Huntington Ravine

Date of Hike: 8/14/10

Tuckerman / Huntington Ravine / Nelson Crag Trail: 4.4 miles
Gulfside / Mount Clay Loop Trail: 2.3 miles
Sphinx Trail: .4 miles
Gulfside / Nelson Crag Trail: 2.6 miles
Alpine Garden Trail: .9 miles
Lion Head / Tuckerman Ravine Trail: 3.4 miles
Total Miles: 14.0 miles (6,150 elevation gain)

Trip Report:
- My favorite trail in all of the white Mountains is the Huntington Ravine Trail.  It is seriously steep, has some serious rock scrambles, and can result in some serious injuries if you slip and fall.  With that being said it is one of the most beautiful trails around and although difficult the views and experience of hiking through the ravine are beyond rewarding.
- On trail at 8:15am, summit of Mount Washington 11am, trail work on the Sphinx Trail 12:30-3:30pm, finished hiking 7pm.
- With great weather forecast for the weekend Mount Washington was a zoo! Hiking up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail 1.3 miles to the Huntington Ravine Trail I must have passed well over fifty people all heading up the "highway".
- Once on the Huntington Ravine Trail it was a different story as only a handful of people were on the trail and most of them were heading over to Pinnacle Gully to rock climb.
- The real fun starts as you reach "The Fan" which is a huge boulder field below Central Gully.  From here the trail becomes very steep as you go up and across The Fan, then climb through scrub until you reach the first and most difficult rock scramble.
- This was my sixth time up Huntington Ravine and until last September I never had any problems with the first scramble, but last year was my first time solo hiking the trail so I thought that had something to do with it.  However this year was much easier because I followed the old white arrows the whole way up the first scramble and not the yellow blazes that half way up leave the "crack" and go a few feet over to the right leading up over a smooth rock face with minute handholds!  Last year I ended up bypassing this part and slowly walked across the ledge and over to a scrub path.
- After the first scramble the rest of scrambles became easier as the views kept getting more impressive the higher I climbed until finally I reached the huge rock cairn at the top of Huntington Ravine.
- I made pretty good time up to Mount Washington and lucked out as the summit was not yet overly crowded and was able to relax and refuel for a few minutes before I headed over to the Sphinx Trail to do some trail work.
- The hike over Mount Clay down to the Sphinx Col was fun as I passed by dozens of hikers going every which way enjoying the great weather and even greater views.
- Once I made it to the Sphinx Trail it was time to break out the tools and get to work on trail clearing.  I have four tools that I use for trail work and of course I've named them all...a sawed off garden hoe (Your Mom), branch loppers (SNAFU), a razor tooth saw (GFY), and a pick/mattock (FUBAR)...(Click here for Pic). Since I hiked up the Huntington Ravine Trail, I thought it was best to leave Your Mom at home!
- The trail work was fun at first until it became apparent that it was much tougher clipping back a narrow trail and having to toss the debris off the trail and out of sight than I thought it would be.  So for three hours I made it about .2 miles and cut back four sections of trail and moved one cairn so it was easier to spot.  Click here, here, and here for pics.
- On the hike back to Pinkham Notch I decided to hike back up to the Nelson Crag Trail and drop down and hike across the Alpine Garden and down Lion Head Trail.  It was my first time on the Alpine Garden Trail and it was awesome, there were some purple and yellow flowers along the way and the views were great.
- I took a nice long break on the Lion Head Trail and talked to a couple who were staying at the Hermit Lake shelters and planning their hike for the next day as we all enjoyed the killer views into Tuckerman Ravine.
- Once back on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail the hike as usual became a long slog as it was now past 6pm and eventhough there were still tons of people on the trail everyone was drained and had that look of "Will this trail ever end" on their faces.
- Back at the car I got my sock full of quarters out and took a nice freezing cold shower in the pack room, relaxed, and stuffed my face full of food to get ready for Sunday's big adventure up the abandoned Adams Slide Trail!

Pictures: Click here for all pictures

The Fan, Central and Pinnacle Gully
First Rock Scramble
Wildcat Ridge from Huntington Ravine Trail
Cog Railway and Mount Jefferson from Observatory
Alpine Garden Trail


  1. Love the tool names

  2. Awesome! I appreciate your comments, description and photos!
    I`m on the verge to do HRT for the 1st time and I am trying to prepare physically and mentally to do it, solo if I can't find a body to join along.

    1. Enjoy you hike of Huntington Ravine, Rosaire! It's one of my favorite trails. Hope you get a great weather day :)