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Mt. Washington Auto Road

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General Information

Description - An engineering feat, the old carriage road opened in 1861 accommodating horse drawn wagons and carriages. Today, motorists, hikers and mountain bikers love the 8-mile scenic route. Fees apply.

Attractions - This marvelous mountain attracts thousands of visitors each season to experience the 6,288 foot peak. A few facts about the road: The road is 7.6 miles in length with a 12% grade. Sixty-five percent of the road is paved. From the base of the mountain, the elevation is 1,565 feet. The road climbs 4,727 feet. Back on April 12, 1934, the highest wind recorded was 231 mph (372 kph). Note official hurricane speeds begin at 75 mph. The lowest temperature recorded on Mt. Washington was -47 degrees Fahrenheit (-43.9 C) in January of 1934. The mountain's warmest temperature has only reached a mere 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 C) in August 1975. The average snowfall for this mountain peak is 256 inches. The summit remains in the clouds 60 percent of the time.

Recreation - The pathway to the summit is an unbelievably gorgeous site. Each year the roadway opens in late May and closes in late October. The road meanders up to Mt. Washington, 6,288 feet elevation, at a 12% grade allowing motorists, hikers and mountain bikers a true adventure. Motorists may use a free audio cassette or CD to hear about the history, geography, climate and wildlife associated with the mountain. If you wish to have someone drive you, this is possible too. Seasonal daily van tours are available from 8:30 am until 5:00 p.m. The round-trip takes approximately 1 1/2 hours which includes spending 1/2 hour enjoying the summit views. If you wish to drive your own vehicle, you will want to make sure that your vehicle meets the posted size and weight limitations. Annual races and celebrations are held each season.
Private Vehicle Fees:
Car and Driver - $16
Motorcyclist - $8
Each additional adult - $6
Children age 5 - 12 - $4
Children under 5 - free

Guided Tour Fees:
Adults - $22
Seniors 62+ - $20
Children age 5 - 12 - $10
Children under 5 - free

Climate - New Hampshire residents experience four distinct seasons. Winter can be cold with average temperatures ranging around 19 degrees Fahrenheit. The cold temperatures humidity bring heavy, water-laden snow to all parts of the state. Spring begins in mid-March and lasts through May. Average summer temperatures range around 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Note: The summit's highest temperature has never risen above 72 degrees Fahrenheit and has dropped to -47 degrees Fahrenheit. Also 60% of the time the summit is cloud covered.

Location - Mt. Washington Auto Road is located at Great Glen in the White Mountains Travel Region along Rt. 16.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: mrs. jen bourget (woonsocket, r.i.)
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: we have been up and down the auto raod many many times. the views are absolutley breathtaking. even if you do not want to go for the ride up the auto in a car, van, or motorcycle (which we also have done--very wild on a motorcycle!!!!) the views from the base are just as spectacular. you can enjoy lunch at the stagecoach house--across the street from the auto road. this also where you purchase your tickets if you are taking the coach van up. there is a gift shop also in the stage coach house. in May you can stand across from the auto road and actually watch the last of the snow in the ravines melting off the mountains. If you just want to walk around the area -- glen ellis trails abutts the base of the auto road. you can walk in these trails for a minimal fee or rent a bike and ride to your hearts content. inside the trails is beautiful. you can spend an entire afternoon till the early evening hours in this one little part of new hampshire and be content. If you want to get courageous and don't want to ride up the road. you can travel to bretton woods area of new hampshire (actually called 'fabian') and take the cog railway up to the top of Mt. washington. this is a spectacular ride also. taking the train up and back down and time on the top is altogether about 3-4 hours. well worth the money. which, bye the way, is a little expensive now. for myself , my husband , and small son it was about $79.00 so to spend the afternoon at the cog station, take the train up and have lunch, you're talking and easy $110-$120 dollars for one afternoon. but again --well worth all the money in the world for the views you get and the feeling of peace.

More Information

Contact Information:
Mt. Washington Auto Road, Pinkham Notch , Gorham, NH, 03581, Phone: 603-466-3988

Additional Information:
New Hampshire Scenic Byways - New Hampshire currently offers two National Scenic Byways, Kankamagus Scenic Byway and White Mountain Trail, as well as fourteen state designated byways.

Mt. Washington Auto Road - Local information
Scenic Byways Homepage - National Scenic Byways official web site with detailed info on all national and state byways.


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