We are so fortunate in Canada to have a number of accessible huts through out the Canadian Rockies. A good selection of these huts are offered through the Alpine Club of Canada
, making it an accessible get away for almost anyone. This article will walk you through the steps to research, plan, and book your very first hut trip in the Canadian Rockies. Not your first? Thats ok too! We may just inspire another.
First things first, where do you want to go!? The first step in planning a hut trip is deciding where you want to go:
You can explore the map above until your blue in the face, you can Google all the huts and read hundreds of blogs, you check out their listings on the Alpine Club of Canada Website
… All will yield a plethora of information. The problem is after doing this you will likely come to the same conclusion as me; I WANT TO GO EVERYWHERE. To help, I have broken the planning down into a few practical steps:
1. How many nights do you have to spend?
If you have read my post on the 6 thing you need to do to prepare for summer then you know the first thing I do is make a list of all the dates I have available for adventure, then how would I like to spend them. Day hikes? Backpacks? Climbing Trips? Kayaking? Eventually I whittle this down into a list of a few 2 and 3 day weekends that I reserve for backpacking. Then I look at what fits into that time frame.
When it comes to hut trips in the Canadian Rockies I have come up with a table to toggle between 2-Night, 3-Night, and 4-Night trips. Of course you can go for longer! This is simply what I determine the minimum amount of time required to see a place.
2. How far can you (or do you want to) hike in a day?
Once you are on a tab for the number of nights you will notice the distances you will have to hike in order to see that trip in that time frame. Ex: for a whorl-wind trip to the Wates-Gibson Hut you can get there in 1 day (19km) but you may not want to, though it is possible!
[toggle title=”Just One Nights” state=”open”]
Overnighters are no problem! People are often discouraged from a simple overnighter on Saturday evening. Why?! I dont know. I would much rather spend a night in the mountains that home in the city. When you approach it this way any weekend can be a mountain adventure! Here are a couple of huts that can be done as an overnighter:
- Stanley Mitchell Hut
- Abbot Hut
- Bow Hut
[toggle title=”Two Nights” state=”close”]
Perfect! With two nights to spend you can either extend your stay at any of the over night huts and explore the area in more detail or you can link up a few of these
- Wates Gibson Hut
- Conrad Kain[/toggle]
3. Are the huts available for your selected dates?
Once you have selected a couple of huts that interest you given how long you have off and how far you want to hike the next step is to check availability. You can also do this by either calling the ACC or visiting their website. In the past I have found that calling is generally the best option. Have a list of huts you are interested in and dates you have available and let the ACC pros work their magic. The staff are great at finding availability so let them know what you are into and they will make it happen!
Here you can see the ACC webpage for the Stanley Mitchell Hut. You can click the “How to Book” button for information on getting in touch with the ACC and the information that they will require from you or you can click on the “Check Availability” button to select your preferred dates.
Here i have selected the “Check Availability” button and entered in my desired dates. The site shows that they are available and that i can book by calling or emailing.
4. Developing your pre-trip package
Once you have your dates locked in the next step is to start the detailed planning. No sense doing this before only to have your heart broken when the hut is totally booked up.
5. Hitting the trail!
Remember to check last minute information for your hike as outlined in your pre-trip package. This will include things like weather and trail closures. Charge up your batteries, run through the checklist and hit the trail!