View Full Version : Mt. Washington hike?

08-09-2005, 10:14 AM
planning a Mt Washington hike with a couple of 13 yr. olds.

can anyone give me some ideas on the easiest ways up.....or should in say, less difficult ways to the top? as well as mileage and time frames for trails which you list........

I know there are a lot of variables, but i am just trying to get an idea.
also, are there any routes that they would be able to do from the Pinkham side?? they have hiked Mousilauke before and Mt. Flume.


Jim lombard
08-09-2005, 10:20 AM
To me the Ammonusuc Ravine from the West is the easiest and most interesting ascent. You can also get Monroe for an additional 400 vertical feet. You can do a loop by adding the Jewell trail. I've done it a few times including this past weekend, great hike.
Hike description (http://www.seekingthepeakforkenya.com/anotherammoloop.html)

08-09-2005, 10:21 AM
From the Pinkham side Tuckerman's is not too bad. The headwall is basically giant rock steps that should not pose many problems unless wet. From the headwall to the summit is a never ending slog over boulders, but it is not difficult. Boot Spur and Huntingtons are probably out...Boot Spur is longer and steeper and Huntington is n the hardest trail in the Whites.
I have limited exposure on the other side, but from what I have read the Ammo is pretty sheltered all the way to Lakes, but there are some tough sections, especially if wet. I havd hiked down the Jewell - is is nicely graded, but pretty exposed for a good distance.
I would recommend that this not be the first hike for the year, as it is a very full day!
Good luck and have fun!

08-09-2005, 10:46 AM
Tuck's is a good choice, and to make a neat loop, you could go up the Lion's Head Trail and descend Tuckerman's Ravine. A long day, but healthy 13 year olds are usually quite adept at these things. This is a fair bit harder than Moosilauke (unless via Beaver Brook) or Flume (unless via Flume Slide) IMHO, but not prohibitively so. I think they will love it (FWIW, I climbed Tuck's to Washington summit, and descended via Boott Spur and Glen Boulder when I was 11. I still remember that hike vividly, so it will definitely make a lasting impression!). Bring warm clothes!

For a good reference of all routes go to Mohamed Ellozy's Peakbagging the 4000 Footer Mountains of New England site's Washington (http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/washington.html) page.

08-09-2005, 11:14 AM
The Pinkham side is far more dramatic to the eye. Tuckermans, Boott Spurr or Lions Head are about the same difficulty. If these are able scramblers Huntington is the best route up the mountain, you can actually claim you have climbed the mountain.

08-09-2005, 11:34 AM
We have taken a 9 year old and his parents up the Ammonusuc Ravine trail, descending via the Jewell trail - all enjoyed it. You get to stop at the Lakes in the Clouds hut on the way up for more water and a snack if needed. Also nice to show them a hut for possible future trips.

From the Pinkham Notch side you have lots of options. On a nice day going up Glen Boulder and descending Lions Head gives you lots of time above tree line - just be sure to bring lots of water and sunscreen.

Our favorite trail to the summit is the Huntington Ravine trail. We have seen young children on the trail having a great time scrambling up the large rock slabs. On a dry day this is as easy as the rest and has very few people on it. The guide books do a good job of scaring people away. We would not do this trail if it had rained recently however!

Mike P.
08-09-2005, 11:36 AM
I prefer the Ammo approach due to the ability to easily summit Monroe in addition to Washington (although I've done it from the Pinkham side too) & that Monroe in less than fair weather makes a great trip if getting to the top of Washington appears as an unwise thing to do.

Glacial bowl of Tuckerman's really neat but if kids don't care about geologic features, water on Ammo makes for nice scenery.

Easiest - Up AMmo down Jewell allows for view into Great Gulf too & northern Presi's IMO better than Tucks

If going from Tucks, I'd probably do Lion's Head & Tuckermans, up Tucks unless I was in with many other groups & they were going up Tucks in which case I'd opt for less people & then either do Boott DOwn or Tuckermans

Bob Kittredge
08-09-2005, 12:01 PM
Going up from the west is about 3800' of elevation vs. 4300' from the east.

The Ammo is a tough but interesting trail, and you can always just slow down if you find it too strenuous. It takes you up to Lakes of the Clouds hut where you can replenish your water and assess whether the weather is good enough to attempt the summit. If not, you can make a very satisfying short jaunt to nearby Monroe and back down again. If you do make it all the way up Washington, the Jewell, though somewhat boring, has moderate grades and is good for descent. Plus you can make a little side trip to the summit of Clay.

08-10-2005, 06:08 AM
I am surprised that a couple of posters have described Boott Spur as steep/difficult as Huntington Ravine Trail and Lions Head. I find Boott Spur to be much easier, albeit longer(a good thing!), and very scenic.

Happy Tails!

08-10-2005, 07:59 AM
Boott Spurr is MUCH easier and MUCH less steep than Huntington Ravine.

Sleeping Giant
08-10-2005, 08:26 AM
One omission in the above string is the Nelson Crag Trail, off the Old Jackson Road. It's a bit longer, but breaks out of the treeline quickly and has fantastic views all the way. It also gives a great perspective on Huntington from the north side, which you can't get any other way short of whacking.

And yes, Huntington is much tougher than Boott Spur, which really is quite easy. I for one would not take children up Huntington. They might make it with ease, but I'd be having palpitations on their behalf.

08-10-2005, 11:14 AM
I'd agree with those here that say the Amm Ravine Trail on the west side is the easiest way up. Fairly gradual in the beginning then you hit some steep sections but not for too long. Then you'll hit a few scambling sections but nothing extreme by any means. From there its a little jaunt to the Lakes of the Clouds Hut for a snack or breather break. Taking Crawford Path from there to the summit is fairly rocky but not bad. You'll enjoy it trust me. I did it when i was way out of hiking shape and still enjoyed it very much.

Have fun!

08-10-2005, 01:58 PM
A few years ago, I took my (then) 9 year old son up the Tuckerman Ravine trail (stayed overnite at Hermit Lake), up the headwall, over the crossover trail to Lakes, dropped most of our pack (with the exception of heavy weather gear), summitted Washington, stayed at Lakes, then descended Ammo. My only regret was that we did not summit Monroe but there were thunderstorms in the area.

This seemed well within my son's capabilities (he had a frame pack with about 20 pounds in it).


08-10-2005, 02:48 PM
Tuck's is a good choice, and to make a neat loop, you could go up the Lion's Head Trail and descend Tuckerman's Ravine. A long day, but healthy 13 year olds are usually quite adept at these things.

I concur. It's challenging but not overly strenuous. I've seen many a father (and mother) bringing their kids on this route. If they're in relatively good shape, they should be fine. Very scenic and fun hike to boot.

Best of luck.