Arizona Huts Offer Lodging Alternative

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You've been hiking for miles through some of the most breathtaking wilderness you've ever seen.

Wouldn't it be nice to end the day in a cozy home away from home a haven in the wilderness where you can put your feet up and relax before heading back out on the trail?

Well, in the Rim country you can.

Arizona Huts, an innovative company that caters to outdoor enthusiasts, has developed a system of six hiking huts privately owned cabins that are available for rent.

The company's "hut-to-hut" idea was inspired by the Alpine hut system in Europe, and is the first of its kind in the state, said Hut developer Stephen Hickman.

Serviced by Terra Trek of Phoenix, each of the six cabins can accommodate eight to 12 people, and includes a toilet, shower, stove, refrigerator, dining table with chairs and beds. All of the sites are accessible by car, along dirt roads, weather permitting.

Because of their remote locations, each cabin must be prepared before the hikers arrive a service provided by Hickman's partner, Greg Wipperman of Whispering Pines. Prep fees don't include sleeping, bathing and dining accessories. Hikers must be pre-approved before arriving at the hut, at which time they'll be given a combination to the security lock boxes.

Connect the huts

The huts are at the following locations:

Jacks Canyon this hut is 10 miles northeast of Clints Well. It is the firm's northern-most cabin and is at a connecting point to the Arizona Trail.

Blue Ridge Reservoir this secluded hut has an unsurpassed view. It has a connection to the Arizona Trail, the Kinder Crossing, the Horse Crossing and other canyon areas. Blue Ridge Reservoir is eight miles south of Jacks Canyon.

Limestone Canyon this remote cabin is quiet and picturesque. It has access to several trails, including Victorine Crossing, Buck Strings and Yeager Canyon. Limestone Canyon is eight miles to the southeast.

East Verde River this cabin has a view of the Rim from the balcony and the East Verde River is just a short walk away. It is near an intersection between the Arizona Trail and the Highline Trail via the Colonel Devon Trail which connects the upper and lower Rim areas. The East Verde River site is 14 miles south of Blue Ridge Reservoir. It is the company's western-most hut below the Rim.

Ellison Creek this secluded site has a panoramic view of the Rim and access to the Highline Trail and the Myrtle Trail that connects the upper and lower Rim areas.Ellison Creek is eight miles east of the East Verde River.

Christopher Creek this hut has wooded privacy and provides access to the Highline Trail, See Canyon, Horton Creek and several other trails to the Woods Canyon Lake area.Christopher Creek is 10 miles east of Ellison Creek.This is the company's eastern-most site below the Rim.

Each hiker must sign a liability waiver. The time spent at any cabin is limited to two evenings. The huts at Limestone Canyon, Blue Ridge and Christopher Creek, however, are available for extended rental periods.

For more information, call Hickman at Terra Trek, (480) 429-6560, or visit the company's website at www.terratrek.com.

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