View Full Version : Opinion on hikes

06-20-2010, 08:07 PM
So last year I headed up Mount Washington for the first time. I had not clue what I was in for and found my hike up Tuckerman's to Lions Head to the summit a rough but rewarding day.

I am heading up again in a couple of week and am just a month past recovering from a sprained ankle. We were thinking about heading up either the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail or the Jewell rail and then taking the Cog down (as I know that I could probably get up, but down may be an issue).

From those who have hiked these trails, ho do they compare to Tuckerman's and Lion's head? Any thoughts on the best possible route which might be a little less grewling of a hike????

Bill O
06-20-2010, 08:34 PM
Others will agree that hiking up with the expectation of riding down on the Cog is a mistake. While the odds are very good the Cog will be running, it is not a guarantee. I've hiked up with the expectation of meeting family on the summit and getting a ride down, but I was fully prepared to hike back down myself if my ride did not show.

A month seems like plenty of time to recover from a mild sprained ankle, but it will continue to be weak/susceptible and to re-injury for some time. It you used a small walking air-cast I'd consider carrying that on your hikes

06-20-2010, 09:16 PM
I prefer going up the Ammo trail. It comes out above treeline right at Lakes of the Clouds hut. This is a good break stop and also gives you some shelter if needed. Watch the weather to see if it is safe to continue above treeline. From there to the summit is open and the weather can be bad. If you lose sight of the trail you could be wandering for quite a bit. It is easy to get frozen fog and snow at this time of the year.

Going up the Jewell is nice - probably a bit easier than the Ammo. When you get above treeline you are exposed and open till you hit Washington's summit with no shelter. If you lose sight of the trail the Gulfside trail can be dangerous (or more dangerous than the others as they are all bad above treeline in bad weather). Step off the Gulfside trail too far to the left and it is a long drop down.

Bill O is right, do not count on the Cog going down. And no matter which trail you use, check the weather to see what is coming at you and see if it is safe to continue. The nice thing about hiking on that side is you can see the weather coming in.

06-21-2010, 04:30 PM
When I hiked Mt W 2 years ago, my friend was fresh off of a sprained ankle. We went up Tux and she was slow going. She took the Van down, which was risky and she had to hurry to catch the one that was leaving in 5 minutes. She would NOT have made the hike down, as the ankle really bothered her. But the van is an option, if you're lucky. It's all chance though. I hiked down Lions head which beat me down. I have come down the Ammo, and wouldn't advise it with less than confident footing underneath you, either way.

06-21-2010, 09:33 PM
I am not aware of any trail in the Presidentials that is fun coming down with a bad ankle. Plus, if you hike up the Ammo trail and find the only ride down is in a van, you end up on the other side of the mountain.

06-22-2010, 09:48 AM
It is not a good idea to count on any "ride" down Mt Washington, Cog OR Hiker Shuttle OR car-pick-up. There can be no guarantee that a ride down is available.

Please, rethink your hike if you don't think you'll be able to get down under your own power.

I'm not trying to be a wet blanket, here. Truly.

Last Saturday, the annual Mt Washington Road Race put over 1000 runners on the summit, some of them had PLANNED to ride the Cog down. Unfortunately, for some mechanical or track issue, the Cog DID NOT RUN a single train to the summit all day. It happens!!!!!!!!!!!

Hiker Shuttle info:



06-22-2010, 12:11 PM
Oops, yeah totally didn't think about the Van being on the other side!

KD Talbot
06-23-2010, 02:50 PM
There are a lot of great hikes out of Crawford Notch that are less grueling and just as rewarding as climbing Mount Washington.

I suggest to everyone to get a copy of the White Mountain Guide. It has descriptions, distances and estimated times as well as maps of the WMNF and its trails an includes every trail in the Whites. It is the White Mountain hiker's Bible.

You can read the trail descriptions to find a hike, or do what most do and look at the maps, pick a trail and then read the description. The answer to your questions are in this book as well. For the small price, the lifetime of knowledge in this book is invaluable.

If you buy it here (http://www.mountwashington.org/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=44_6&products_id=28)it helps the Obs.