Mount Washington: Pinkham Notch Trailhead

Trail Overview

Numerous trails leaving from Pinkham Notch provide access to Mount Washington from the east side of the Presidential Range.
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Trail Activity
Hiking Snowshoeing
Length
31.80 miles, Network
Difficulty
Advanced, Strenuous
Towns
Pinkham's Grant (NH), Sargents Purchase (NH), Thompson & Meserve (NH)
Surface
Packed Earth/Dirt, Rock/Ledge
Pets
Permitted on leash
Fees
No
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Description

HIGH USE TRAILS:

This is a busy trail system, especially on weekends between 9AM-4PM. Consider visiting outside of peak periods. Use Trail Finder to identify other nearby trails. If the parking lot is full when you arrive, please choose another trail. 

Learn more about high use trail systems.

Mount Washington is home to a rich network of hiking trails. Whether climbing New England's highest peak or seeking a shorter adventure, Pinkham Notch is a popular access area with a Visitor Center and wide variety of trail experiences available.

Tuckerman Ravine Trail: One of the most popular and iconic routes up Mount Washington, the 3.9 mile Tuckerman Ravine Trail climbs up into the bowl of Tuckerman Ravine to Hermit Lake and continues up the steep face of the ravine to the summit cone of Mount Washington above. Leaving from the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, the trail climbs steadily along the Cutler River and past Crystal Cascade to the Hermit Lake Shelters in 2.3 miles. Campsites are available year-round on a first-come-first-served basis, with a year-round caretaker present. Continuing up into the ravine, in 1.0 miles the trail reaches the base of the headwall and climbs steeply. Above the headwall, continue through Tuckerman Junction on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail to ascend the final 0.5 miles to the summit.

Lion Head Trail: A popular alternate summit route, the Lion Head Trail begins just below Hermit Lake Shelters, leaving the Tuckerman Ravine Trail 2.2 miles from the trailhead. The Lion Head Trail climbs steeply and in 0.6 miles gains the ridgetop prominence known as Lion Head. From there, the trail climbs steadily uphill 0.6 miles to rejoin the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, leading the final 0.3 miles to the summit.

Boott Spur Trail: The 2.5 mile Boott Spur Trail is another popular summit route via the south ridge of Tuckerman Ravine and following the historic Davis Path to the summit of Mount Washington. Beginning from the Visitor's Center, follow the Tuckerman Ravine Trail 0.4 miles uphill and turn left onto the Boott Spur Trail. 

Lower Elevation Hikes: For a shorter day-hike, popular trips from Pinkham Notch include hiking up to Crystal Cascades and Hermit Lake via the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, and visiting Glen Boulder via the Glen Boulder Trail.

Other Information

Before you hike, know the hiker responsibility code and be prepared:

  • With knowledge and gear
  • To leave your plans
  • To stay together
  • To turn back
  • For emergencies
  • To share the hiker code with others.

Visit the hikeSafe website to learn more!

Mount Washington State Park: 

Occupying 60 acres on the summit of the Northeast's highest peak, Mount Washington State Park is surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest and, one a clear day, affords views that extend as far as 130 miles to Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Quebec, and the Atlantic Ocean. The Sherman Adams building, a modern summit building, houses The Sherman Adams Visitor Center, a cafeteria, restrooms, gift shops, the Mount Washington Observatory and its museum. The historic Tip-Top House is located adjacent to the summit building. Visitor services are only available during the summer hiker season.

Learn more about the park and visitor services from NHSP's Mount Washington State Park web page

Trail Manager

These trails are managed jointly by the White Mountains National Forest and NH State Parks and maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club. For more information, contact:

Appalachian Mountain Club

Appalachian Mountain Club
P.O. Box 298
361 Route 16
Phone: 603-466-2721
AMCinformation@outdoors.org
View website

White Mountain National Forest: Androscoggin Ranger District

White Mountain National Forest: Androscoggin Ranger District
300 Glen Road
Phone: (603) 466-2713 x 0
View website

New Hampshire State Parks

New Hampshire State Parks
New Hampshire State Parks
172 Pembroke Road
Phone: (603) 271-3556
nhparks@dncr.nh.gov
View website

Trail Tips

Respect Wildlife
Keep your pets under control at all times, to protect both them and wild animals, fragile environments, and the enjoyment of other visitors.
Legend
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Trailhead Information

Pinkham Notch Trailhead: From North Conway, New Hampshire, head north on US-16 for 5.4 miles and turn right in Glen to continue north on US-16 towards Pinkham Notch. In 12 miles, turn left into the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.

Direttissima Trailhead: Hikers can reach the trailhead by using the Direttissima Trail parking area 0.1 miles south of the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center on the same (west) side of the road, or simply parking at the Visitors Center and following the access trail at the south end of the parking lot.

Glen Ellis Falls Trailhead: From North Conway, New Hampshire, head north on US-16 for 5.4 miles and turn right in Glen to continue north on US-16 towards Pinkham Notch. In 11.2 miles, turn left into the parking area for the Glen Ellis Falls Trailhead.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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