuresports
Apr 08, 2010

Garrett County, Maryland is filled with several state parks and forest areas, as well as a large lake. We are a 4 season resort area & even have a recirculating whitewater course for those who like to compete and those who have never tried it. We even offer an Adventure Sports Program at the college.

Jon
Apr 08, 2010

If not "the south" a couple in the mid-Atlantic between Maryland and Georgia. We do have the AT afterall, and a lot of supporting terrain.

David
Apr 08, 2010

How about the south, please? More particularly, Virginia.

Mo
Feb 22, 2010

Nothing in the South because we're hillbillies...we go hikin in the woods and can git any food we need with our shotguns...

Dan
Jan 24, 2010

I agree, would like to see one or more of these listed for Virginia.

MarK Mitchell
Dec 31, 2009

Why not anywhere in virginia, I know Virginia Backcountry in Damascus can provide all those things.

Anonymous
Jun 15, 2009

why not anywhere in Tennessee

pat
Oct 31, 2008

What about the South??

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