Throughout the pandemic, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.
Backcountry huts used to be the exclusive domain of skiers and backpackers, but lately, cabins from Maine to Oregon are doing their best to cater to two wheels, with perks like tuning stations, flowing singletrack, and gear shuttles.
Lost Trail Lodge
Located four miles deep in Truckee’s Coldstream Canyon and accessible via rugged dirt roads, Lost Trail isn’t so much a hut as it is a deluxe off-the-grid lodge, with a chef’s kitchen, four bedrooms, and Jacuzzi tubs (from $230). There’s no cell service, and electricity comes from solar panels and a generator, but there is a bike tuning station and access to stellar trails like Yogi Bear, BooBoo’s, and JP’s, each featuring purpose-built singletrack with stellar climbs and descents.
Copper Mountain, Colorado
You’ll find this 3,000-square-foot log cabin located at 11,610 feet just east of the Continental Divide near the Copper Mountain ski area (from $38). In summer, you can ride part of the 500-mile Colorado Trail to access the cabin, which sleeps 14. It’s a demanding trail for novice cyclists but is easily tackled by more experienced mountain bikers. Plus, there’s a wood-burning sauna waiting for you to ease your saddle sores.
Mount Hood, Oregon
Want to go hut to hut on a mountain bike? These five Mount Hood cabins are connected by sections of singletrack and part of the original route of the historic Oregon Trail. Trip lengths start at three days, and the six-day Grand Tour will see you riding eight to 43 miles a day and staying in all five huts along the way (from $292 for three days). Each accommodation is equipped with bunk beds and a basic kitchen with cooking supplies and a propane stove. It’s all self-guided, so you’ll navigate your own way and carry your own gear, but detailed directions are provided.
Maine Huts and Trails
Carrabassett Valley, Maine
Maine Huts and Trails is home to four solar- and hydro-powered lodges and 80 miles of singletrack that wind through Maine’s Carrabassett Valley. You can connect all four or ride in to stay a night or two in a private or shared room at the hut of your choice (from $96). Locally sourced breakfasts and dinners are included with your stay. You can also shell out a little extra for beer and wine, gear shuttles between the huts, and guided rides.
Methow Valley, Washington
A popular Nordic skiing area in winter, the Rendezvous Huts in Washington’s scenic Methow Valley, on the east side of the North Cascades, have also become a hot spot for summer bike trips (from $110). You’ll need to carry in your own gear and food, but the five huts, which sleep eight to ten people, each include a basic kitchen, bunk beds, and wood-burning stoves. The trail network—an extensive collection of varied singletrack—offers plenty of mellow trails for newer bikers.
South Chilcotin, British Columbia
Deep in BC’s striking South Chilcotin Mountains Provincial Park, there’s a cozy wooden cabin with bunks, a wood-fire sauna, and outdoor showers. To get there, you’ll need to book this guided multiday bike trip with Tyax Adventures. Guides will lead the way, and camp hosts do all the cooking. Most of the trips start with a floatplane entry into the backcountry, where you and your bike will get dropped into a remote locale.