By Bob Anastasio
With a slogan that proclaims it “Home of the World’s Worst Weather,” Mount Washington, New Hampshire has its work cut out for it.
Mount Washington, elevation 6,288 feet, is the tallest mountain in the Northeast. It sits in the middle of the Presidential Mountain Range, part of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Temperatures as low as minus 47 degrees have been recorded there, and wind chills inch close to minus 100 at times. Wind speeds exceed 75 mph (hurricane force) over 110 days during the year. Average snowfall in the winter is almost 25 feet.
So who would want to go there? Anyone looking for a stunning ride on the auto road, a never-to-be-forgotten journey to the summit, that’s who. The road is winding, steep, and narrow, parts of it with sheer drop-offs giving you the feeling of slipping over the edge at any time (no guard rails here, folks). It is a 30-minute trek, 7.6 miles of pure excitement and nature’s beauty to the summit.
At the top, marvel at rock formations and breathtaking views in all directions, as well as swirling cloud cover, brilliant sunlight, brisk winds, and the awe of feeling like you are on top of the world. There are also an observation deck, small snack bar, museum, weather station, and an old bunkhouse for exploration if you like.
The ride down is just as exhilarating, with another peek at those drop-offs as you descend the mountain. Reaching the bottom culminates an exciting daylong adventure for the entire family.
Cost is $50 for a family of four, which includes an informative CD for your ascent and a “This Car Climbed Mt. Washington” bumper sticker. A narrated guided van tour costs about $100 for the same family.
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