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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Mt. Washington
Pinkham's Grant, NH, Sargent's Purchase, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Looking up the Huntington Ravine Trail
Looking up the Huntington Ravine Trail

Route: Huntington Ravine Trail, Raymond Trail, fire road, Huntington Ravine Trail, Nelson Crag Trail, (Mt. Washington), Nelson Crag Trail, Huntington Ravine Trail, Alpine Garden Trail, Lion Head Trail, Tuckerman Ravine Trail

With the last decent day in the weather forecast, I decided to take off the afternoon and head up to Mt. Washington. Having only ascended from Pinkham Notch once before, I decided it was time to give Huntington Ravine Trail a try.

Due to the rebuilding of the parking lot, I had to park in an overflow lot to the south. Heading up the rocky roadwalk portion of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, I breezed right by the Huntington Ravine Trail entrance. Having not memorized the order of turn offs, I also passed the fire road entrance, and soon arrived at the Raymond Path. I then worked my way over to the fire road, and then to the Huntington Ravine Trail proper.

As I climbed into the base of the ravine, it didn't strike me as much as Tuckerman Ravine had. Nonetheless, I couldn't help but wonder where the trail would ascend. The first portion of the trail at this point, weaving to the base of the actual climb, was rough with some odd over-boulder scrambles.

After climbing up through some scrub and rock fields, I soon reached the first set of slabs. Fortunately, I was able to find some dry rock and scramble up with limited hand and foot holds.

After quite a bit of time scrambling and taking photos (as well as watching the search and rescue helicopter hovering around the region), I thought I was through the most challenging terrain. Not the case! I soon was on a steep scramble with a good sized drop off to one site. Above that, things did become a bit more tame.

Reaching the top of the ravine, I continued up the Huntington Ravine Trail to the Nelson Crag Trail. Crossing over Ball Crag, waiting a bit to cross the auto road (motorcycle week traffic), then crossing the cog railroad, I soon arrived at the busy summit.

In my previous hike of Mt. Washington from Pinkham, I enjoyed a quiet summit due to starting at an early hour. On this day, I spent some time in the cafeteria, leaving just before the summit facilities closed. At this point, the summit was once again fairly quiet - not bad for a sunny day in summer conditions!

For the descent, I worked my way down to the Alpine Garden from the Nelson Crag and Huntington Ravine Trails. While probably not at peak, there was nonetheless some nice alpine flora to see.

Arriving at the Lion Head Trail, things started off fairly gradually at first, with some nice views into Tucks (still a lot of snow down there). After passing the Lion Head, the trail dropped steeply into the scrub and then woods. Reaching the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, I slowly worked my way back to Pinkham, hopping over the hoard of rocks that cover the roadbed.

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Mt. Washington
Length: Difficult
Steepness: Very Difficult
Navigation: Moderate
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Heavy

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Hike Commenced: 12:36 PM
Parking Elevation: 2,025'
Destination: Mt. Washington
Ascent Commenced: 12:41 PM
Summit Reached: 4:00 PM
Time Elapsed: 03:19
Trailhead Elevation: 2,032'
Summit Elevation: 6,288'
Vertical Gain: 4,556'
Hike Ended: 7:58 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 07:22
Hike Vertical Gain: 4,756'

Tuckerman Ravine Trail trailhead
Tuckerman Ravine Trail trailhead

Looking down the Huntington Ravine Trail
Looking down the Huntington Ravine Trail

Looking at Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Madison from Mt. Washington - Click to enlarge
Looking at Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Madison from Mt. Washington

A wildflower in the Alpine Garden
A wildflower in the Alpine Garden

Diapensia in the Alpine Garden
Diapensia in the Alpine Garden

Topographic map of Mt. Washington - Click to enlarge

Directions to trailhead: Take Route 16 North from Jackson to Pinkham Notch. The Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, parking lots, and Tuckerman Ravine Trail trailhead are on the left, shortly before Wildcat Ski Area.

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