Underwrite our website for a day! Learn how.
Join Email List
 
This page sponsored by Subaru

Winter Day Trips

trip photos

A True Alpine Adventure

Summit a snow-covered peak in a day? With Mount Washington Observatory DayTrips, you can.

You'll enjoy a thrilling snowcat ride to the top of the tallest peak in the Northeast and spend a day reveling in the mountain's legendary weather and scenery. A highlight of your visit will be a guided tour of Mount Washington Observatory's famous mountaintop weather station and the opportunity to meet the scientists living and working in this remote outpost. Then, after a hearty, homemade lunch, you'll head back down the mountain before nightfall.

If you're looking a true alpine adventure in a succinct, affordable format, this is the trip for you.

What's Included:

  • Round-trip transportation to and from the base in our deluxe snowcat
  • A dedicated Observatory trip leader
  • Beverages and snacks upon arrival and lunch before you leave
  • A backstage tour of our weather station
  • The opportunity to experience Mount Washington's famous winter extremes

Want something longer? Check out our overnights.


arrow Trip Format

Your adventure will begin at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road, where you'll meet your trip leaders and load the snowcat. As you ascend the 8-mile road, you'll take in the incredible scenery of Pinkham Notch and the Presidential Range while marveling at the power of a two-ton tracked vehicle plowing through massive snowdrifts.

When you reach the top you will have gained more than 3,500 feet of elevation, traveling from the temperate forest, through tree line, and into to the alpine zone–a rugged, otherworldly landscape of earth and sky. After unloading the snowcat you'll head inside the weather station and warm up with a hot beverage and snack.

The rest of your day will be planned around the mountain's incredible weather, but will include:

  • Ample opportunity to experience subarctic-like conditions, which often include winds at or above hurricane force, remarkable icing, freezing temperatures, blowing snow and more
  • A behind-the-scenes tour of Mount Washington Observatory's famous mountaintop weather station, where you'll learn about the institution's work and see the instruments used by Observatory scientists
  • A trip to the top of the instrument tower for a birds-eye view of the summit from the highest point on the mountain
  • A delicious, homemade lunch

Trips meet at 8:30am and generally arrive back at the base around 3:00pm. Please note that the exact timing of your ascent and return will be determined by the weather, so participants should be prepared for schedule changes. The changes could be as minor as an earlier departure to avoid an approaching storm, or as major as having to spend the night on the summit in the event of an extremely severe, unanticipated weather event. Safety trumps all other concerns, so please bring your sense of adventure and a willingness to go with the flow.

arrow Dates

January 12, 2015
January 19
February 2
February 9
February 16
March 2
March 9
March 16
March 23

Register

arrow Cost

$199 for supporting members of the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory
$239 for non-members

Not a member? Join now to save money and enjoy a number of valuable, exclusive benefits.

arrow Reservations

Reservations may be made through this website or by phone at (603) 356-2137, ext. 225. Trips are limited to a maximum of nine participants, and we maintain waiting lists for trips that are full.

Register

arrow Health & Safety Requirements

Observatory trips grant access to Mount Washington's alpine zone, but not everyone is suited for this environment. Please read our full health and safety requirements to make sure you are eligible for a Mount Washington Observatory winter trip.

arrow Age Requirements

The minimum age for a winter trip is 16. Minors must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or qualified adult leader, and must meet all health and safety requirements.

arrow Gear Requirements

For your health and safety, and for the health and safety of your fellow trip mates, you will be required to come prepared with attire and gear to protect you from Mount Washington's extreme conditions. View the full list on our winter day trip gear list.

If you have any questions about any of this gear, don't hesitate to contact us. We will help you find what you need to enjoy the trip of a lifetime!

arrow Directions

Trips depart from and return to the employee parking lot at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. The employee parking lot is located immediately north of the main entrance to the Auto Road. If you accidentally enter the main entrance of the Auto Road you will know you're in the wrong spot when you find yourself sitting at a locked gate. Go back to the road, take a left, drive a few hundred feet and turn left into the employee parking lot. You'll see your trip leaders and a Mount Washington Observatory vehicle.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road is located on NH Route 16 in Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire – 12 miles north of Jackson, NH, and 8 miles south of Gorham, NH. It is sometimes hard to find with GPS devices. Try 1 Mount Washington Auto Road, Gorham, NH or simply enter "Mt Washington Auto Road" or "Glen House" in your GPS Attractions or Points of Interest page. However, remember that you are going to the employee parking lot, not the main entrance.

The GPS coordinates are: 44.28850 Lat., -71.22580 Long.

arrow Travel Considerations

Extreme weather may occur at any time, and may delay a trip's descent. For this reason, we recommend that you remain flexible with your travel plans for the day or two after your trip—it's part of the adventure!

arrow Area Lodging

For a list of area lodging options, visit our lodging partners page.

arrow Cancellations

Trip fees will be refunded for cancellations made at least 30 days before the trip date, less a $50 administrative fee. Cancellations less than 30 days but more than 14 days before the departure date will be credited at 50%. Cancellations made within 14 days of the trip date will result in forfeiture of the entire trip fee.

A minimum of six participants is required for a trip to run. If we do not reach that minimum by one week before the trip, the trip may be cancelled. All registrants will be offered the option of a refund or a re-booking on another trip.

The safety of our guests and employees is of utmost importance, so trips may be canceled due to extremely inclement weather. We will do our best to notify all participants of the cancellation in advance, but mountain weather is notoriously unpredictable, so we cannot guarantee advance notice. The decision to cancel a trip could be made on the morning of the trip, or even during the ascent.



Register

WINTER TRIPS

CONTACT

Michelle Cruz, Director of Education
(800) 706-0432, ext. 225
Email

Home of the World's Worst Weather
Administration: 2779 White Mountain Highway, P. O. Box 2310, North Conway, NH 03860 • Tel: 603-356-2137 • Fax: 603-356-0307 • contact us
>> OUR PARTNERS Eastern Mountain Sports Subaru Cranmore Mt Washington Auto Road Mt Washington Cog Railway Vasque EATON MWVCC
Mount Washington Observatory respects your privacy           ©2014 Mount Washington Observatory           Site Directory
Web Site Support from Zakon Group LLC