Mount Washington- The Highest Peak in the Northeast
We started the day by parking at the Pinkham Notch parking area, which is where most of the main trails begin. There are many trails to get the top of Mt. Washington, which vary in distance and difficulty. We chose to take the Tuckerman Ravine trail to the Lion Head trail. These trails were moderate in difficulty, with some minor climbing involved.
The hike started off on the Tuckerman Ravine trail, which was predominately a steep hike through the woods for a couple of miles, with no climbing involved yet. From there, the Tuckerman trail gives you the option to branch off to the Lion Head trail. This was when the hike started to become very challenging, but the views became very rewarding. As we progressed up the Lion Head trail, the trees began to thin out and we were able to catch some amazing views. While the weather on Mt. Washington can often be variable, we made sure to choose a day with mostly clear skies.
After another couple miles on Lion Head, it merges again with the Tuckerman Ravine trail for the final ascent to the summit. The final push is a scramble for about an hour, through a mass of large rocks and boulders. Overall it took us about 4.5 hours to make it to the top.
When we got to the top of the mountain, we decided to go into the gift shop to grab some water. Just as we walked in the door a frantic women approached us asking if we would drive her car down the mountain (Mt. Washington also has an auto-road that allow visitors to drive up to the summit). After some clarifying questions, we learned that she felt very uncomfortable driving up the steep, winding road with no guardrail and there was no way she was going to make it down driving alone. Not to mention, she also had a whole van full of kids with her. We decided to be good samaritans and drove her van loaded up with two families of kids down Mt. Washington.
While we had planned to make the hike down, it was a rare opportunity to be able to enjoy a hike and also experience the auto-road in one trip. The views are from different sides of the mountain and both were unique and stunning in different ways. This is definitely a hike we'll never forget!
Kristy Albano & Matt Pickering