Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States, standing at 6,288.2 feet. It is in New Hampshire and you can either hike it or drive your car to the top. Of course, I have no idea why anyone would drive when they could hike it, but it is great that is possible to get to the top if you only have a short amount of time. It is also fantastic that the peak is accessible to those with disabilities who are unable to hike to the top.
I have climbed this mountain and those surrounding it a many times, but never had I climbed straight to the top without interruptions, until this past summer.
If you want to get in a good hike, be sure to get there early. It will take you less than half the day to climb if you are going at a steady pace and enjoying your surroundings. It is also nice to get there before everyone else does. Mount Washington was about an hour away from us, so we got up early, packed our packed and drove off at 5:00am.
We parked in the lot right at the base and got ready to get going. Be sure to stop at the bathroom before you start, you wont find another restroom until halfway up.
There are a few different paths to take to get to the summit. We chose Tuckerman Ravine. It is probably the easiest route, and most popular one to take. (Note: “easiest route” does not mean the route is easy.)
The hike is mainly straight up, and you will hit a point where you are practically on your hands and knees while getting up the mountain.
When we went, it was late June or early July, and there was still snow! Once we were half way up or so, there were giant snow rifts, still holding strong along the trails. There are signs asking you to be careful and not climb on or under the snow.
Along the route you will find lots of waterfalls and a few bridges to cross. Take your time and appreciate the beauty. It is not a race….well, unless you make it one.
Be sure to take breaks when you need it and stay hydrated! You may also find it will help to wear layers. I cannot count the number of times we put on or took off our long sleeves or sweatshirts throughout the hike.
When you reach the top, you will find way more people than you passed along the paths. There will be a parking lot full of cars, a gift shop, a small snack shack and bathrooms.
Keep walking and you will find the summit! Congratulations on your 6,288 foot climb!
Around the summit and shops there will be lots of signs with information about the mountain, climbers and surrounding elements.
In case you are wondering… yes, my hand did get in the way of the sign… the correct number is 231 miles per hour.
After browsing around the top for a bit, and taking a needed break, we preceded to climb back down the mountain. (Thanks to the fog, we did not get much of a view.)
After your journey, be sure to keep drinking water, even if you do not think you need it. Make sure that you are also eating the right food to help care for your muscles.
All in all, enjoy the hike. It is one I will go back to again and again.