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A strenuous but fantastic hike to the summit of Mount Washington.


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6,251' 1,905 m


2,098' 639 m


4,154' 1,266 m


4,152' 1,266 m



Avg Grade (11°)


Max Grade (36°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall


A stunning and rugged loop up to the summit of Mount Washington. While you can drive to the summit, it will feel much more rewarding to reach it via the classic Tuckerman Ravine trail.


This hike begins at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center and heads up the Tuckerman Ravine trail. For the first 0.2 miles you'll ascend along the babbling Cutler River. As you cross the bridge you'll have nice views of the Crystal Cascade Falls. From here, the grade of the trail steepens as it climbs up the ravine towards Hermit Lake.

Before you make it to the lake, take a right onto Lion's Head Trail. You'll ascend the northern ridgeline of the ravine which takes you up to Lion's Head, a rocky outcrop above the ravine. The grade continues to be steep for about a half mile. You'll have a nice respite for a bit as you cross the Alpine Garden trail but you'll shortly be climbing again to rejoin the Tuckerman Ravine trail. Take a right here and follow the Tuckerman Ravine trail towards the summit. You'll reach the parking area and from here will navigate via the sidewalk paths and parking areas to the summit station. Here you'll find the Mount Washington Observatory, The Tip Top House, and a place to use the restroom and refill water. The Mount Washington Observatory is a weather station that studies the uniquely harsh conditions found at the summit. Be aware the weather varies drastically above tree line than at the base. Thanks to the observatory, you can check the higher summits forecast for the White Mountains here. The official summit is a large signed cairn located behind the station.

After enjoying the views return the way you came to reach the Tuckerman Ravine trail. This time, continue following the Tuckerman Ravine all the way down. Tuckerman Ravine is most famous for being the most popular backcountry ski destination on the East Coast. The ravine holds snow well into the summer while most of the backcountry skiing takes place in April & May you may see skiers as late as July 4th. The trail get's incredibly steep at times as it descends the headwall. There are narrow sections and some places can be wet, so watch your footing to avoid slipping. The trail can be quite rocky, even after dropping below the headwall, and you'll be following a small alpine stream all the way to Hermit Lake. Here there is a cabin and some restrooms. From the lake, continue down Tuckerman Ravine trail back to the visitor center.


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Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 16 votes


  4.6 from 16 votes
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56 Views Last Month
10,955 Since Apr 15, 2019
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Mount Washington Peak, Gorham, NH
Jul 1, 2015 near Pinkham…, NH
Tuckerman Ravine from Hermit Lake Shelters.
Oct 9, 2016 near Pinkham…, NH
Looking back from the summit.
Jul 1, 2015 near Pinkham…, NH
Climbing down from the summit towards Tuckerman Ravine
Jun 6, 2018 near Pinkham…, NH
Summit lookout on a clear day.
Sep 7, 2019 near Pinkham…, NH
Even in July, the summit of Mount Washington lives up to its reputation. The base was sunny and 70 degrees, while the summit was 40 degrees with 70 MPH winds.
Mar 30, 2017 near Pinkham…, NH



Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Sep 3, 2023
Johann TheMon
Sep 27, 2022
Nate B
Apr 2, 2022
Johann TheMon
Oct 13, 2021
Private User
Aug 24, 2021
John Parks
Jan 4, 2021
David H
Nov 7, 2020
Nate Roberts
Crampons + ice axe recommended. Warm ish and wet in valley. Freezing 55-75mph wind, 3-5 feet of snow, icy sections, VERY STEEP. Plan for a 10 hour day 10.5mi — 8h 30m
Sep 13, 2020
Matthew Blank

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