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Hiking Mount Washington

Check out “The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Hiking” by Hobby Help to start your journey up Mount Washington! 

Hiking Mt. Washington is NOT an easy task. Please make sure you are well prepared and knowledgeable about what is in store for you. The Cog Railway offers one way trips up and down when trains are operating.  The Base Station of the Cog Railway, also known as “Marshfield” is located at an elevation of 2700′.  Marshfield  is the highest full service facility from which an ascent of the mountain can be started.

Hikers Ascend Mount Washington via the Jewell Trail
Hikers Ascend Mount Washington via the Jewell Trail

There are two main trails for hiking Mount Washington which start at Marshfield – the Jewell Trail (easier, but longer) and the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail (harder, but shorter).  Each trail takes the average hiker around 10  hours  to ascend and descend Mount Washington. A 3rd trail also exists along the Cog Railway railroad tracks.  This follows the route taken by the Crawford Bridle Path, one of the first trails up Mt. Washington. At less than 3 miles, this is the shortest trail in existence for summiting Mt. Washington.  Remember, you are hiking at your own risk, so BE PREPARED! Trail maps, guide books & other hiking essentials are available for sale in our Marshfield Station Gift Shop. 

For expert Skiers, there is the option of skiing Mount Washington in the winter months. A substantial hike in winter conditions is required to access the ski terrain, so be prepared for winter hiking and make sure you have the skills and ability to ski down the mountain. There is no first aid or other services available for skiers. There is more information on our Skiing the Cog Railway page!

Hiker One Way Train Rides

For people who choose to hike Mount Washington (and if you do, please make sure you are WELL EDUCATED and have all the required gear), we do offer One-Way Down tickets on the Cog Railway.  Pricing information can be found on the Schedule & Tickets page. If you plan to take a One Way Down, make sure you return to the correct side of the mountain!

Due to capacity constraints there are a limited amount of One Way Down Tickets available each day.  There is no guarantee that one will be available for purchase when you reach the Summit.

Mount Washington Weather is Severe and Unpredictable.

  • We can never guarantee that a train is going to make it to the Summit. The weather can change rapidly and force us to limit operations to the Summit.  The last thing we want to do is leave you stuck on the Summit!  Always be prepared to hike back down just in case!
  • Trains stick to a strict departure schedule. If you are not on the Summit when the train departs you will get left behind, and there is no guarantee that there will be room available for you on another train.
A skier travels up Mount Washington via the Mount Washington Cog Railway to ski down!
A skier travels up Mount Washington via the Mount Washington Cog Railway to ski down!

Hiker & Skier Parking at the Mount Washington Cog Railway Base Station

We offer the ability to park your car in a safe, monitored location right next to the trail heads. Hikers parking cars in the Cog Railway parking lots without a permit may be towed.

Hiker / Skier Land Use Permit

$ 10
Per Person / Per Day
  • Plowed and maintained parking lot
  • Park right at the trailheads for the Ammonoosuc Ravine and Jewell Trails.
  • One Way riders will receive a credit towards the price of a ticket.

Land Use/Parking Permits are available in Marshfield Station or at a Hiker Parking Drop Box in the parking lot.  Land Use/Parking Permits come with a mirror tag that must be displayed in your vehicle. Please take a photograph of both sides of the completed parking pass with your phone for verification.

Additional information about lodging, activities, restaurants and more when staying in the Mount Washington Area can be found on ExploreMountWashington.Com

The surrounding towns and excitement of the Mount Washington Area
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