Check into these two climbing basecamp bargains from the American Alpine Club (ACC).
In addition to providing educational resources and camaraderie to the climbing community, the American Alpine Club (americanalpineclub.org) operates a network of thrifty lodging options in some seriously epic outdoor destinations. These huts, hostels and B&Bs give backcountry enthusiasts a place to crash after a day of exploring. The facilities are open to the public, but the best rates are reserved for AAC members. Consider two of these special spots when planning your adventures this winter:
Hueco Rock Ranch, El Paso, Texas
Located on a historic ranch near Hueco Tanks State Park—one of the best bouldering sites in the country—this hostel feels like home, with a fully-equipped kitchen, spacious dining area and a cozy living room. Dorm-style bunks with sheets and towels start at $17 per night. Open November through March. Reservations recommended.
Snowbird Hut, Anchorage, Alaska
This remote hut can squeeze 12 people inside and it’s available for free—the only cost is the physical exertion and backcountry know-how required to reach it. Perched in the Talkeetna Mountains, the heated shelter is part of the popular Talkeetna Traverse trekking route and provides a hub for advanced mountaineers planning to ski, hike and climb the surrounding peaks. Open year-round on a first-come, first-serve, basis.