Hiking Mount Washington is not for the faint of heart or the weak of muscle, but for experienced hikers, Mount Washington can be a rewarding and breathtaking — literally as well as metaphorically — experience.
Here are four, half-day long routes that the visitor’s center recommends as the most popular among seasoned hikers.
The Tuckerman Ravine Trail begins at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center and passes through Hermit Lake and Tuckerman Ravine before reaching the summit. (YDS Class 2; 4.2 total miles)
The Lion Head Trail begins on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, before switching onto the Lion Head Trail. Instead of going into the Ravine itself, it overlooks the ravine before it intersects with the Alpine Garden Trail, becoming steeper before rejoining the Tuckerman trail toward the summit. (YDS Class 1; 4.1 total miles)
The Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail begins at the Base Road parking lot and leads through the Ammonoosuc Ravine to end below the Lakes of the Clouds hut. You can follow the Crawford Path for another 1.4 miles to the summit. (YDS Class 1-3; 4.5 total miles)
The Jewell Trail also starts at Base Road and follows a path through the forest to reach the tree line at a distance of about three miles. A further 0.7 mile and it joins with the Gulfside Trail to connect with the Crawford Path and then the summit. (YDS Class 1; 5.1 total miles)
Hiking and skiing are permitted on Mount Washington year-round, but the state park is closed during the winter and there are no public facilities, shelter or supply stations available after the end of October.
To hike during the winter sign up for a guided, overnight expedition with a tour company. Listings for trips and dates for the 2014/2015 season can be found here.
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