Bunk in Skiers' Heaven

Sequoia National Park, California
national parks in winter

The Pear Lake Winter Hut offers the perfect basecamp for skiing Sequoia. Check out more of the country’s finest backcountry ski huts at backpacker.com/huts. photo: Bergreen Photography

If your idea of a perfect weekend is ripping down the snowy slopes of 11,000-foot Sierra peaks by day, then kicking back at a cozy, timber-and-stone hut by night, then Pear Lake Winter Hut is your backcountry heaven. This 10-person shelter sits in a snowy bowl at 9,200 feet, surrounded by more skiable terrain than neighboring Yosemite’s better-known Ostrander Ski Hut. It requires a strenuous, 6-mile ski or snowshoe trip to reach, making it best for intermediate to advanced winter travelers with avy know-how. Once you’ve claimed your bunk, earn your turns on challenging ski runs with views over barbed Sierra summits or snowshoe through quiet conifer forests and up steep ridgelines—or don’t. Somebody’s gotta keep the pellet stove fed and make the hot toddies. Season December to April Lodging Policy for the 2020/21 season is still being decided due to COVID concerns