Who Are We?
Official name: Alaska Mountain and Wilderness Huts Association, Inc.
The organization is based in Anchorage, Alaska (mailing address is on the Contacting Us page). There are no huts open yet, but renovation work on the Manitoba Cabin is anticipated soon. The intention is that the hut system be built within a reasonable drive of the state's major population centers (Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna Valley) in a scenic mountain environment. We currently are working on locations in the Kenai Mountains that fit the bill almost perfectly.
The organization began to form in February 1998 and officially incorporated August 29, 1998. Selecting a site, raising funds, acquiring necessary permits, and building the first huts has taken some time. We are actively working with Chugach National Forest and the State of Alaska (Department of Natural Resources) to open our first sites. It looks like Manitoba Cabin will be the first and has potential to open in 2012 or 2013, after serious renovations.
Huts mean fun in the backcountry—a new way for people to get outdoors and active, a way to accommodate an education group. Getting outdoors individually or with a group raises the level of stewardship for wild lands and public lands in general. See our mission statement on the home page. We also strive to show, in a small way, how tourism, recreation, and education can combine for sustainable economic development in a state where resource extraction and boom and bust economies have ruled. In short, we're motivated to establish a new recreation and education option not available anywhere in Alaska.
We are currently a volunteer organization. Huts are intended to be built with grant funds and likely a combination of volunteer and professional efforts, ideally in partnership with a land managing agency. Contact us if you believe a hut to hut system would be great in Alaska, and let us know if you have time, funds, materials, or ideas to offer!