View Full Version : Hostel at Glencliff

10-27-2003, 15:19
At the southern edge of Mt. Moosilauke, the AT crosses a road at Glencliff, NH. A short hike east (maybe 0.1 mi) is the post office. A sign outside on the post office wall says, "If you have to wait for mail or the office to open, cross the street and hang out at the Hostel." A roadside sign at the hostel says, "Hikers Welcomed". Jeffers Brook Shelter is also a near level 1.1 mile north of the road which is NH rte. 25.

Blue Jay
10-28-2003, 08:51
One of the best on the entire AT.

10-28-2003, 17:40
Interesting...I wasn't so crazy about it- we really didn't get a very welcoming feeling. (and this was early in the season before a lot of hikers were there) It seemed more like, what can I sell to you at this minute? Although, we weren't dealing with the guy who actually runs it, who I heard was awesome.

10-28-2003, 18:38
Only been there once ...this year on my thru. When I first walked in the door I was a bit confused. No one seemed in charge or knew much about the house rules. I asked a lot of questions and finally got introduced to Packrat, the guy who runs the place. Once I got the lay of the land it was OK. Packrat seems like a squared away dude and really goes out of his way to help thru-hikers, or at least so it seemed. I think the key is to speak up and ask questions. He runs a pretty loose shop from what I could see.

I was only there one night but all in all it was a good experience. The place was full and I ended up sleeping on a couch upstairs ...but Hey, that's softer than my thermarest.

10-28-2003, 20:43
I loved this place. Packrat is hands down one of the best guys out there, super friendly and so kind. He's not there to make money and I got to talking with him a bit. He hardly comes away with anything, he simply does it because he loves it.

I experienced tho what both you guys described. When I first got there he was out and it was on a kind of do it yourself basis. It seemed kinda unorganized but I prefer this. It was so refreshing to have a place where they werent in your face right away about paying. And he wasn't trying to nickel and dime you. I felt that I generally did and wanted to give more to these places, rather than the ones so uptight about getting their 75 cents for the soda i was drinking today, when i was leaving tomorrow.
And you probably dealt with Big John who is a little more on the business side of things. He's not the owner or proprietor but helps out when not working on his moonbow gear.

10-28-2003, 21:09
I really liked it there! Packrat was just great and helped out with some great "freedom hiking".

He is one of the people that made the trail so great for me!


Blue Jay
10-29-2003, 08:42
It couldn't have been Big John, he's just as cool as Packrat. Uncle Johnny must have been moonlighting.

Jack Tarlin
10-29-2003, 15:08
I think this place is great; both Big John and Packrat are wonderful folks and have helped hikers for years; there MAY (repeat, MAY) be a change of owners/managers here next year; will post more info here when I know more. In any case, this is a fine hostel and deserves our patronage and support.

10-30-2003, 11:07
I'm not sure who the guy was we were dealing with, but it wasn't Pakrat- like I said, I've heard only good things about him. And I also met others who stayed there who loved it...it just wasn't a very comfortable experience when I was there.

10-30-2003, 18:55
I was reading a trailjournal by a hiker called "squeaky". Yet another person who has nothing but nice things to say about Glencliff. Actually one of the best journals I have read. However he goes a little fast for my tastes (eg doing the smokies in 22 hours is a little fast!)


04-01-2006, 15:18
Just finished gettting the hostel ready for the season. Had to get it up and running early since Packrat and I are heading out to the CDT. The Hostel is officially open for the season and caretakers for the summer are Phat Chap and Ffej (pronounced fedge). Big John will make some appearances throughout the season. Very grateful for theese guys to help out so that Packrat can hike!!! Happy trails all!!!!

04-07-2006, 07:16
very cold here right now but very homely indeed....

Lone Wolf
04-07-2006, 07:43
Homely huh? Can't be that bad.

04-17-2006, 07:04
No LW, it's a great place and I'm telling you that you, pirate and willie ought to go there some day this summer. phat chap (gary) is one of the best you will ever encounter......don't know packrat but i here tell he's good people too..........

Spiritual Pillgrim
07-02-2006, 12:29
Agreed! 1st great hostel in MANY miles.

Tin Man
10-06-2006, 09:48
Bartender(1) and I stopped in for something cold to drink on Wednesday afternoon (10/4) while we decided whether to continue north over Moosilauke or save it for next year. As short-term section hikers, we had never bothered with hostels before and this one seemed very nice indeed. There is a fridge with plenty of cold drinks, ice cream sandwiches and frozen pizza. They also have a tv/vcr with a large selection of movies as well as a cd player and many cds. We checked the weather conditions on the internet pc and decided Moosilauke would be there next year when conditions might be more favorable. Packrat showed up and after a brief chat agreed to stop what he was doing (relaxing after a long day of work on the house) and gave us a ride to our car for a nominal fee. He talked most of the way about his adventure on the CDT, which he had returned from on 9/15. Awesome guy. Thanks Packrat!

12-15-2006, 17:49
Does anyone have Packrat's e-mail addie? He and I split a room at Mack's Inn this year on the CDT. His brother met up with us..and well, need to write his brother a thankyou card!

If I do the AT again (2008?), I have to stay at the hostel. Packrat was one cool guy.

Jack Tarlin
12-15-2006, 18:05

Send a PM to Blister here on Whiteblaze; she'll have all of his contact info.

12-15-2006, 18:15
Thanks Jack!

Butch Cassidy
12-19-2006, 01:44
The Hikers Welcome was one of the best stays during my 05 thru. I took a zero and had to have medical care and they were very helpful. I met two great new friends( Ican and Seneca) and hiked with them the rest of the way to Katadin. We will be sure to stay there again this year when The Sundance Kid and I do our Thru. Thanks Packrat!! Butch

Hammock Hanger
12-19-2006, 09:32
Like you said it can be different for every hiker. I on the other hand was very pleased with my stay there. I was feeling a little off (thinking it must be a fear of the Whites) and stayed a couple of days and slacked up Moosilauki. Packrat was a great host and I enjoyed his company very much. ( Three days later I was rushed to the hospital via ambulance from a hostel in N Woodstock. Guess I was really sick and didn't realize it when I was there.)

Just a Hiker
12-19-2006, 18:26
Hi all! I wanted to comment on this thread because I was talking about this very subject in Damascus this past weekend.
First of all, The Hiker Welcome Hostel runs on an honor system, which is consistent with many other hostels along the AT. This method may seem like no one is minding the store, but it does work if a hiker bothers to read the rules when they arrive. Quite frankly I like that method of management because there is nothing worse than trying to microwave my frozen pizza with a hostel owner standing over me with a score card.
Secondly, by the time NOBO'S and SOBO'S get to Glencliff, they should be well versed in hostel protocol and not be shocked if everyone in the room doesn't bow down and kiss their butt just because they are hiking the AT. I, for one, don't move from my frozen pizza or my 30th viewing of Texas Chainsaw Massacre when a hiker arrives in glencliff.
A hiker will not get a Full Honors Greeting upon arrival at the Hiker Welcome Hostel, but you will get a cheap shower, a decent tent site and some good hiking advice if you need it. Above all. you are given a chance to be an honorable person at no extra charge.
I have one more observation and I'll go away. It has been my experience that there is tension at Hiker Welcome Hostel between NOBO'S and SOBO'S. The NOBO'S arrive really cocky and ready to tackle the White Mountains, and the SOBO'S arrive in Glencliff just wanting a little respect from anyone who is willing to give them some love. This causes tension and segregation and it is obvious. I can see why an unsuspecting hiker could feel unwelcome in this atmosphere. Again, this is just an observation from over the years at staying at the Hiker Welcome Hostel. Take care all.

Just Jim

Lone Wolf
12-19-2006, 21:38
Hostels, B&Bs, motels and other places to take days off aren't needed on the AT. They're wanted. I'm glad I hiked back in "the day". :)

Jack Tarlin
12-19-2006, 21:43
What are you shovelling, Wolf? On your last thru you took around 70 zero days off, at least, mostly in motels. You'd take whole weekends off to watch golf tournaments! Back the day, indeed!! :D

Lone Wolf
12-19-2006, 21:51
Yup. But no hostels. They generally suck. I'm not very social.:)

12-19-2006, 21:55

12-19-2006, 21:59
just think if they didn't like each other

08-17-2007, 12:24
Does anyone have a phone number for this hostel?

Pedaling Fool
08-17-2007, 12:37
Does anyone have a phone number for this hostel?
Try (603) 989-5154.

Big Daddy D
08-17-2007, 15:36
I just called the hostel from Las Vegas with our 105 temps!!

I had a great talk with Phatt Chap who remembered me even though I stayed there back on June, 16th, 2005.
By the way, the number for the hostel is 603-989-0040 (5154 is for the post office, but they gave me the correct number!).

I have fond memories of the hostel, the post office, and the store.
My only negative was that I was a "soaked rat" from all the rain we had that week.

Next time I think I'll go SOBO....

Red Hat
05-01-2008, 18:58
Back in 2005, I got turned back in the April Smokies Blizzard along with Pack Rat. Then Phat Chap picked me up outside Erwin when I had what we thought was a heart attack, but wasn't.... Anyway both said they'd see me when I got to New Hampshire. Well, I'll be there this year and can't wait to see them both!

05-01-2008, 20:04
The hostel is great.. In 05, I played several games of chess with Phat Chap and bought some used fleece from Pack Rat and shipped it home.. Jack cooked up some chuck steak on the grill and I did some slack packing out of there.. It was a great place to rest up before hitting the Whites!