Boston: Hiking Mount Washington, New Hampshire

Posted on October 18, 2011


As New England’s tallest peak, located within New Hampshire’s prominent Presidential Range, Mount Washington is a keystone of the area’s outdoor culture.

Boston: Hiking Mount Washington, New Hampshire. Photo: Ken Zirkel /

Boston: Hiking Mount Washington, New Hampshire. Photo: Ken Zirkel /

The mountain and surrounding landscape provides a home for miles of well-marked hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail which crosses the summit, and you’ll find trail settings ranging from valley crossings to technical alpine scrambles. It’s advised to stay very aware of the weather, and pack extra gear if you’re between seasons, because Mount Washington is infamous for unpredictable and harsh weather conditions.

Thanks to the proximity of the mountain to metro areas, and the popularity of the destination as a whole, there are a handful of well-certified guides and outfitters who can help you gear-up and prepare for the ascent. Perhaps best fitted to make it happen is Eastern Mountain Sports, who offers group trips and educational outings to the summit through the EMS Climbing School.

Traveling to Mount Washington for a day hike requires an early start from Boston, but the reward is unrivaled –a summit view from the rooftop of New England.

1. Distance to Boston – 135 Miles

2. Length of hiking season – Year-Round

3. Available Terrain – 6,288-foot summit, 59 acres

4. Cost for access – $150 to join EMS Group

5. Expert factor (1 beginner 5 expert) – 3.0