3 Ways To Reach The Summit Of Mount Washington

The infamous Mount Washington sits at 6,288 feet above sea level in the Presidential Range of the White Mountain National Forest, making it the tallest peak in not only the state of New Hampshire, but the tallest peak in all of New England. On a clear day, you will be rewarded with sweeping views that extend into Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Quebec, and the Atlantic Ocean from the top. There are three ways to reach the summit of Mount Washington; hiking, driving, and riding.

Option #1: Driving

The Mount Washington Auto Road takes you on a journey up to the summit of Mount Washington while offering spectacular views into the Great Gulf Wilderness and the Presidential Mountain Range along the way. You can drive the road yourself from May to October, or you can book a guided trip. Drivers will pass through four climates and enjoy incredible scenic views from various lookout points.

Option #2: Riding

The most popular way to get to the summit is via the Mount Washington Cog Railway, which has been in operation since 1869. The round-trip ride takes approximately three hours, and it is recommended to buy tickets in advance. You will find a viewing deck with panoramic views at the summit, Tip Top House, Sherman Adams Visitors Center, and a summit sign.

Option #3: Hiking

Hiking Mount Washington is not an easy task and should only be attempted by experienced and seasoned hikers. Two main trails lead to the summit: Jewell Trail and the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail.  The Jewell Trail is the easier option of the two, gaining roughly 4,000 feet of elevation over 9.3 miles of hiking. Before hitting the trail, be sure to do your research, check the higher summits forecast, pack accordingly, make a set plan, practice leave no trace, and educate yourself on how to stay safe.

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6 Responses to “3 Ways To Reach The Summit Of Mount Washington”

  1. Peter W ThonisJuly 19, 2021 at 11:09 am #

    There are at least 10 other trails up Mt. Washington. She mentions two popular west-side options but there are many more….Tuckerman’s, Lion’s Head, Huntington Ravine, over Jefferson via the Caps, Crawford Path, the Presie Traverse and several more. Some are more difficult than others, so important to research and view the excellent Mt. Washington Observatory summit forecast before making any attempt.

  2. Joseph M BitettoJuly 24, 2021 at 8:37 pm #

    Great Gulf and Boottspur are two more trails not to be missed.

  3. Kathy MichelliJuly 26, 2021 at 3:46 pm #

    Huntington Ravine is the hardest. What a rush! You’re advised not to turn back on that one.

  4. BashJuly 28, 2021 at 7:27 am #

    I climbed up ammo this past weekend. What a beautiful hike with multiple waterfalls.

  5. ThomasJuly 30, 2021 at 7:46 am #

    The fourth way is to backcountry ski and skin up the mountain during winter.

  6. Dennis SwierAugust 1, 2021 at 12:40 am #

    Well! I remember climbing via the Tuckerman Ravine trail back in the early eighties 1981-83?) and it was a hot July Saturday about 93F in valley trailhead. When my girlfriend and I reached the 4000 ft at top of the ravine, a climber coming down warned of a storm cell with high winds and colder air coming. Being an intrepid climber and having necessary survival gear and food,…we decided to trek on….well….everything turned for the worse…we wound up in the giant Boulder field on the ️ mountain’s shoulder…lightning, high winds and hail and freezing ️ rain covered the rocks making for treacherous climbing on icy rocks and…. The winds brought the temperature down to 25-30 F….we hunkered down in a narrow space between the boulders
    Couldn’t get my Svea stove to work..too windy. We waited until storm abated then managed to clamber to the top. WOW what a sense of relief….but I was definitely wrong to proceed….as a footnote…I lost a drinking buddy who was with a park ranger and local mtn guide…to hypothermia…God bless him
    ..we were drinking in NYC on Friday …he was gone by Sunday night.

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