Top 5 Backcountry Hut Destinations for June

 

Spring has come to the Mountains

June is a transition month in the mountains - the beginning of the month is still springtime with remnants of the winter's snow and by the end of the month it's full-on summer. The days are long and getting warmer but some trails can still be muddy. By the end of the month school is out and everything starts getting busier. You want to go backcountry now, but where’s good? What's it going to be like? Here's our list of five great bets for June - huts that are accessible, open and awesome. Did we miss something? Do you have a favourite June hut destination? Let us know in the comments below.

Expect springtime conditions everywhere in the mountains - meaning variable weather and trails that could be muddy or slushy. For each hut we’ve listed the available hut dates but these will change. You can check current availability by going to each hut’s webpage and using our calendar widget.


#5 – Elk Lakes Cabin

What’s it got? Sparkling lakes, majestic peaks and nearly limitless hiking options are waiting to be explored in Elk Lakes Park. The Elk Lakes Cabin is cozy (sleeps 14), is a short drive from Calgary and you can ride a mountain bike on the approach.

 Elk Lakes Cabin. Close to Calgary, mountain bike to the hut.

Elk Lakes Cabin. Close to Calgary, mountain bike to the hut.

Why go in June? Get a jump on a summer of exploring with your family by going somewhere that’s a bit off the beaten track. The trails will take you somewhere new everyday and with a very low snow year, things should dry up early.

Call (403) 678-3200 ext 0 to get more info or to make a booking.


#4 – A.O. Wheeler Hut

What’s it got? The Wheeler Hut is a base for hiking, hiking and more hiking in Glacier National Park at Rogers Pass. And it’s a cozy wood cabin that you can drive to that’s got space for lots of friends and family (sleeps 30).

 Wheeler Hut – room for 30 of your closest friends. Photo by Barbara Budenz.

Wheeler Hut – room for 30 of your closest friends. Photo by Barbara Budenz.

Why go in June? Summer will be early this year and many of the higher trails will be free of snow in June. All of the trails lower down should be in great shape.

Call (403) 678-3200 ext 0 to get more info or to make a booking.


#3 - Abbot Pass Hut

What’s it got? Abbot Pass Hut is a beautiful and historic stone hut that sits on the Continental Divide and the Alberta/BC border. It has traditionally been used as a base for mountaineering routes on Mts. Lefroy and Victoria but it's recently become a popular destination for hikers looking for a bit higher level of adventure.

 Abbot Pass in summer. Snow conditions will vary. Photo by Dave Preissl.

Abbot Pass in summer. Snow conditions will vary. Photo by Dave Preissl.

Why go in June? The peaks are often in better condition later in the summer so this will appeal more to the hikers than the mountaineers, but the approach hike can be a bit easier in the spring with steps in the snow up the scree slope making for easier traveling. Add to that the stunning views of the high, snowy peaks from the second highest habitable structure in Canada and you've got an amazing hiking adventure.

Note: This is an alpine environment. Please check with Parks about avalanche conditions before any trip.

Call (403) 678-3200 ext 0 to get more info, get updates on bus availability or to make a booking.


#2 - Stanley Mitchell Hut

What’s it got? The Stanley Mitchell Hut in the Little Yoho Valley is a destination for hikers from around the world. The hut is gorgeous and the trails from the hut are spectacular. There’s national park trails, scrambling peaks and moderate mountaineering on the Presidents. Add in the stunning return trip via the Iceline Trail and you’ve got a classic Rockies backcountry adventure.

 Cozy Stanley Mitchell Hut. Photo by Adrienne Corcoran.

Cozy Stanley Mitchell Hut. Photo by Adrienne Corcoran.

Why go in June? The biggest reason is because it’s hard to get a booking in the summer. But June at Stanley Mitchell has it’s own charms as well. The summer approach hike begins at Takkakaw Falls and takes a few hours. In winter, the road up to the falls is not plowed, adding about 13km to the approach. In June the road is mostly dry and you can bike that section (the ride out will be a gas). Book for one of the days before the road is open and you’re likely the have the hut, and the trails, to yourself.

Call (403) 678-3200 ext 0 to get more info or to make a booking.


#1 - Elizabeth Parker Hut

What’s it got? The Lake O’Hara area, with its sublime alpine lakes and scenery, amazing network of hiking trails and alpine routes is rightfully famous around the world as a hiker’s paradise. The Elizabeth Parker Hut is your cozy, historic base for this hiking.

 Elizabeth Parker Hut. Photo by Barbara Budenz.

Elizabeth Parker Hut. Photo by Barbara Budenz.

Why go in June? Overnights at EP Hut in the summer "bus season" are booked by lottery the previous autumn so planning in advance is essential. In June you can sneak in just as summer is starting by either grabbing a couple of nights that didn’t get taken in the lottery, or by hiking up the road in the days before the bus starts running and have the place to yourself. You’ll find snow on the higher trails and the meadow flowers will be less spectacular than later on, but after a very light snow year, summer promises to come earlier than usual this year.

Call (403) 678-3200 ext 0 to get more info or to make a booking.


Choose from 24 Huts

We're letting our community know about best-bet hut trips for the coming month. We'll be featuring huts that are open and accessible including popular destinations and hidden gems. Check back here on or about the 15th of each month for word on the following month, then make your plans - and go to the mountains!

The Alpine Club of Canada operates the largest network of backcountry huts in North America, most of which are open year-round. If you don't see a hut that interests you here, try our website.