A mountain hut (also known as alpine hut, mountain shelter, mountain refuge, mountain lodge, and mountain hostel) 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 organisation dedicated to hiking or mountain recreation.
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.
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.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland 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') under the northern crags of Ben Nevis in Scotland - this is a purpose-built hut, high up the mountain.
Czech Republic, Slovakia
In the Czech Republic and Slovakia there is a dense network of mountain huts ("chata") in most mountain and forest regions, serving a culture of hiking and Czech tramping. 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.
The Norwegian Trekking Association operates about 460 cabins mostly in the mountains and in forested areas, of which about 400 have lodgins., Many cabins are unstaffed and open all year, while the staffed cabins often are just open during summer.
In Poland most of mountains shelters and huts are run by PTTK - Polish Tourist Society. Only few of shelters belong to private investors. Most of mountains shelters offer only common sleeping rooms and refreshments; often organised catering is not available. Polish mountain huts are obliged by their own regulations to overnight each person who is not able to find any other place before sunset, though the conditions may be tough (e.g. a mattress in hall or warm basement). The hut shall provide each tourist or hiker with free boiling water for hot drinks.
There are many huts in the United States, 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. There are also many mountain huts throughout Maine.
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.
Morskie Oko shelter in Poland
Samotnia, mountain hut in Karkonosze, Poland
Refuge de la Charpoua in the French Alps
Greenleaf Hut in the White Mountains of the U.S.
Oceania, Australia, New Zealand
- Log cabin - small house built from logs
- Vernacular architecture - traditional architecture in a particular area
- Wilderness hut - rent-free, open dwelling place for temporary accommodation
- "Timeline of AMC Huts". Retrieved 11 July 2014.
-  The Norwegian Trekking Association, retrieved 2 June 2013
- DNT cabins - general information The Norwegian Trekking Association, retrieved 2 June 2013
- Regulamin schroniska PTTK [retrieved 2009-12-25]
- 10th Mountain Division Hut Association
- AMC huts
- "Maine Huts". Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- Alpine Club of Canada
- NZ Department of Conservation "Huts by region"
- Himalayan Mountain Hunt Competition