Trip report

Mt. Washington

Hiking/Walk DATE: 07/04/2015 - 07/04/2015

Trip/Event Location: Bretton Woods, NH

Trip Leader(s): Gandalf , JDNnh

Max # People: 15

Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money

Difficulty Level: Very Strenuous

At 6,288 ft. Mt. Washington is the tallest of the NH 4,000 footers and the highest in all of New England and the Northeast. Though the summit is puny compared to other great mountain ranges of the

Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:

We will be meeting at the front of the Cog Railway Base Lodge building at 8AM. You should park at the Base Lodge parking area that charges a nominal fee. Don't park in the WMNF designated parking area a mile away unless you plan to get there early to hike to Base Lodge to meet us in time.

Leave US 302 at Fabyan and drive down on the Base Road to very end where someone will collect a nominal parking fee [perhaps $5] and direct you where to park.


Trip Report/Photos
Featured Photo

When we got to the Hiker Parking Lot at 8AM at the Cog Railway Base it was probably 2/3 full. This is the second time in 4 weeks that we've parked there without anybody collecting money. I'm thinking it might now be free.

We had small flags sticking out of our packs and saw about a dozen decked out in their patriotic outfits in the spirit of the 4th. The connector to the Jewell Trail is located just across the tracks past the train where passengers board. There is a brook crossing soon after the tracks. There are a couple of flat boards across the rocks to make the crossing a bit tricky but everyone made it. The boards were not tied down and would most likely wash away in a significant thunderstorm so I say this crossing is unreliable.  We reached the official Jewell Trail and turned right to start our ascent on the main part of the trail.

The grade was moderate through the woods up to treeline. Beyond treeline the trail was rocky and somewhat steeper. We started to meet hikers above treeline. Quite a few "Happy 4th" were being exchanged by most hikers we met.

The trail climbed steadily up to the junction of the Gulfside Trail. We turned right at the junction and made our way toward the summit of Mount Washington. It was a rock-hopping trek along this part of the trail. We met Appalachian Trail thru-hikers Mozart [from Germany] and Buster [from NY]. They are currently on track finish at the end of July. From all of us here at GayOutdoors, best wishes!

At one point the trail hugged the top edge of the Great Gulf with spectacular views and down into the huge cirque and across to Mt. Jefferson, Adams and Madison. These are some of the finest views in the White Mountains!

We crossed the cog railway tracks and turned on the Trinity Heights Connector. It was great to be on the summit! The views from the top were spectacular in every direction! The hike up took us 4 hours

Then it was time for a well-deserved break inside the summit building. Some of us bought lunch in the cafeteria and relaxed a bit enjoying the breath-taking scenery. With the Auto Road and Cog Railway open and it being the 4th of July, there were lots of people on the summit. We certainly were not the only ones there! There were so many people lined up for a photo by the summit sign we decided to have our group photo on the observation deck with the Mt. Washington Observatory turret behind us. We visited the Tip Top House, the original summit building, before making our descent. The rest of our descent was a return trip using the Jewell Trail again. It was a pleasant trek down and we reached the parking lot in 3.5 hours.

Well I'm not sure where happened to the forecast but 'partly sunny' didn't really happen. However the lack of sun made for a pleasant hike: comfy temps and the views of peaks and ridges all around were very well defined.  There was free parking at the cog, no bugs, no heat or humidity, views, no wind, and excellent company...perfect!
~ Mike Boisvert

What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event

  • Thanks guys for a great hike and a great weekend and meals. Had a fantastic time - HikerBiker

Members That Participated


Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Thornton, NH

United States


Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Thornton, NH

United States


Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate

s. portland, ME

United States


Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Londonderry, NH

United States


Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Keene, NH

United States

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