A glittering diamond in the rough © Sebastian Frölich/Offset by Shutterstock
Peering from this vantage point you may wonder, how in the world could anyone access this hut nestled in Germany"s Bavarian Alps? By hiking in, of course. There are well over 1,000 such huts dotting the Alpine landscape throughout Europe, most of them built and maintained by private social clubs devoted to climbing, hiking, and other activities in the mountains. These huts allow hikers to light out onto the extensive trail systems, sometimes for days, while carrying as little gear as possible. No need to pack cooking equipment, tents and sleeping bags when you have guaranteed shelter each night, with dinners, breakfasts, and, if you"re lucky, a hot shower, included.