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The best things in life really are free.

Cailey Rizzo
April 04, 2017

Generally when people say something like “the best things in life are free,” they’re talking about the simpler things in life — like quality time with family and friends or a nice stroll around the park. They don’t generally mean things like a free vacation rental.

But members of the Mountaineering Club of Alaska can take up residence in seven huts throughout Alaskan mountain ranges for free. (Membership to the club costs $20 annually for an individual or $25 for a family.)

The seven huts are located throughout the Chugach and Talkeetna mountains at varying altitudes. Members can choose to set up camp in the lodges overnight or just use them as a resting stop on a mountaineering trip.

The most popular of the huts is the Mint Hut, a picturesque red cabin at a base camp of the Talkeetna Mountains. It was built in 1971 and it often used by travelers because it’s fairly easy to access. The hut is located at the headwaters of the Little Susitna River, a half-mile from Mint Glacier.

If you happen to be traversing through Alaska, there are a variety of seven different huts located within the state’s mountain ranges that members of the Mountaineering Club of Alaska can stay at for free.

While the club itself does have a membership fee that costs $20 for an individual or $25 per family a year, members can take advantage of these cabins while exploring Alaska’s magnificent natural terrain.

The huts are scattered throughout the Chugach and Talkeetna Mountains, and sit at varying altitudes so those who are hiking or climbing can take up residence. Huts like the Mint Hut can sleep up to eight people at a time and come with views like the Little Susitna River.

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The hut can sleep up to eight people at a time — although guests should be warned that they won’t have luxurious amenities. There is no bathroom — only an outhouse affectionately referred to as “Darth Vader” — and water must be collected from a nearby creek and stored in a large pot.

Reservations for the hut are not required. Space is first come, first served. More information is available from the Mountaineering Club.

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