Zealand Falls Hut

Zealand Falls Hut, constructed in 1932 in the beautiful Zealand Valley, has become a popular destination among families and those new to the backcountry due to the easy hike to reach it and its proximity to its namesake waterfall, a 25-foot high series of cascades on Whitewall Brook.

Contact Info:

White Mountains, New Hampshire

Hike-in
Shuttle stop at the trailhead

Zealand Falls Hut

Season Dates:

Full Service Season
June 3, 2021 – October 16, 2021

Self-Service Season
Closed for Season

 

Zealand Falls Hut, sitting at an elevation of 2,700 feet, is an easy 2.8 miles from the trailhead and a great first-time backcountry overnight spot.  For more seasoned adventurers, Zealand Falls Hut is a great access point to the eastern section of the Pemigewasset Wilderness, near Mount Zealand, the Bonds, and other majestic peaks. Zealand Falls passes within fifty feet of the hut, with swimming holes upstream, and ponds below the falls. Visitors can hike just over a mile to the Zeacliff lookout and take in views of the Pemigewasset Wilderness to the south and Willey Range to the east.

Zealand Falls Hut offers co-ed bunkrooms and separate washrooms, with cold water sinks (seasonal) and composting toilets. AMC Huts are in backcountry locations and are “off the grid,” meaning they are only accessible by hiking. Bunkhouses are not heated, have no lighting, and no electrical outlets. Rooms stay cold, so bring an appropriately rated sleeping bag and a headlamp or flashlight for your overnight visit.

The legendary AMC hut “croo” or caretakers are available to assist you with trip planning, trail information, and weather reports while our Hut Naturalist offers daily programs about the local flora and fauna, geology, and hut history before and after dinner in full-service season.

 

Full-Service

Cold running water is available in the washrooms. Blankets and pillows will no longer be provided at the huts. Dinner and breakfast are included with your stay. Breakfast is served family-style at 7 a.m. sharp and includes eggs with pancakes or a baked good, plus hot cereal, fruit, and breakfast meat, such as bacon or sausage, with coffee, cocoa, or tea. Dinner is served family-style at 6 p.m. sharp and includes fresh bread, soup, salad, a hearty entrée, and dessert. Please notify AMC Contact Service Center if you have food allergies or other dietary restrictions. Bring your own lunch; otherwise soup and baked goods are available for purchase from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please carry in/carry out all personal trash and recyclables, in accordance with Leave No Trace protocol.

 

Self-Service

Open for self-service from late fall through the end of May a caretaker is available from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. The caretaker may light a fire in the main room after 4 p.m. Guests pack in their own food and have full use of the hut’s stove, oven, cookware, and service ware. There is no running water in winter, however potable water from a well is provided by the caretaker. Please plan to carry in/carry out all personal trash and recyclables, in accordance to Leave No Trace protocol.

 

Getting Around

AMC’s Hiker Shuttle connects the Highland Center, Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, and the towns of Lincoln and Gorham with major trails to the huts, allowing hikers to start and end their trip at different points. The stop in the town of Lincoln is coordinated with Concord Coach bus service. Hiker Shuttle runs daily for most of the full-service hut season, from early June to mid-September. The shuttle operates on weekends only from mid-September to mid-October. Reservations are strongly recommended.

 

Trail Access

Zealand Trail to Zealand Falls Hut is 2.8 miles and considered easy. A major portion of the trail uses the abandoned railroad bed once used to haul logs from Zealand Valley. The terrain is gentle with some rocks and roots to negotiate. There is a short uphill climb less than a quarter mile leading up to the hut, but it is soon forgotten when you take in the magnificent view from the porch. Hikers should plan to hike 1 to 3 hours, with 600 feet of elevation gain. It will take an additional 2-3 hours hiking time in the winter because of the road closure and may be possible to ski to the hut in winter, depending on conditions. The Zealand Trailhead (USFS parking pass required) is located at the south end of the Zealand Road (FR16) which begins at NH Route 302, approx. 2.3 miles east of the Twin Mountain intersection. Due to seasonal road access, the forest service road accessing the Zealand Trail is closed during snow/mud season, typically November-May. During self-service season, visitors must walk the additional 3 miles along the road.

 

Weather

The right clothing and gear are essential in the unpredictable weather of the Northeast’s mountains. Even if it feels like summer in the valleys, it can be cold and winter-like on the high peaks. Be prepared for severe weather regardless of season, dress in layers (including synthetic or wool base and insulating layers, and a windproof/waterproof outer shell), eat high energy foods, and stay hydrated.

 

Our Commitment to Sustainable Operations

AMC has a long-standing commitment to using its huts, lodges, and sporting camps as models for sustainable operations and environmental stewardship. At Zealand Falls Hut we use a hydro electric generator to create electricity for the hut and use LED lighting. The hut has composting toilets and we are committed to recycling and composting food.

 

 

 

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