Favorite thing: This July day began with sunny skies and a temperature of above 80 degrees. At the summit, the temperature registered somewhere in the 40s and light rain fell. When you hear that the conditions on Mount Washington can change dramatically, believe it.
This was supposed to be a shortcut and an easier way down. But the entire mountain is covered in those dreaded rocks. I know this is the granite state, but is it too much to ask for to find a dirt trail?
Again, I am kidding. This little segue lead to a cool area within the ravine and past a steep slope where, I'm told, people ski in the winter.
Mount Washington may seem like an easy hike, but there are a lot of factors which negate that conclusion. The hike to the summit is about 4.5 miles with an elevation gain of 4,500 feet. The first part of the hike is a pretty steep uphill trudge. And then you get to the large yet loose granite rocks which are a strain to climb and will test your balance.
When you arrive at the summit, the weather is considerably colder than it was at the bottom. The Mount Washington summit is also known for having the world's worst weather and strongest wind. If you've hiked, you've probably gone from sweaty and tired to shivering and tired, but, in any event disheveled. This is especially true in comparison to the well dressed tourists who took the auto road to the summit and who are happily posing for pictures while you're wondering if that tenderness in your knees is something to be concerned about.
The best and easiest part of a hike is heading down. This is not so on Mount Washington. At least it wasn't for me. Remember those granite rocks I mentioned earlier? Well, you have to climb down them and they are still loose and cause balance problems. This is about the point in time when your ankles start competing with your knees for some sympathy.
Despite my jesting above, this is a great hike. A challenging one, but a fun trek as well. Its an all day affair, and you do need to be concerned about weather as you can encounter anything en route to the top. I'd seriously do it all over again if I could. But, next time, I'll take an automobile back down.
Fondest memory: Hiking to the Mount Washington summit.
The traffic might be awful most of the time but there are great views to see as you crawl thru town. Of course the Fall colors up here are beautiful and if you get tired of looking at all that beauty? Stop and Shop!
Fondest memory: Viewing the Mountains, Fall Colors, Sightseeing and Shopping!
Climb up Cathedral Ledge located close to West Side Road. It´s a high mountain wall. From the top you have a breathtaking view across the valley. Might be closed during wintertime.
Fondest memory: A drive north on Route 16 to Wildcat Ski Area and Mount Washington. The scenary is beautiful. I didn´t ski at Wildcat because it was too expensive, neither did I get on top of Mount Washington (the scenic road to the top of New Hampshire´s highest mountain was closed due to winter conditions), but only the drive through the White Mountains National Forest on Route 16 was awesome and worth spending some gas.