Trail Stories

Sometimes there’s nothing better than being on your own in the wild. It is just you against the world; nothing more, nothing less. Life is simple.

Instead of packing your tent and all of your packing equipment, why don’t you really scale things back and just pick up your bag and go. Honestly, there’s no better feeling.

With some of these remote mountain huts there are two things you can always guarantee – remarkable views and a totally different adventure – so if you want to get away from it all, these places should be at the top of your list:


Ivan Vazov Hut, Rila National Park, Bulgaria


There aren’t many places as basic as the Ivan Vazov Hut in Bulgaria. Located in Rila National Park two hours from Sofia, this hut is high up in the mountains and surrounded by ridges.

The hut is at 2,300m above sea level, making it Bulgaria’s highest mountain home, and it can cater for a fair few tourists (but don’t expect anything like hot water or a constant supply of electricity!)

In the area there are seven lakes all in close proximity of each other. In winter, they are frozen over and covered in snow; in summer, once melted, they are a clear emerald green, and each one its own source of beauty.


Montaña Mágica Lodge, Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve, Chile


Being housed in a volcano with a waterfall cascading over it, the Montaña Mágica Lodge is in with a shout of being the most magical hotel in the world.

Located in the middle of the southern Andes in Chile, it is part of the 300,000 acre Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve, home to some simply stunning wildlife.

Despite it being a ‘hotel’, you really do feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere – which technically you are – and there are not many places in the world where you can actually experience an ‘erupting volcano’.


Free Spirit Spheres, Vancouver Island, Canada


The Free Spirit Spheres are up there as some of the most unusual accommodation we’ve ever come across.

Built as spheres, these tree-top dwellings are suspended like global pendants from a web of ropes, and they wouldn’t be out of place in a sci-fi movie.

The relaxed gentle motion creates a soothing and peaceful ambiance and you can completely immerse yourself in the nature and stillness around you. Also, located on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, you’ve got some of the world’s best forests and scenery right at your fingertips.


The House on the Drina River Island, Bajina Basta, Serbia


Balancing on a rock in the middle of the Drina River in Serbia, this house really is getting away from it all.

Built in 1968 by a group of friends, they just wanted a place to kick back and relax after a hard day’s kayaking, but what they created was something truly beautiful.

Today, over 45 years later, the little hut is still standing having survived everything nature could throw at it, and it is perfectly described as ‘a unique oasis of nature, [an escape] from the constraints of civilization’.


Kokopelli’s Cave, New Mexico, USA


Kokopelli’s Cave is built into vertical sandstone cliffs and overlooks the beautiful La Plata river valley some 300ft below.

Located in New Mexico, Kokopelli’s Cave has views of Arizona, Colorado and Utah that complete the ‘Four Corners’ as they’re known in the area. Originally built as an office for a geologist, it is now a beautiful bed and breakfast.

One of the best things about the cave is the temperature – it is 68° and 73° year around – and then when you see the views you won’t want to leave. This really is a wonderful place to get away from it all and lead the simple life for a few days.

Where are your favorite remote retreats? Tweet us @MerrellOutside or leave us a message on Facebook.

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