On a clear day, you can view the Atlantic Ocean and six states from the summit. Tripadvisor review of Mt. Washington Auto Road in Gorham, New Hampshire. The road was built as an alternative to the more winding old Bartlett Trail that winds its way up the mountain.
Mount Washington at sunset. Photo by James Gathany/CDC via Wikimedia Commons.
Mount Washington has three major summits: Adams (4,849 feet), Jefferson (4,752 feet), and Madison (4,693 feet). The highest of these is called the North Peak for obvious reasons. A fourth peak, named South Peak, lies within the boundary of Mount Washington State Park but is not open to the public.
The first recorded ascent of Mount Washington was on September 20, 1714 by a party led by Ensign Edward Winslow of the Massachusetts Navy who were searching for a passage to the Pacific Ocean. After several days of heavy rain, poor weather conditions forced them to return to their ship without having found a route through the mountains.
Over the next two centuries many attempts were made to climb the mountain, but they all failed until 1869 when Dr. Elias Doud, chief physician of the Boston Medical College, successfully climbed all four peaks.
When you drive alone or take a pleasant 2-hour guided trip to the summit of Mt. Washington, you will be able to admire the timeless and dramatic grandeur of the Presidential Range and the highest mountain in the Northeast. The 7.6-mile auto route is full of adventure, with four different natural zones to explore. The road was built by the federal government as part of its scenic highway system. Today it remains one of the most beautiful ways to see the Connecticut River Valley.
You can drive up the mountain but it's not recommended for those who are not experienced drivers. The road is very narrow and has many hairpin turns. There are rest stops along the way where you can buy food and supplies. You should also bring water because there are no facilities on the mountain.
The journey begins at an entrance about 3 miles from the center of Manchester. Here you will find information about activities and events at the Mount Washington Resort & Spa, as well as a parking lot. From here, follow the signs to the left toward Crawford Notch State Park. After passing some small towns and climbing through several small ranges, the road reaches its highest point near the summit of Mt. Washington (5,344 feet). At this point you have reached the boundary of New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
The return trip down the mountain is equally exciting. As you approach the Massachusetts border, look out for moose, deer, and other wildlife.
The Mt. Washington Auto Road, located about 25 minutes north of North Conway, NH on picturesque NH Route 16, affords breathtaking views into the Great Gulf Wilderness and the Presidential Mountain Range as you drive alone or join a guided trip to the summit of Mt. Washington. The road was built in 1838 and is one of the oldest auto trails in New England.
Mt. Washington (5,322 feet), named after George Washington, who owned land near the mountain's base at the time of its naming in 1754, is the highest peak in New Hampshire and is part of the Presidential Range which extends into four states: Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania. The range takes its name from George Washington, who owned land near the mountain when it was first named in 1754.
Mt. Washington is also known as the White Mountain because of its high elevation and snow-covered during most of the year. The mountain's true color is actually gray, but due to its location in the center of the continent between oceans and continents, it receives very little sunlight and therefore has a very low amount of vegetation. Most of the water that does make it to the top runs off rather than evaporating due to the extreme altitude, and this is why there is no lake at the summit.
There are several ways to get to the top of Mt. Washington.