Answers to Your Questions Related to the 2021 AMC Huts Season

AMC's Galehead Hut will be closed the month of May due to COVID-19 restrictions.
PAULA CHAMPAGNEAMC’s Galehead Hut

 

AMC is carefully monitoring federal guidelines and recommendations related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and determining our best courses of action to provide a safe environment for our guests staying at our backcountry huts. The staff and volunteers here at the AMC would like to thank you for your understanding, patience, and compliance as we have navigated and continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19. 

 

Latest Update (June 30, 2021):  AMC is now operating its New Hampshire high huts for overnight guests at full capacity starting and intends to continue to offer overnight lodging throughout its normal operating season.  

Food will be served to guests in the dining rooms according to current New Hampshire Restaurant Best Practices. Meals will be served either plated or family style. 

Blankets and pillows will not be provided in the huts for the duration of this summer and fall, as we have neither storage nor laundry capacity to ensure proper cleaning or replacement of shared bedding between guests. Guests should bring their own appropriately rated sleeping bag and pillow.  Mattresses will be disinfected between users. 

Vaccination is recommended but not required for guests. The Huts operate on public land, managed either by the White Mountain National Forest or the State Parks of New Hampshire. At present, requiring proof of vaccination at our facilities would jeopardize the Special Use permits that allow for our operation as a non-profit entity on public lands. 

As we have all learned over the past year, every individual has their own risk tolerance.  While AMC has taken steps to mitigate some risk, there are still inherent risks involved in overnight lodging and indoor dining. Individuals choosing to stay at an AMC hut in 2021 are assuming personal responsibility and accepting increased risks regarding COVID-19. If you feel uncomfortable with these risks, AMC suggests you delay your stay to later in the year or to one of our front country lodges. 

The robust participation of hut and lodge guests in all COVID health and safety precautions will go a long way towards defining the viability of this season. Even if you are vaccinated, your efforts of social distancing and mask-wearing will enable all to feel comfortable in the unique communal atmosphere of these special places. We thank you in advance for rolling with the inconveniences and wrinkles in the traditional hut experience. This will enable us all to return to something more familiar as quickly as possible. 

 

Q: Can I reserve a specific bunkroom? 

A:  Due to a variety of logistical challenges we are not allowing reservations for specific bunkrooms. Hut Croo will assign bunkroom space to ensure space needs are met, and these bunk assignments are final. 

 

Q: Are masks required in the huts? 

A: In the state of NH, masks are not required, but are certainly welcome. 

 

Q: I don’t feel comfortable staying at the huts right now but would like to move my reservation to later in the summer. Can I do this now? 

A:   A Contact Service Center representative can assist you in moving your reservation to a later date, free of charge. Changes must be made more than 14 days prior to your arrival date.  

 

Q: How can I contact the Contact Service Center? 

A:  You can reach a representative at the Contact Service Center by calling 603-466-2727 Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or email us at amclodging@outdoors.org. 

 

Q: What is the plan for meal service in the huts?  

A: ​  Dinner will be served in the traditional family-style.  This will mean eating shoulder to shoulder with other guests and passing platters of food around the communal table. 

 

Q: Will walk-ins/thru hikers be allowed in the huts? 

A:  We regret to announce that we will not be offering work for stay this year in the huts.  The popular Thru-Hiker Pass will still be available at all staffed AMC shelters and tent-sites along the AT. 

AMC also discourages walk-in guests due to the low likelihood of space being available. If space is available at the time of the request, walk-ins will be accepted.  The huts will continue to serve as a refuge for folks in an emergency. 

 

Q: If someone arrives late in the day at a hut and has symptoms, how will that be handled? 

A:  If the sick hiker is able to hike out on their own and isolate, that is ideal . If medical or weather conditions make that impossible or unsafe, AMC  has contingency plans to address those emergency situations. As always in the COVID-era, if you feel less than 100%, please take care of yourself, rather than risk infecting others. The mountains will be here when you are healthy. 

 

Q: Will there be food available at the huts for day trippers? 

A:  Food, including snacks and soup, will continue to be available for day trippers . Self-serve food stations are allowed in the state of New Hampshire so day food will look similar to past years. 

 

Q: Will day hikers be able to seek shelter or eat lunch inside the huts? 

A:  Yes, day hikers are able to seek shelter and eat snacks and lunch inside the huts.

 

Q: Will water be available at the huts for day trippers? 

A:  All Huts will have drinking water available inside of the hut as well as from an exterior spigot. 

 

Q: Will the hut restrooms be open for day trippers? 

A:  All Huts have restrooms available to guests and day visitors until closing at the end of the season. 

 

Q: Will proof of a vaccination or testing be required? 

A:  The Huts operate on public land, managed either by the White Mountain National Forest or the State Parks of New Hampshire. At present, requiring proof of vaccination at our facilities would jeopardize the Special Use permits that allow for our operation as a non-profit entity on public lands. 

 

Q: Will your hut croo be vaccinated?  

A:  Hut croo members are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated when they are eligible. 

 

Q: What are your cleaning protocols? 

A:  Pillows and blankets have been removed and mattresses will be wiped down between uses.  High touch areas will be cleaned with frequency. 

 

Q: Will the hiker shuttle be open this year? 

A:  Yes. The shuttle is in full operation. 

 

Q: Will shuttle capacity be reduced?  

A:  Shuttle capacity will not be reduced. AMC will focus on mitigating risk by requiring masks, increasing ventilation, and using vehicles with higher capacities when possible. 

 

Q: Will there be partitions between seats on the shuttle?  

A:  No. We will try to space people when possible, but this may not be possible on busy days. 

 

Q: Will walk-ons be allowed on the shuttle?  

A:  Walk-ons will be allowed if there is space for them. 

 

Q: Will N95s or Face Coverings will be required on the shuttle?    

A:  Masking is required as our shuttle is considered public transportation. Double masking is required. AMC will provide disposable masks to be worn under an existing personal cloth mask, following guidelines based on the emerging science associated with the efficacy of “double masking.” 


 

About the Author…

Kelleigh Welch

AMC Director of Content

Kelleigh is the Director of Content at AMC.

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