For a one-of-a-kind experience drive yourself or take a guided tour up the Mt. Washington Auto Road to the summit of Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast. Be sure to pack your camera or iPhone because you’ll want to snap lots of photos along the way of the breathtaking vistas.
First opened in 1861, when horse-drawn wagons ferried visitors to the summit, the Mt. Washington Auto Road is America’s oldest man-made tourist attraction. Today, the mostly paved eight-mile-long Auto Road is traveled by motorists, motorcyclists, bicyclists and hikers eager to experience the amazing history, unpredictable weather, panoramic views and the opportunity to pass through four distinct climate zones.
Although days of sunny skies and jaw-dropping vistas elicit plenty of oohs and aahs, cloudy days show off the extreme weather that Mount Washington is so well known for. You can drive yourself to the summit, hop aboard an Auto Road van for a guided tour, or hike to the top of the 6,288-foot mountain.
The Auto Road offers two- and three-hour guided tours in comfortable vans with experienced drivers who regale passengers with the history and lore of the mountain.
The two-hour tour includes an hour on the summit, with time to explore the historic summit buildings and complimentary access to the Mount Washington Observatory’s interactive Extreme Mt. Washington Museum.
The three-hour guided tours provide visitors with the opportunity to explore the Auto Road anywhere from the base at Great Glen Trails to the summit of Mount Washington, with extra time for exploring scenic areas along the road and the option to spend more time on the summit.
Guests who choose to drive their own vehicles can spend the entire day exploring the pull-offs, short hikes, alpine flowers and vistas, but on a trip with one of the knowledgeable guides leading the way, will learn so much more and discover some of the hidden gems along the Auto Road.
Once you’ve conquered the summit, consider extending your stay and taking a guided tour of the paddling variety, which is available at Great Glen Trails located at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. Enjoy a guided kayak trip along the scenic lakes and rivers of northern New Hampshire, away from the crowds and with brilliant mountain views and opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Or rent a bike at Great Glen Trails and peddle along well-marked carriage trails through beautiful meadows and along scenic rivers, with exciting mountain views at every turn.
The Mt. Washington Auto Road is open daily until late October for drive yourself touring. Two-hour guided tours are available daily through late October, while three-hour tours are available from June 7-September 3. All tours are weather permitting.
For the latest updates on Road conditions and the operating schedule, visit www.MtWashingtonAutoRoad.com or call (603) 446-3988. The Auto Road is located just off Route 16 in Pinkham Notch.