A mountain hut is a building located high in the mountains, generally accessible only by foot, intended to provide food and shelter to mountaineers, climbers and hikers. Mountain huts are usually operated by an Alpine Club or some organization dedicated to hiking or mountain recreation. They are known by many names, including alpine hut, mountain shelter, mountain refuge, mountain lodge, and mountain hostel. It may also be called a refuge hut, although these occur in lowland areas (e.g. lowland forests) too.
Mountain huts can provide a range of services, starting with shelter and simple sleeping berths. Some, particularly in remote areas, are not staffed, but others have staff which prepare meals and drinks and can provide other services, including providing lectures and selling clothing and small items. Mountain huts usually allow anybody to access their facilities, although some require reservations.
While shelters have long existed in mountains, modern hut systems date back a century and a half. The Swiss Alpine Club has built huts since 1863.  In the United States, the Appalachian Mountain Club built its first hut at Madison Spring in New Hampshire in 1889. 
The construction of refuges and shelters in the Alps date back to ancient times, when Roman roads led across the mountain passes. In the High Middle Ages, hospitales were erected along the trade routes; cottages and sheds on the high mountain pastures served for Alpine transhumance. The long history of mountaineering from the 19th century onwards has led to a large number of Alpine club huts as well as private huts along the mountaineering paths. These huts are categorised according to their location and facilities. They may have beds or a mattress room ( Matratzenlager ) for overnight stays.
Just as the Margherita Hut in the Valais Alps is the highest alpine refuge at 4,554 m, the Rifugio Mario Premuda in Trieste owned by the Italian Alpine Association is the lowest refuge in the Alps at 82 m.
In the United Kingdom the tradition is of unwardened "climbing huts" providing fairly rudimentary accommodation (but superior to that of a bothy) close to a climbing ground; the huts are usually conversions (e.g. of former quarrymen's cottages, or of disused mine buildings), and are not open to passers-by except in emergency. Many climbing clubs in the UK have such huts in Snowdonia or in the Lake District. A well-known example is the Charles Inglis Clark Memorial Hut (the 'CIC Hut') - a purpose-built hut below the northern crags of Ben Nevis in Scotland.  In the past, some shelters in Scotland were built in exposed locations at high elevation, often as part of military training exercises. However, and particularly following the 1971 Cairngorm Plateau Disaster, these were deliberately demolished because they were thought to pose dangers exceeding their benefits. 
The Norwegian Trekking Association operates about 460 cabins mostly in the mountains and in forested areas, of which about 400 have lodgings.  Many cabins are unstaffed and open all year, while the staffed cabins often are just open during summer. 
In Poland most mountain shelters and huts are run by the Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society, with some being privately owned. In the Polish mountains, there are about 100 shelters. Most mountain shelters offer multi-person rooms and refreshments. Polish mountain huts are obliged by their own regulations to allow overnight anyone who is not able to find any other place before sunset, but conditions may be spartan (e.g. a mattress in a hall or warm basement). 
In Slovakia there is a dense network of mountain huts ("chata") in most mountain and forest regions, serving a culture of hiking. In the past they were managed by the official tourist union, but now are mostly in private hands. Official mountain huts are similar to guest houses and are run by full-time managers. In winter, some refuges are closed.
There are many huts in the United States, for example in the Rocky Mountains,  the Appalachian Mountains and other ranges. The High Huts of the White Mountains  in New Hampshire are generally "full service" (cooks serve food) through summer and early fall, while some are open the rest of the year as self-service huts, at which hikers bring and prepare their own food.
The Alpine Club of Canada operates what it calls the "largest network of backcountry huts in North America." 
The New Zealand Department of Conservation "manages a network of over 950 huts of all shapes and sizes." 
The mountains of Asia do not have a well-developed system of public mountain huts, although hiking, trekking and mountain climbing are common. In 2015, a competition was launched to design huts that could be located along trekking trails of Nepal. 
Many places in Africa have hiking huts but they are usually privately owned and require payment and reservations. At least one hut is open for public use on Table Mountain in South Africa, part of Table Mountain National Park. 
Mountaineering, mountain climbing, or alpinism, is a set of outdoor activities that involves ascending mountains. Mountaineering-related activities include traditional outdoor climbing, skiing, and traversing via ferratas that have become sports in their own right. Indoor climbing, sport climbing, and bouldering are also considered variants of mountaineering by some, but are part of a wide group of mountain sports.
Toubkal or Tubkal is a mountain peak in southwestern Morocco, located in the Toubkal National Park. At 4,167 metres (13,671 ft), it is the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco, North Africa and the Arab-Speaking World. Located 63 km (39 mi) south of the city of Marrakesh, and visible from it, Toubkal is an ultra prominent peak, the highest for over 2,000 km (1,200 mi).
Alta Via 1 is a 150-kilometre-long high-level public footpath which runs through the eastern Dolomites in Italy. It is also known as the Dolomite High Route 1. It passes through some of the finest scenery in the Dolomites. The path runs south from Pragser Wildsee, near Toblach, to Belluno. Prags can be accessed by bus, and Belluno has both train and bus services.
A hut is a small dwelling, which may be constructed of various local materials. Huts are a type of vernacular architecture because they are built of readily available materials such as wood, snow, ice, stone, grass, palm leaves, branches, hides, fabric, or mud using techniques passed down through the generations.
Mount Feathertop is the second-highest mountain in the Australian state of Victoria and is part of the Australian Alps and is located within the Alpine National Park. It rises to 1,922 metres (6,306 ft) and is usually covered in snow from June to September. Unlike most mountains in the Australian Alps, Mount Feathertop has steep summit slopes instead of a rounded summit dome. Snow remaining in the summit gullies until late spring gives the appearance of feathers, hence the name.
A wilderness hut, bothy, backcountry hut, or backcountry shelter is a free, primitive mountain hut for temporary accommodation, usually located in wilderness areas, national parks and along backpacking and hiking routes. They are found in many parts of the world, such as Finland, Sweden, Norway, northern Russia, the Alps, the Pyrenees, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States. Huts are basic and unmanned, without running water.
The Elk Lakes cabin is an alpine hut located between the French and Italian Military Groups in the Canadian Rockies. It resides near the Continental Divide in Elk Lakes Provincial Park, British Columbia. It is 62 km south of the Trans-Canada Highway in Kananaskis Country, Alberta and 104 km north of Sparwood, British Columbia. The area has hiking trails, and provides access to mountaineering objectives. In winter, ice climbs and skiing terrain with much powder abound. Elk Lakes terrain is similar to that near the Elizabeth Parker hut. The hut is maintained by the Alpine Club of Canada.
The Abbot Pass hut was an alpine hut located at an altitude of 2,925 metres (9,596 ft) in Abbot Pass in the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada. It was nestled between Mount Victoria and Mount Lefroy, straddling the Great Divide, which, in this region, defines the boundary between Banff National Park in Alberta and Yoho National Park in British Columbia. While close to the border, the hut lay entirely in Banff National Park, and was the second-highest permanently habitable structure in Canada. The hut was maintained by the Alpine Club of Canada.
Mont Maudit is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif in France and Italy. The French name literally means "Cursed Mountain". Until the end of the 18th century, Mont Blanc and its satellite peaks were collectively known in French as the Montagne Maudite.
The Swiss Alpine Club is the largest mountaineering club in Switzerland. It was founded in 1863 in Olten and it is now composed of 111 sections with 160,000 members (2020). These include the Association of British Members of the Swiss Alpine Club.
The Mount Shasta Wilderness is a 38,200-acre (155 km2) federally designated wilderness area located 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Mount Shasta City in northern California. The US Congress passed the 1984 California Wilderness Act that set aside the Mount Shasta Wilderness. The US Forest Service is the managing agency as the wilderness is within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The area is named for and is dominated by the Mount Shasta volcano which reaches a traditionally quoted height of 14,162 feet (4,317 m) above sea level, but official sources give values ranging from 14,104 feet (4,299 m) from one USGS project, to 14,179 feet (4,322 m) via the NOAA. Mount Shasta is one of only two peaks in the state over 14,000 feet (4,300 m) outside the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The other summit is White Mountain Peak in the Great Basin of east-central California.
The Marco e Rosa Hut is a high mountain refuge located on the southern slopes of the Piz Bernina in Italy. It lies adjacent to the Swiss border. The hut is positioned on the Fourcla Crast' Aguzza and is the highest known mountain hut in Lombardy. It requires mountaineering experience to reach it safely. Its location on the southern ridge (Spallagrat) of the Piz Bernina makes it an important staging post in ascending that mountain.
Horse Camp is a property on Mount Shasta owned by the nonprofit Sierra Club Foundation. It is a 720-acre (2.9 km2) enclave within the Mount Shasta Wilderness of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in California, United States. It is located at approximately 7,950 feet (2,420 m) elevation at the lower end of Avalanche Gulch, the most popular climbing route on the mountain.
Pizzo Coca is a mountain that straddles the Val Seriana and the Valtellina in Lombardy, Italy. It is the highest peak in the Bergamo Alps. Its height is 3,050 metres with a prominence height of 1,878 metres and a saddle of 1,172 metres. A post-glacial valley exists near a point called "ometto in sassi" at 2,400 meters.
Rifugio Elisabetta is a refuge in the Italian Alps at an altitude of 2,195 m, which provides a convenient overnight stage for walkers undertaking the Tour du Mont Blanc. It is located 3 km north-east of the Col de la Seigne, at the south-west end of the Mont Blanc massif, and provides good views of Mont Blanc and the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey. Because of its popularity, plus the fact that there are no other huts along this part of the Tour du Mont Blanc, walkers are advised to book in advance during the peak periods in July and August.
The Torino Hut is a high mountain refuge in the Alps in northwestern Italy. Located near the border with France, it is about 15 km (10 mi) southwest of Mont Dolent, the tripoint with Switzerland. The refuge is in the Mont Blanc massif above the town of Courmayeur in the Aosta Valley, Italy. It can be most easily accessed from the Italian side by the Skyway Monte Bianco cable car from La Palud in Courmayeur, with a change at the Pavilion du Mont Fréty. It can also be reached from Chamonix via the Aiguille du Midi, either by cable car which crosses the massif, or by a long crossing of the Glacier du Gèant. The refuge lies nearly directly above the 11.6 km (7.2 mi) Mont Blanc Tunnel, which passes deep underground, and connects Courmayer to Chamonix.
The Gonella Hut is a high elevation mountain hut in the Aosta Valley in the Mont Blanc massif area of the Alps. It lies at an elevation of 3071 metres, above Val Veny near Courmayeur in Italy. The refuge is located on the Italian 'normal route' to Mont Blanc.
The Società degli Alpinisti Tridentini (SAT) is an alpine club operating in the Italian alpine province of Trento. It is the largest branch of the Italian Alpine Club.
The Goûter Hut, is a mountain refuge in the French department of Haute-Savoie. It is located at a height of 3,835 metres (12,582 ft) on the Arete du Goûter in the municipality of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains. It overlooks the Glacier de Bionnassay, and is the highest wardened mountain hut in France.
Mike Mortimer is a Canadian alpinist. He was president of the Alpine Club of Canada and the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA).