I got the bumper sticker: This car climbed Mount Washington. It came with a certificate inside an envelope with terrifying instructions about how to drive, what gear to use, and warnings about engines and brakes overheating. The drive up was not average. Roads are narrow and most times the edge of the road is also the edge of the mountain with no guardrails at all. A few times my palms were sweaty on the wheel, and a few times I thought for sure that two cars passing in opposite directions could not both fit on the road. Part of the climb is also on gravel, an added startling detail. Driving is, however, much faster than hiking. The drive took maybe 30 minutes while the climb is five hours one way. Either way, the journey to the top is worth it.
The top of Mount Washington is sublime. The world rolls out for as far as you can see. You can see miles and miles of rolling hills and mountains. It’s like someone unfurled a blanket and left all the creases and folds in it. I wish I had stayed longer, but I got a chance to snap these photos, and sit in awe of all the natural wonder that spread out in all directions.
A warning: The summit of Mount Washington is 6,288 feet. And you can feel it, especially if you’ve been driving all day, so take your time and make sure you acclimate to breathing in the thinner air. Also pack a coat — it’s cold at the summit, even on a clear day in July.
If you go to NH, don’t do what I did, plan to stay a few days. There are zip lines and adventure parks, and even themed hotels in the area. It’s very outdoor and adventure oriented. It’s one of the best escapes from any city in the Northeast if you’re like me and aren’t content with just lying in one place all day baking in the sun.