multiple day hikes
December 3, 2005 12:25 PM   Subscribe

Multiple day hikes? I'm interested in information on hikes that take place over a series of days. The caveat is that at the end of each day, you arrive in some lodge or other place even though the hike itself is fairly rural.

Is there something like this in the American Southwest? I saw this schedule for a hike through the Czech Republic. Except for the fact that I dont want to be part of a "program" this looks like what I'm looking for. Anything else like this in other parts of the world?

I guess the ideal would be a series of lodges in a beautiful but rural part of the world where your "task" each day is simply to make it to the next lodge. And I'm really not interested in camping. Thanks!
posted by vacapinta to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (23 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
This may or may not be helpful at all but I've done hikes in California and Arizona (in national parks) by driving there in the morning and then afterwards driving back to a nearby city with a motel. Is that not an option?

I realise that you are looking for an extended hiking trail but that may be impossible IMHO if camping is not an option.
posted by keijo at 12:32 PM on December 3, 2005

Best answer: There's the Haute Route through the Swiss Alps. It can be done as a hike in the summer or on skis (if you're an expert skier) in the winter. Takes several days.

The Alpine Club of Canada also maintains several huts in the Canadian Rockies. Hiking hut to hut isn't for the faint of heart, but you can stay in one for multiple nights and do hikes nearby. You'll have to pack in your own food and sleeping bag.

There are also several huts a day's hike apart in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

You might be able to do the Annapurna Circuit without camping. I'm not sure. Regardless, you should listen to Quiet American's fantastic Annapurna: Memories in Sound.
posted by driveler at 12:42 PM on December 3, 2005

Best answer: Sperry and Granite Park Chalets in Glacier National Park are nice options for hike-in lodging. You can easily turn either one into multi-day hiking trips. Both Sperry and Granite Park are in very beautiful areas.
posted by Staggering Jack at 12:43 PM on December 3, 2005

Anything else like this in other parts of the world?

it doesn't have regular lodges, i'm afraid, and is very much under development still, but they're working on a route the length of chile. that would be an amazing trip, since you cross so many different climates (can't think of the right word, but the route is 8.500 km north south, from the icy south to the deserts in the north...).

i've heard that tasmania has a good series of lodges, but haven't been there myself (google turns up loads of hits).
posted by andrew cooke at 12:44 PM on December 3, 2005

It is possible to do Annapurna without camping, although the accomodations along the route are often very basic. It's a beautiful route, although there are mixed reports about how safe it is in Nepal. (Link goes to a long, long thread... skip to the end for most recent comments.)
posted by blue mustard at 1:06 PM on December 3, 2005

This was sort of the gist of the question I asked recently, although I was specifically interested in Europe, not the US.
posted by footnote at 1:18 PM on December 3, 2005

Response by poster: Oops, I meant to link to your thread, footnote. I saw that earlier but was interested in casting a wider net than Europe. Thanks for the answers so far! The Chile trail looks interesting...
posted by vacapinta at 1:21 PM on December 3, 2005

Best answer: The Kungsleden trail in Northern Sweden is apparently 'dotted with comfortable huts about a day's walk apart...'
posted by misteraitch at 1:22 PM on December 3, 2005

If you're interested in the AMC White Mountain hut system drop me an email (did it on an AT section hike in '03.)
posted by Opposite George at 3:05 PM on December 3, 2005

Best answer: Colorado also has huts a day's hike apart. You can reserve a bed in one, or if you have a big group (19, I think), you can reserve your own hut.

Each of the 14 huts is equipped with mattresses, outhouses, electric lights, and propane stoves. The Summit Hut System, Crested Butte Area Huts, and the San Juan Hut System extend the creature comforts across Colorado's high country, offering endless exposure to this seldom-seen heart of the Rockies.
posted by Airhen at 3:25 PM on December 3, 2005

Best answer: The Santiago Trail in Northern Spain, from the French-Spanish border in the Pyrenees 800 km to Santiago de Compostela. In 5 days one can walk 80+ miles. The route begins in the Basque region of Spain. Beautiful landscape, great food, incredible and sometimes quite demanding hikes, particluarly from St Jean Pied de Port across the Pyrenees to Roncevalles. Each stage of the trail is 15-20 miles, sometimes a bit less. One can hike it with a pack from village to village, all of which have adequate places to stay and eat. An incredible time. First week of the trail ends in Pamplona. People go back from year to year and hike different stagesd of the trail, while some hike the whole way over a period of months. Memorable.
posted by madstop1 at 4:15 PM on December 3, 2005

Best answer: New Zealand is right up your alley. We just got back from two weeks there, and the DOC-managed tracks and hut system is fantastic. We specifically did parts of the Kepler Track and the Abel Tasman coastal track.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 4:17 PM on December 3, 2005

There is a hut system on the Kenai Penninsula in Alaska- you can ski it in the winter or hike it in the summer, about 5 days I think. Not sure exactly what trail it's on. Not too helpful, huh? I've never heard of anything in the southwest like that.
posted by fshgrl at 7:05 PM on December 3, 2005

I don't know if routes were ever recorded, but I remember reading that C.S. Lewis used to take walking vacations in England, staying at inns each night. (Who knows if the inns are still in operation.)
posted by lhauser at 7:39 PM on December 3, 2005

Best answer: There are two types of inn-to-inn trips: packaged itineraries with guides, and self-guided. Tour operators such as Backroads offer high-end packaged trips, or try self-guided tours from operators such as Responsible Travel.

Lots of options out there: Vermont, Switzerland, the U.K., and more.

I'm scheming to put something together in the Ozarks one day, but for now it's just a dream...
posted by F Mackenzie at 8:13 PM on December 3, 2005

This is a company that does self-guided tours (they give you the directions and maps for place to place, and arrange the accomodations) all over North America. I know the Gulf Islands in BC and the mainland and Cape Breton in Nova Scotia are particularly do-able on your own.
posted by fionab at 8:31 PM on December 3, 2005

Best answer: There was a question close to this in the NY Times. One of the places they recommend does luggage-free travel, where you walk yourself from village to village (no group), but they transfer your luggage for you. They recommend this company which does, among other places, Japan, Tibet, and Uganda. You could probably figure out the itinerary based on their itineraries and do it yourself for some of these trips. Awesome!
posted by fionab at 8:46 PM on December 3, 2005 [1 favorite]

South Africa's Wild Coast!

Currently only recommend walks from Wavecrest and points south, due to troubles further up the coast. It's quite a frontier which was freestate prior to the end of apartheid. Some of those rural Xhosa are armed and dangerous. OTH, they do grow some lovely herbs.
posted by Goofyy at 9:15 PM on December 3, 2005

Best answer: East Coast of Ireland: The Wicklow Way is a self guided 8-10 day walking route with lodging available each night within a reasonable distance from the trail. I was just in Dublin and heard from a few people that it's a lovely hike. The lodging is mostly hostels and B&Bs and they recommend you book ahead of time during busy season.
posted by evoo at 10:06 PM on December 3, 2005

There's a great story on hiking Scotland pub to pub in Adventure magazine!
posted by smartypanties at 9:46 PM on December 4, 2005

P.S. My above link regarding the Scotland trek is only an excerpt. You can get a backcopy of that May 2004 issue of Adventure on the website. I'm dying to make that trek.
posted by smartypanties at 10:10 PM on December 4, 2005

I'll second the recommendation for the wickow way. I've done it several times, but would only recommend the middle 4 or 5 days, the beginning and end are way too flat and boring, you're more or less plodding through farmland.

I've also done the Camino De Santiago, (by bike) and dream of getting the time to walk it properly, the scenery is varied, and always spectacular.

Really enjoyed this thread!
posted by kev23f at 6:46 AM on December 5, 2005

I'm a little late to this party, but since this is exactly the sort of thing that I do when I travel, I figured I would add a response.

First, let me recommend the Lonely Planet series of "Walking in..." guides. They have guides for Italy, Spain, Ireland, England, Scotland, New Zealand, Nepal, etc. Rather than being general travel guides, they focus on long and short walks in those areas, and many, many of the walks are exactly the sort that you're after.

To the great list of walks that people have mentioned above I would add the Coast-to-Coast walk in the UK, and I'll second the recommendation for treks in Nepal and New Zealand. On my list for the (hopefully near) future is one of the following: the Santiago walk, a Scottish highlands walk, the Wicklow Way, or a walk in Cornwall. Ah, damn, there are just so many!

Good journey to you, and thanks for the excellent question...
posted by zueod at 8:51 AM on December 5, 2005 [1 favorite]

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