by Heath Jones
Summer is slowly coming to a close and the days are getting shorter. The air is beginning to feel like fall. If you’d like to keep enjoying the outdoors, yet have a place to get out of the weather for a bit, now is a perfect time to explore the huts at Mount Tahoma Trails Association.
The huts are open to the public every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. They can also be reserved for overnight stays, and it's a lot easier to reserve a spot during the fall. (Winter spots, especially weekends, are mostly booked the the MTTA's annual gala.) Whether you stay the night, or just for a couple hours, the huts offer a cozy spot to warm up, enjoy a hot meal and take in the beauty of the mountains.
High Hut holds 8 people overnight and has a 360 degree view of all the major peaks, including Mount Rainier, Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens. On a clear day you can even see the Olympics. High hut includes a stove, oven, water, bedding and utensils. There is also a fire pit to use outdoors.
BRUNI’S SNOW BOWL
Bruni’s Snow Bowl holds 14 people overnight and is 3 miles south of High Hut. Many day hikers will visit both in a single outing. For a multi night trip, consider staying the first night at High Hut and the second at Snow Bowl. Bruni’s also has a gazebo dedicated to Judy Scavone, a long time MTTA member and advocate for preserving the land around the huts. Local vegetation and wildflowers have been planted here to create a serene place for the community to enjoy.
The Yurt has the capacity to house 6. While lacking a view of Mount Rainier, The Yurt makes up for it with its dense forest nearby which offer endless options for one to hang their hammock. Just a few hundred feet north of The Yurt, the trees give way to a meadow with a perfect view of the mountain.
Copper Creek sleeps 14 people and has running water. It’s a 1,000-foot climb from the sno-park, and it is the easiest of the huts to access. Many families use a trip to Copper Creek to introduce their kids to outdoor adventures.
The huts are free to use from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., but online reservations ($15 per person per night) are required for overnight stays.
Like any other fall hiking, you should be prepared for winter weather before you attempt the venture to Mount Tahoma Trails Association. Fall can quickly become winter. Be prepared for rain and snow. And keep in mind, snow can build up quickly, so be prepared for snow travel, even if there's not snow when you begin your trip.