Hike-in Hut

Sierra Club Hikers Hut

One of the Santa Cruz Mountains' coziest overnight escapes is accessed by a 1.5-mile hike through towering redwoods and shaded fern canyons. The Ollie Mayer Hiker's Hut is an A-frame inspiration built by the Sierra Club in the '70s and today remains a Bay Area treasure. To reach it, walk the Towne Trail from Sam McDonald Park parking lot, admiring the rolling hills, and counting banana slugs. Soon enough, you're enjoying panoramic views from the top of Towne Ridge, with layers of mountains unfolding all the way to the ocean. The rustic yet comfortable cabin has a kitchen with a stove and microwave, and enough bed platforms to sleep larger groups—though you may prefer an intimate party of two. And yes, there are flush toilets. The large wooden deck makes a great hangout while the sun sets, and on warm summer nights people even sleep out on it. Get your Santa Cruz-zzzs.

Non–Sierra Club members: $30 per person Saturday only (1 night); $25 per person per night on Friday, Saturday, and holidays. $20 per person per night for Sunday through Thursday. Members pay $5 less. No dogs.

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Three Beaches to the Wind

    This beautiful 7-mile (round-trip) coastal hike in the Marin Headlands connects three beaches: Muir Beach, Pirates Cove, and Tennessee Cove.

    View
  2. Muir Woods Through the Backdoor

    A backdoor entrance into Muir Woods? Hike a tranquil trail that starts in Mount Tamalpais State Park and quietly leads into Muir Woods, letting you avoid the busyness of the main parking area.

    View
  3. Cross It Off Your Bucket List

    Crosstown Trail San Francisco may be one of the most beautiful city walks in America, passing through less-visited nooks and crannies while also taking in greatest hits, including mosaic stairways.

    View
  4. Yosemite Magic Trick

    Yosemite’s High Country is magical and without crowds. At a lofty 8,700 feet, Tuolumne Meadows is one of the best trailheads for hiking or backpacking a land of smooth granite domes, high alpine meadows, jagged peaks, and sapphire lakes. Here's a 3-night backpacking itinerary...

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Sponsored

    Sea Change

    Right in time for the balmy fall days, the crowds have left and Monterey Bay Aquarium is at its shoulder season best. Fewer people means relaxing with more room to roam and enjoy the animals, exhibits, and nearby outdoors for biking, hiking, and beaches.

    View
  2. High Sierra Lake Hop

    Situated just north of Yosemite is a High Sierra wonderland that gets a fraction of the crowds and is a fantastic destination for backpacking. The Emigrant Wilderness is 113,000 acres of granite ridges, wildflower-strewn meadows, and cobalt lakes.

    View
  3. Thanks, Annie!

    Annie’s Canyon Trail in the 1,000-acre San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve in Solana Beach includes the most unique quarter-mile you’ve ever maneuvered—through a sandstone slot canyon!

    View
  4. Glam Paddling in Long Beach

    Sea kayaking doesn’t get any more glamorous than paddling the storybook canals around Long Beach’s Naples Island! You thread your way through calm waterways surrounded by luxury ho

    View