M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Alaska may be a land set apart, but with the help of Alaska Huts Association, more and more people are getting to witness its beauty first-hand. With a mission to “build and maintain backcountry lodgings that promote camaraderie, stewardship, outdoor education, and Alaska’s cultural heritage,” Alaska Huts seeks to make backcountry adventures more accessible.

Through Alaska Huts, guests can stay in cabins or yurts stocked with the essentials for a wilderness retreat. With communal spaces to connect, private spaces for solitude, and ample opportunities to hike and explore, Alaska Huts accommodates a variety of travelers. For some, having a roof over their heads and essentials at their fingertips simply makes the experience more comfortable. For others, it makes a previously inaccessible wilderness adventure possible.

In addition to increasing accessibility, Alaska Huts offers its guests and its region several benefits. First, extended time in nature has proven positive effects on mental health. It is linked to cognitive benefits, stress reduction, emotional wellbeing, and more. Alaska Huts is not just bringing its beauty to more people; it is also offering a chance for renewal in a busy world. This nonprofit is also using wilderness experiences to educate guests about the natural world and Alaska’s cultural heritage. From supporting educational groups to hosting community events, Alaska Huts is inspiring the next generation of land stewards.

At our summer grants meeting, the Trust had the opportunity to support this organization as it develops the Glacier Discovery Hut system through partnership with the Chugach National Forest Service. This system will include three backcountry huts strategically placed along the Alaska Railroad, allowing for even greater ease of access. It will also be an economic driver for the train system, whistle stops, local communities, and more.

Innovative organizations such as Alaska Huts are a joy to support, because they offer opportunities for flourishing for a greater number of people in our region. We are grateful to be involved in serving the common good of Alaska through supporting Alaska Huts and so many other outstanding organizations in the state.

Thank you, Alaska Huts! May your good work continue to bring the riches of Alaska’s backcountry to more people in our region.

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