Mount Washington from Mount Monroe
Mount Washington is the highest mountain in the northeast at 6,288 feet and until 1996 the highest surface wind ever recorded on earth was on the summit at 231 MPH on April 12, 1934. The summit commands magnificent 360 degree views on a clear day of over 100 miles of visibility. There is a 7.6 mile auto road that people can drive up from route 16 or buy a ticket for a trip up the Cog Railway which is the second steepest track railway in the world and the world's first mountain railway. The cog is located at Marshfield Station at the end of Base Road off Route 302 across from Brenton Woods Ski Area
Mount Washington is known for being one of the few places on earth to have "The Worlds Worst Weather" and although it is just over 6,000 feet it has weather equivalent to that of the harshest on earth. Extreme changes in weather can occur due to three major storm tracks that converge over the mountain which lead to hurricane force winds (on average over 100 days a year), awful visibility, frigid temperatures, and dangerous conditions leading to over a hundred deaths.
Trails I've Hiked
-Huntington Ravine Trail: 4.4 miles, elevation gain 4,250 feet (via Tuckerman and Nelso Crag trails). The most difficult regular hiking trail in the White Mountains, the rock scrambles above "The Fan" require proper use of handholds and extreme caution should be used when ascending ledges. Descending this trail is not recommended and venturing above the fan in deteriorating conditions can be disastrous! The Huntington Ravine trail leaves the Tuckerman Ravine trail 1.3 miles in and crosses the Cutler river, Raymond Path, Huntington Ravine fire road a few times until you reach the first-aid cache 1.3 miles in. From here you ascend 1,400 feet in .8 miles through the large boulder field called "The Fan," then through boulders and scrub and finally attack about three or four sections of rock scrambles, the first one being the most difficult. Once above the ravine you connect with the Nelson Crag trail which will take you to the summit.
-Tuckerman Ravine Trail: 4.2 miles, elevation gain of 4,250 feet. This is the most popular trail up Mount Washington, on a nice summer weekend day expect hundreds of people all over the trail! The trail starts out at PNVC (Pinkham Notch Visitor Center) and is moderately difficult but not excessively steep. Hermit Lake Shelter is 2.4 miles into the hike and water is available. From here you climb up the ravine to the headwall and then ascend the summit cone over rocks and boulders. In deteriorating weather conditions it is not recommended to venture up the headwall and over it due to high winds, very low visibility, and fast changing weather conditions. The yellow warning sign you pass along the trail says it all ***The area ahead has the worst weather in America. Many have died there from exposure even in the summer. Turn back now if the weather is bad***
-Boott Spur Trail: 5.4 miles, elevation gain 4,300 feet (via Tuckerman Ravine trail, Davis and Crawford Paths). This trail offers excellent views into Tuckerman Ravine while hiking along it's south ridge on it's ascent to the summit of Washington. It is above treeline for 3.5 miles, moderately steep, and has rough footing.
-Lion Head Trail: 4.4 miles, 4,250 elevation gain (via Tuckerman and other trails Alpine Garden/Nelson Crag/etc). Follows a steep ridge above the north wall of Tuckerman Ravine and gives the appearance of a lions head. This trail is very steep in places and although not dangerous does give a world class beating to the knees if descending. Views into Tuckerman Ravine are pretty awesome while hiking Lion Head and in summer months when Tucks' is heavily used it's provides a less crowded option to hiking Mount Washington.
-Glen Boulder Trail: 5.7 miles, elevation gain 4,400 feet (via Davis and Crawford Paths). This trail starts 1.0 miles south of PNVC but can be accessed from PNVC via the Direttissima, it is moderately steep, has some rough footing, gets above treeline pretty quickly, and has a fun rock scramble that can be difficult when wet. The trail features the "Glen Boulder" an immense boulder thats sits along the trail sticking out from the surrounding terrain. The trail is lightly traveled above the Glen Boulder and provides excellent views all around while following a narrow trail above the Gulf Of Slides.
-Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail: 4.5 miles, 3,800 feet (via Carwford Path). The fastest way to get to the summit of Mount Washington from the west (Trailhead is on the Cog Railway Base Road off Route 302, Brenton Woods), the trail takes you to Lakes of the Clouds Hut and is protected from the weather for almost all of the way. The "Ammo" trail follows close by the Ammonoosuc River, you also cross the gem pool, and there is an excellent side path to "The Gorge" which is the bottom of two 600 foot waterfalls. The trail gets extremely steep at 2.1 miles in right after passing the Gem Pool, ascending 1,550 feet in just 1.0 miles! High winds out of the west and north west can be brutal past lakes of the clouds while ascending the summit cone via Crawford Path. In the winter the trailhead is closed but Base road is usually plowed (mostly untreated) to Marsh Field Cog Station.
-Jewell Trail: 5.1 miles, 3,900 feet (via Gulfside Trail). The trail leaves just across the road from the same parking lot as the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. It is the easiest way to summit Washington with it's moderate grades and generally good footing. It gets above treeline at around 3.0 miles and has excellent views of the "Ridge of the Caps" of Mount Jefferson and as you hike you can watch the Cog train slowly crawl up the tracks to the summit. Once on the Gulfside trail it's about 1.5 miles south to Mount Washington offering great views of Clay Mountain, the Great Gulf, the summit cone, the cog railway, Lakes of the Clouds and Mount Monroe. Be careful of the fast changing weather since you'll be greatly exposed above treeline to the harsh conditions especially the north/north westerly winds.
-Nelson Crag: 5.3 miles, 4,400 feet (via Old Jackson Road) . The nelson Crag Trail leaves Old Jackson Road 1.7 miles north of Pinkham Notch Visitor's Center. It has steep grades and rough footing below treeline for the first 1.1 miles. The next 2.5 miles until Mount Washington's Summit are above treeline with moderate grades and incredible views of the Northern Presidentials, Wildcat/Carter Range, as well as partial views of Huntington and Tuckerman Ravine up to the Boot Spur Ridge to the south. the Nelson Crag Trail is lightly used compared to most trails up Washington and is very scenic. It is exposed to the full force of the N-NW winds and in bad weather can become very difficult due to the exposure above treeline.
-Crawford Path: 8.5 miles, 4,750 feet. The trailhead for Crawford Path is across the street from the Highland Center at Crawford Notch off Route 302. It is the oldest continuously used trail in the United States and is an extremely popular trail that is well marked and has incredible views. The trail has moderate grades and decent footing the whole way but has knee hammering boulders and rocks above treeline that will give your feet a beating when descending. From the Webster-Cliff Trail Junction to the Gulfside Trail just below the summit of Mount Washington it is part of the Appalachian Trail. The trail passes around the summits of Mount Pierce (.1 miles via Webster Cliff), Eisenhower (.4 miles via Eisenhower Loop), Franklin (.1 miles via a side path), and Monroe (.4 miles via Monroe Loop). From Pierce to Washington the trail is very exposed running above treeline and can be dangerous in low visibility and bad weather which only gets worse as you continue up towards Mount Washington.
-Comments: Mount Washington offers almost everything a hiker could dream of, challenging trails, tremendous views, flip of the coin weather resulting in sunny/light wind weather with hundreds of people on the trail one day, high winds/low visibility/extreme weather with hardcore hikers out an about the next day. While all the trails provide excellent adventures and different unique views only one takes it to the next level...Huntington Ravine Trail, if you're up for the challenge and have good weather it's beyond rewarding!
November 19th, 2016: Presidential Range Traverse, North to South (Run)
September 26th, 2016: Up Ammonoosuc Ravine and Crawford Path, down Gulfside and Jewell Trail )No Report)
August 20th, 2016: Up Great Gulf Trail, down Gulfside Trail, up and down Mount Clay Loop, up Gulfside Trail, up and down Mount Jefferson Loop, up Gulfside Trail and Lowe's Path, down Airline and Gulfside Trail, up and down Osgood Trail, down Daniel Webster Scout Trail, across Dolly Copp and Great Gulf Link
August 5th, 2016: Up Lion Head Trail, down Tuckerman Ravine Trail
July 12th, 2016: Up Tuckerman Ravine Trail, down Crawford Path, up and down Mount Monroe Loop Trail, across Camel Trail and Davis Path, Down Boott Spur, Boott Spur Link, and Tuckerman Ravine Trail
June 18th, 2016: Presidential Range vs. Great Range Challenge
June 16th, 2016: Presidential Range Traverse, North to South (No Report)
September 26th, 2015: Presidential Range Traverse, North to South (Run)
August 29th, 2015: Up Tuckerman Ravine Trail, Down Nelson Crag and Old Jackson Road
August 2nd, 2015: Up Pine Link Trail, Howker Ridge Trail, Osgood Trail, across Gulfside Trail, up and down Jefferson Loop, across Gulfside Trail, up and down Clay Loop, up Gulfside Trail, down Crawford Path, Southside, Tuckerman Crossover, Camel Trail, Davis Path, Glen Boulder Trail, Direttissima
July 27th, 2015: Up Jewell Trail and Gulfside Trail, down Crawford Path and Ammonoosuc Ravine trail
June 20th, 2015: Up Old Jackson Road, Raymond Path, Huntington Ravine Trail, across Alpine Garden Trail, up Tuckerman Ravine Trail, down Crawford Path, Davis Path, Camel Trail, Old Crawford Path, down Davis Path, Boott Spur Trail, Tuckerman Ravine Trail
February 27th, 2015: Up Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, up Monroe Loop Trail, up Crawford Path, across Gulfside Trail, up and down Jefferson Loop Trail, across Gulfside and Westside Trail, down Crawford Path, up and down Eisenhower Loop Trail, across Crawford Path and Webster Cliff Trail, down Webster-Jackson Trail, Route 302, Mount Clinton Road, and Base Station Road walks
December 15th, 2014: Presidential Range Traverse, North to South
October 25th, 2014: Up Great Gulf, Wamsutta, and Nelson Crag Trail, down Tuckerman Ravine Trail
June 21st, 2014: Up Great Gulf, down Nelson Crag, Alpine Garden, Lion Head, and Tuckerman Ravine
June 15th, 2014: Presidential Range Traverse, North to South
April 12th, 2014: Up Crawford path, down Cog Tracks
March 7th, 2014: Up Ammonoosuc and Crawford Path, across Gulfside, Clay Loop, and Jefferson Loop, down Jewell Trail
October 13th, 2013: Up Tuckerman Ravine, down Crawford Path, Davis Path, Glen Boulder Trail, across Direttissima
October 12th, 2013: Presidential Range Traverse
July 21st, 2013: Double Presidential Range Traverse
July 13th, 2013: Up Huntington, down Great Gulf, up Adams Slide, down Lowe's Path, across Gulfside, up Jefferson Loop, down Gulfside and the Sphinx, out Great Gulf, Madison Gulf, and Old Jackson Road
June 16th, 2013: Jefferson through Webster Loop
May 18th, 2013: Up Tuckerman and Huntington Ravine Trails, across Alpine Garden Trail, down Lion Head and Tuckerman Ravine Trail
March 9th, 2013: Presidential Range Traverse
August 24th, 2012: Up Tuckerman and Huntington Ravine Trails, across Alpine Garden Trail, down Lion Head and Tuckerman Ravine Trail
May 20th, 2012: Double Presidential Range Traverse
May 19th, 2012: Madison through Isolation Loop
May 6th, 2012: Jefferson through Jackson Loop
September 25th, 2011: Up Jewell Trail, across Gulfside Trail, down and up Sphinx Trail, up Mount Clay Loop and Gulfside Trail, down Crawford Path, up and down Mount Monroe Loop, down Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail
July 30th, 2011: MMD - More and More Difficult: "Pinkham Notch Loop" Dolly Copp Road, Route 16, Up North Branch of Imp Trail, across Carter-Moriah and Wildcat Ridge, down Polecat Ski Trail, up-over-down Lila's Ledge to Old Jackson Road, Up Tuckerman Ravine and Lion Head to Washington, across Clay, Jefferson, Adams, and Madison via Gulfside, Clay Loop, Jefferson Loop, Isreal Ridge/Lowe's Path, and Osgood Trail, down Daniel Webster-Scout Trail, road walk back to Barnes Field
June 27th, 2011: Double Presidential Range Traverse (Pierce through Madison and back) Crawford Path and loop trail, Gulfised Trail and loop trails, Lowe's, Airline, and Osgood Trail.
April 22nd, 2011: Up Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, up and down Mount Monroe Loop Trail, up Crawford Path, down Cog Tracks
October 3rd, 2010: Up Tuckerman Ravine Trail, down Crawford Path, up and down Mount Monroe Loop Trail, over Camel Trail, down Davis Path and the Boot Spur
September 18th, 2010: Up Davis Path, down Crawford Path, up and down Mount Monroe Loop Trail, down Dry River Wilderness Trail
August 14th, 2010: Up Huntington Ravine Trail, down Gulfside Trail, over Mount Clay Loop, Sphinx Trail (trailwork) up Gulfside Trail, across Alpine Garden, down Lion Head and Tuckerman Ravine Trail
July 31st, 2010: Up Caps Ridge Trail, The Cornice, across Gulfside Trail, Mount Clay Loop, down Crawford Path, up and down Mount Monroe Loop Trail, down Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, over Jewell, Boundary Line, and up Jefferson Notch Road
July 18th, 2010: Up Tuckerman Ravine Trail, down Gulfside and Sphinx Trail, up Great Gulf Trail, down Nelson Crag Trail and Old Jackson Road
June 19th, 2010: Full Presidential Range Traverse (North to South)
June 12th, 2010: Across Jewell/Boundary Line Trail, up Jefferson Notch Road, Caps Ridge and Mount Jefferson Loop Trail, across and up Gulfside Trail, down Crawford Path, Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail,
May 16th, 2010: Up Tuckerman Ravine and Lion Head Trail, down Davis Path, Boot Spur, Boot Spur Link, and Tuckerman Ravine Trail
April 24th, 2010: Up Crawford Path (and loop trails), down Cog Tracks
January 23rd, 2010: Up and down Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, Mount Monroe Loop Trail, and Crawfprd Path
November 8th, 2009: Up Ammonoosuc Ravine, Mount Monroe Loop Trail, and Crawford Path, down Gulfside and Jewell Trail
September 20th, 2009: Up Huntington Ravine, down Crawford path, up Mount Monroe Loop Trail, over Camel Trail and Davis Path, Down Boot Spur and Tuckerman Ravine Trail
August 8th, 2009: Across Old Jackson Road and Madison Gulf Trail, up Great Gulf Trail, down Davis Path, Gulf of Slides, and Direttissma Trail
August 8th, 2009: Presidential Range Traverse (South to North)
October 11th, 2008: Up Jewell and Gulfside Trail, down Lion Head and Tuckerman Ravine Trail
June 28th, 2008: Full Presidential Rnge Traverse (North to South)
July 4th, 2007: Up Huntington Ravine Trail, down Tuckerman Ravine Trail