View Full Version : Looking for advice Hiking MW With Kids

08-08-2009, 12:35 PM
I am planning a hiking trip to MW and am wondering if there have been any youngsters make the entire hike in a day.

We are a group of 3 fit adults who regularly run/mountain bike etc. We try and make a good hike each summer on a family camping trip. We will be taking 4 kids ages 10-14 . All of the kids are very active, fit and healthy. I am not sure if we are crazy taking kids of this age so I thought I would ask here.

I do not think the older kids will have too much trouble but my youngest is only 10. He is very fit - soccer /hockey/mountainbiking/some running. He has made some shorter hikes without any signs of difficulty.

He can run about 5 miles without trouble so I think he may be able to handle it.

We are planning on going the last week of August , only on a good weather day. We will take a proper kit with emergency supplies/foul weather gear /food etc and were planning on making many stops.

Has anyone known of fit kids in that age group making the hike in one day ?

Also is there any option to hiking round trip ie. Is there any possiblilty of taking a bus back down ??


Ross W.

08-08-2009, 09:21 PM
We see kids at that age range all the time hiking up the summit in the summer from either Pinkham or one of the two from the east base. In fact, most of the summer camps in the area that lead kids up the summit are in that range (roughly). I have seen many unfit kids make it as well. But the definition of fit is a sliding scale. Just because someone appears fit by playing sports does not mean they are conditioned to hike up to the summit. The key is to hike as far as your abilities let you. If you have multiple adults going, continue to ask if anyone needs to turn around due to pain or tiredness. And if someone agrees, one of the adults go back with them. It is easier to head down than to continue up to the top and have to hike all the way back on sore/tired muscles.

Starting early is important too so if you need to take breaks often, you are not eating into valuable daylight hours.

As to your roundtrip/ride question, I will start by saying, always be ready to hike down whatever you hike up. But, there are two options of getting down from the summit other than hiking this time of year, but they are: price dependant, space dependant and schedule dependant as well as location. The two options are the cog train or a hiker shuttle van. Both cost a full fair even though they are one way. Both are available first come first serve and with whatever space is available. Both have schedules so if you miss the last one, you will have to hike down or the state parks/fish and game will charge you big bucks to take ya down after hours (and possibly more). Location is key as the cog goes to the west side and the vans to the east. So take the wrong one down and you are 50 miles away (via taxi) from your car. And lastly, they are very weather dependant. If the weather is bad, neither of these will be operating or operating less. The building will be open til about 6:30 pm still during the week you want but you will have to hike down if there isn't anything running. So, be prepared to hike down even if you are eyeing an alternate way down.

Some sites to look at for more information are: www.mountwashington.org/weather for a 36 hour forecast or other weather prior to your hike. thecog.com for the cog railway price and times. And mountwashingtonautoroad.com for the hiker shuttles information.

Hope you have fun!

08-08-2009, 10:24 PM
My sister hiked Mt Washington for the first time when she was 10. I was a couple years older. She didn't do it in one day though, we hiked Tuckerman ravine trail the whole way, staying at Hermit Lake shelters for one night. It was nice. If the young kids are in good shape, they should be alright, and you can always try, and turn back if they seem to be having a lot of trouble. We have done that a couple times when the weather got nasty, and when someone was tired, or just not feeling up to it. Have fun!!

08-09-2009, 07:58 AM
Last year in Seek the Peak we hiked with a father and his 8 year old son (Rex and Madison). Madison kicked all of our butts up and down the mountain. I believe the youngest STP hiker this year was 10. As Ryan says there are lots of kids that do the hike and many others that are equally as tough as Mt Washington. It sounds like your kids are all in good shape for it. Like many of the members here regularly tell people though, being in good shape and doing lots of walking, running, etc doesn't necessarily translate to hiking up and down mountains. Adults should be able to tell when they've pushed themselves too hard and turn around if needed. With kids the most important thing is for the adults to help them understand how they're doing and make sure that they're not being pushed. If you're prepared and take care of the kids there's no better experience they could have! The fact that you came here to ask the question is a great sign that you're starting off in the right direction. Hope you and your group has a wonderful time!

08-09-2009, 08:57 AM
It sounds like it is worthwhile planning the trip. We will plan to make an attempt weather permitting. If some get too tired we will turn around.

We are scheduled to make trip the last week of August . We have a 3 day window so hopefully the weather cooperates.

Thanks again for the help.

Ross W.

08-09-2009, 09:11 PM

I took my oldest grandson up the Ammo - summit - and down the Jewell when he was 9 years old. No problem but he was surprised at how hard it was. This year he is 13 years old and he had a school friend up with him. The 13 yr old friend could not get 2/3rds of the way up Ammo to Lakes of the Clouds. The kids need to be athletic and well coordinated. Just watching the friend get out of the car when they arrived told me we would not be doing MW - and should aim for something less challenging.

So, you have to judge the abilities of each person (child and adult) on fitness, endurance, desire and coordination.

rockin rex
08-10-2009, 03:57 PM
As Mark has mentioned in the previous post my 2 boys Baxter and Madison have both been up Washington numerous times both on my back and on their own. Baxter climbed when he was six up Tucks and down Lions head and Madison did Seek the Peak 2 years ago when he was 8. Madison went up Tucks and down Tucks. If children are use to hiking and climbing and are in good shape they should have no problem making it in good weather. Bad weather puts a whole new spin on it. If anyone is interested in hiking with kids you should really read thru Trish and Alex's blog which is right here on the form. They are a mother daughter team and are ready to complete the 48's and Alex might be the youngest girl to do all 48. Hiking with kids is amazing but the kids have to want it. Kids can never be forced or it takes the fun out it. Best route for kids is Tucks though many young kids have done the Ammo Jewell loop. When you climb with kids climb at their pace and enjoy the time together. You will be making lifetime memories.

08-11-2009, 03:22 PM
My 9 year old son did it this year for STP no problem. He also did it in 07 for STP when he was 7. Have fun, go prepared and have fun!