or call toll free: (800) 525-9100

Mt. Washington

The Highest Peak in the Northeast

Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast and home to the world's strongest wind of 231 mph, stands 6,288 feet above our area.  The view of this mountain, and the views from the mountain, are spectacular and change with every day. On a clear day you can see the Atlantic Ocean, Vermont, and Canada.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road, also known as the Road to the Sky is the oldest manmade attraction in the United States.The Auto Road opened on August 8, 1861 when the first horse-drawn vehicle traveled up the east side of the mountain to the observatory and Tip Top House lodging on the summit. In 1869, the Cog Railway was completed on the west side of the mountain.

The Auto Road generally opens in May once the road is clear for you to drive yourself to the summit or enjoy a guided tour. The Auto Road is also used for an annual road race, a bike race, a ski, snowshoe and fat bike race, and is a must stop for many car clubs visiting the area.  Many firsts have taken place including the first Segway to travel to the summit. 

Tuckerman's Ravine skiing to anyone up for the challenge. Once you have bootpacked your way to the base of the Ravine, plan another 30 minutes to the headwall to begin your run.  Thousands make the trek on a sunny spring weekend, many to just observe, others to see if they have what it takes.  Winter skiers can experience up to a 90-foot base on an average snow year.

In June, birders come from around the world for a chance spotting of Bicknell's Thrush, an extremely rare species with very limited breeding grounds.  The unique, yet harsh climate of Mt. Washington, is just what these birds prefer.  Another rare sighting takes place early June in the Alpine Garden, a broad plateau above treeline. This is a spectacular place to view rmany rare low-growing alpine plants.

No matter how you decide to enjoy Mt. Washington, be prepared.  The weather can be severe and change on a momen'ts notice.  Wear proper hiking boots, bring layers, and stay hydrated.

Ways to enjoy Mt. Washington --

  • The Mt. Washington Auto Road -
    Offering guided van tours in summer and a SnowCoach, a unique winter sightseeing experience to above treeline. Discounted tickets available to Manor guests at the Front Desk.
  • Mount Washington Cog Railway -
    Ride the world's first mountain climbing train for a 3-hour guided tour to the summit with access on the west side of the mountain. Choose to travel in a vintage coach powered by a historic steam locomotive or one of the more modern and eco-friendly biodiesel engines.
  • Mount Washington Observatory -
    The Observatory is a nonprofit research and educational institution working to advance understanding of Earth's weather and climate.  Visit their facility on the summit or sign up for one of their Summit Adventures that include overnights, day trips in summer and winter, and climbing trips. You can even celebrate New Year's Eve on the summit with a gourmet meal!
  • Appalachian Mountain Club - Pinkham Notch Visitor's Center
    A number of trails to the summit begin at the Visitor's Center.  You'll find up-to-date weather information, educational offerings and home-cooked meals.