by Michael Blanding
All the fun of camping without any of the dirt or cleanup, this authentic mountain lodge run by the Appalachian Mountain Club has served as a wilderness refuge for generations of families. Situated right at the base of Mount Washington, it plays host to hikers, who pile into bunkhouse-style dorm rooms; but it also accommodates families in private rooms with a double bed and twin bunk beds. Most packages include a large buffet-style dinner, as well as an all-you-can-eat hearty dinner. Ask ahead for a trail lunch to go as well.
The Ritz, of course, it’s not; this remains a rustic wilderness hiking lodge. Beds, however, are surprisingly comfortable, and shared bathrooms spotlessly clean. The lodge also offers an array of family-friendly outdoor programs — including hiking, cross-country skiing, orienteering, and astronomy — for which guests can sign up in advance or just join on the spot. No gear? No problem. The lodge lends out boots and other equipment for free. Of course, the lodge also serves as a perfect basecamp to explore the Mount Washington Valley, including trails around Mt. Washington and the Great Gulf Wilderness, Wildcat Ski Area, or the Auto Road up the mountain to the weather observation center at its peak.
Our Editor Loves
- Private family rooms with bunk beds
- An array of family-friendly outdoor programs
- Hearty all-you-can-eat breakfast and dinner
- Children Programs
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
Joe Dodge Lodge is part of the Appalachian Mountain Club's lodgings. Located in Pinkham Notch, it is surrounded by great hiking and downhill or x country ski trails for all abilities. Because it is part of the AMC the staff is very helpful in providing information and suggestions depending on what type of outdoor experience you are seeking. The nightly cost covers a hearty breakfast and 4 course dinner either served buffet style (on the weekends) or family style during the week. The lodge has 2 floors and bunk rooms for 2 or 4 people, and several rooms with either a double or queen bed. The rooms are simply yet tastefully furnished with LL Bean style furnishings and comfortable beds. There is a shared mens and women's bathroom on each floor. There is a large room for groups to gather in the evening and a smaller library. In each of these rooms you can relax around a gas fireplace.
Part of our stay for hiking in the Whites (also stayed at high mountain huts). Hikers everywhere. So cool to see people so in love with and promoting outdoor activities. The food was awesome (BBQ beef brisket for dinner!) very clean and comfy and quiet at night