Tuckerman Ravine Trail to Mount Washington is a 7.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Gorham, New Hampshire that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
7.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,169 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

skiing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

snow

Please note there may be a detour early into the trail. It is reported very easy to travel and get back onto the main trail. Mount Washington is the highest point in New England and the highest peak in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Often called the most dangerous small mountain in the world, Mount Washington is recommended for experienced hikers and climbers who can handle significant elevation gain. Tuckerman's Ravine Trail from Pinkham Notch is the most popular route to the summit. It is important to properly research this trail and bring proper gear as conditions can quickly turn dangerous as a result of bad weather in the form of severe storms, snow and wind. It is recommended that hikers contact the Mount Washington Observatory forecast (mountwashington.org/weather) and the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center prior to their trip. Those who hike the Tuckerman Ravine Trail will pass the Hermit Lake Shelters with great views of the ravine and a waterfall. Visitors can also reach the top via the Mount Washington Auto Road and the Cog Railway.

9 days ago

Awesome must-do hiking experience.

23 days ago

One of my "go-to" trails in the Northeast!! Absolutely amazing!

hiking
28 days ago

Found it to be a difficult hike. Not because of the elevation or not being in shape, which we were, but the entire trail was walking over large boulders. Coming down was total concentration on where to step to not twist an ankle. Other than that, it was beautiful with great views of the clouds racing by.

hiking
1 month ago

Tuckerman Ravine is like some foreign alien looking landscape! Absolutely nuts! The glacial cirque is truly a sight to behold. Once inside the bowl, you climb up the headwall, and then another push up a set boulder fields. A fun and very memorable climb! Then, you’ll see the parking lot and cars and craziness that is the top, and probably have to wait in line for a summit pic if that’s your thing. Any serious east coast hiker, would be remiss to have missed out on Mount Washington.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this route to the summit yesterday. Weather was extreme (sub freezing and 40-50 mph sustained winds) and foggy so no great views, but the feeling of accomplishment was exhilarating. It was challenging but anyone on the fence based on these reviews should go for it. The detour this year is steep and is basically walking up muddy ski runs for an hour. Trekking poles help a lot. Past the hiker cabin the trail changes into a narrow series of steep rock steps up past the waterfall, where you emerge from the trees and essentially climb the waterfall on the face of Tuckermans. It is majestic. This section is more exposed and wet and requires some focus. Gloves are essential from here on. The trees continue to get smaller and eventually when you emerge past the tree line it is a steep rock scramble for what feels like forever but is really 0.6 miles. This is literally finding foot placement over and over on large and small rocks and the angle is very steep so it’s all quads. Just straight up. At no time did I feel like I was going to fall off the mountain, but you don’t want to turn around and look down much. This section is very windy and exposed and layering is a must. Reaching the parking lot and the stairs was amazing, and it was totally jarring to see all the tourists and train people at the stop. Still, Mt Washington should be on the bucket list of east coast hikers and the Tuckermans route is a great mix of views, changing topography and lung-burning exercise. If you’re thinking about it and nervous like I was - DO IT!

hiking
1 month ago

Superbe randonnée via tuckerman ravine et retour via lion’s head. 2h45 pour la montée, et 2h20 pour la descente. La chute d’eau est superbe et après l’avoir passé, le vent s’est levé et la dernière portion est difficile mais splendide!!! Au sommet, rafale de plus de 90 km/h ! WoW. Gants et tuque nécessaire ainsi que de bonne bonne de randonnée. Nous avions la tête dans les nuages au sommet alors aucune vue... Amenez vous du linge pour vous changer au sommet et du linge à votre arrivé au bas!!! Combien plus confortable...
Nous y reviendrons assurément!!

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked this trail yesterday with my friend, and I’d consider us beginners, meaning we hike occasionally and aren’t that fast. We started the hike on the Sherburne ski trail detour and then ended back on tuckerman’s ravine (there was one point after the steep incline in the beginning of the ski trail where we weren’t sure if we should go left or right and there wasn’t a sign so we took the wider trail on the right and landed back on tuckerman’s). There was no one in sight for a very long time and we started to worry but then we ran into a woman who let us know we were on the right track and to keep to the left! So we ended up at the Hermit Lake Shelter after roughly 2 hours, then continued up Tuckerman’s trail. It really was beautiful and it was really the perfect day for this hike! The sun was out for part of the hike and then it got super cloudy. We each brought winter jackets, gloves, extra pants, and about 3.5L of water, and that was way too much. We’d always heard about how unpredictable the weather on Mt Washington was so we wanted to be prepared (but I don’t think on this specific day we needed all that extra gear, so our packs definitely weighed us down).
Back to tuckerman’s.. there was this wonderful narrow waterfall we had to cross at this pretty steep section on the way up and that part was a little nerve wracking but after that we just kept moving forward and followed the signs/cairns to the summit. The last part of the hike up is all rocks and you’re using your hands a lot at this point. I will say the rocky section was the hardest for me, every time I thought we were just about finished there were more and more rocks to conquer! Finally we reached the summit after 4 hours and 47 minutes! There’s a lot to see at the top and we met this fellow hiker who we had spotted a few times on the way up, and we all decided to hike down together. I’m not sure how we spent an hour and a half at the top but we did lol we hiked back down about 2.5 hours before sunset thinking that’d be enough time but boy it was not! We took lion head down and while it was beautiful and not as rough as tuckerman’s it was still really hard for us. The terrain was still very rocky and windy (at one point there was a ladder which I was grateful for because I don’t think I would have made it down safely without it!) the trail seemed to be NEVER ENDING. It quickly got dark, and a fellow hiker caught up with us and kept us company. I’d consider these hikers our trail angels because as beginners my friend and I easily would have gotten so discouraged in the dark on lion’s head. Toward the end we came across the bridge thats currently being built on tuckerman’s and just kept on trekking. We ended back at Pinkham notch lodge after a little over 4 hrs, so I’d say the hike itself took us about 9 hrs (not including the time spent at the summit). All in all, my least favorite part was hiking down but the hike up was wonderful in so many ways, and we feel extremely fortunate to have met such nice people all around!

1 month ago

Got up early to Pinkham and hit the trail, detours and all. The detours put you on the ski trail, which is incredibly steep, but it’s short and you get back on Tuckerman’s for most of it. It’s an easy hike until you go past the Hermit Lake hut and it’s water pump (fill up, you’ll need it). Dense fog in the ravine prevented me from seeing anything above me as I struggled up the wall. Halfway up the wall the fog cleared above me, demolishing my hopes of being near the top. But it was fun the whole way up. Got above the clouds and into the alpine zone, scrambled up the rocks to the summit. Time up was 3 hours. Hung out, and took 3 more hours working my way down Lions Head Trail. This is an unbelievable view of the ravine and everything around it. TAKE LIONS HEAD DOWN. It’s way easier too. Total time was 0700-1400. 7 hours total. Great hike but exhausting!

hiking
1 month ago

My friends and I took Tuckerman's Ravine up to the summit and back down. There were beautiful views. The detour that we had to take right in the beginning, was extremely muddy and difficult to get through but it just added much more conversation during the hike. I would definitely take this trail again.

1 month ago

The best hike I’ve ever been to. The view is amazing. You definitely need good hiking shoes winter jacket hat gloves etc. the summit is very cold and windy. The last half mile hike is no joke all rock climbing. It’s a great experience though we will definitely do it again !

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked today with my two dogs on ravine trail. A couple bridges were closed so we took a detour (very well marked detour). Thick fog at the summit so unfortunately no views there but the ravine trail was breathtaking!

Took us 4.5 hours total (including breaks for photos and snacks)

My dogs had no problem with the rocky terrain (lab mix and shepherd mix) but probably wouldn’t recommend for a new hiking dog/smaller dog

1 month ago

Completed this trail Saturday. Was breathtakingly beautiful. We went down the Boott Spur trail due to the amount of traffic on the trail. Overall a perfect day with perfect temperatures.

1 month ago

Hiked this in 3 hours with my 16yo son (I'm 53). Perfect weather, great views, very little traffic. We got an early start by staying overnight at the AMC lodge at the base. Two sections are still detoured before Hermit Shelter. Last 1/3 is very steep and exposed, so keep an eye on conditions.

1 month ago

This was an absolutely breath taking hike. It was difficult but definitely worth it. I DO NOT recommend dogs do this hike. The last mile of the hike had jagged rocks which were unstable and not good for the paws.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing trail with beautiful views but thats all good about it. The difficult of the trail is indeed very Hard and this trail never gives a break in terms of flat terrain but its all going up! There are rest rooms at the Hermit Shelter other than the ones at the Pinkham Notch and the summit.

hiking
1 month ago

Second time in one month. It was hot and We have taken the Lions head trail while coming back. It was fun hiking the trail but the waterfall became smaller and wild flowers are almost gone.. Lot of difference and felt good doing it again.. I hope I will do it again in winter may be

hiking
2 months ago

I did the ascent in about 2 hours 30 minuets, but I was booking it. On the decent it took me about 3 hours 30 minuets. There’s a lot of cool features during the hike. Just a reminder that the earlier you start the less tourism you will have to deal with at the top.

hiking
2 months ago

We did this trail a few weeks ago on a Saturday and it was packed. I saw all levels of ability on the trail. I'd say it was on the high end of moderate to hard, due to the mileage and the downhill climb. I think we forget how different the down hill can be on tired legs. The detours were clearly marked steep dirt roads. I'm glad to have done this in the summer with great views and little, if any, wind at the summit, an unusual occurrence for Mt Washington

hiking
2 months ago

I've just completed this trail yesterday in 9.5 hours including one hour at the summit. I went up Lion Head and came down on Tuckerman Ravine trail. It's my third time up this trail and this was my toughest mainly due to oncoming cramp. It was foggy and cloudy so can't see much at the observatory but the journey was the reward.

2 months ago

Brilliant trail. 5 hours up. Very challenging, yet suitable and confidence building for a 7 year old.

The detour up the ski trail places the steepest part at the base. Views past the hut are stunning.

2 months ago

Awesome hike, we went up via Tuckerman ravine and came down via lions head.
Specially loved the decent, it was very steep and Rocky.

We completed the hike in 9hrs including an hour at the summit for lunch.
It was very foggy at the summit so could not enjoy the view but the journey deserves the rating.

2 months ago

Awesome trail! Totally worth the climb. My dog struggled a little at the end, but it helps if you have a harness with a handle to help them over the real rocky sections.

backpacking
2 months ago

Very well maintained trail up to the ravine. Took an hour to get to the cabins. Made the mistake of planning to summit after a night at the campsite. Great camping in the valley. Overnight the wind kept me up, sounds like a freight train coming down the ravine. Woke up before dawn exhausted and unable to see 20 yards in front of me through rain and fog. Weather on the summit read 70 knots of wind and 0 visibility. Called it quits and headed the 2.7 easy miles back to base. Moral of the story, never plan on sleep or good weather, if it’s nice weather take the summit your first day. I’ll be back but won’t stay overnight again.

2 months ago

Did this trail today with wife and two kids ages 4 and 7. Because of the detours it was much steeper than I recalled but we hit the base of tucks in 2 hours. Decided not to go any further because the hike down from the summit would have been too much for all of us and we didn’t have cash to take the hiker shuttle. Love this hike,can’t wait until next year

hiking
2 months ago

Seven of us did this hike on Sat, Aug 25. The weather was absolutely perfect, mid-80s, slight breeze, partly cloudy; just excellent t-shirt and shorts temperature. Even the summit was comfortable with a light windbreaker.

That morning, we arrived at the Pinkham Notch visitors center at 8am. By then the parking lot was already full, and cars had already started parking on the shoulder of RT16. We found parking in the overflow lot. After some last minute restroom visits, we started the climb at around 8:30.

The detour sections onto ski trail were steep but manageable. It seemed to take no time for us to get to the Hermit Lake Shelter. After a short rest, we refilled our water bottles, were soon on our way to the waterfall, followed by the infamous headwall. This was a rigorous climb, almost straight up, with alot of sun and little to no shade. At the same time, it offered a breathtaking vista of the ravine. From here you can see the trail all the way back to Hermit Lake, and an unbroken line of hikers that look like ants making their way up the valley. We were also lucky to catch the tail end of the wildflowers in bloom.

The last quarter of the climb involved a rock scramble over large jagged boulders. I’m very thankful for the folks here who suggested gloves, as poles were less useful here. Towards the top, we would stop every 3-5 mins to catch our breath, then muster every last drop of energy we can to burst forth for another 10-15 feet before running out of gas again. Lungs just could not catch enough air. Leg muscles were in rebellion. Mind is just blank with fatigue. We were definitely running on fumes by the time we reached asphalt. Yup, asphalt. We had reached the parking lot at the summit.

And then there were those wretched stairs. Never have I looked at another inanimate object with more disdain. If The One Ring was created with hate, malice, spite, and cruelty, this staircase would be its close cousin.

In any case, the hike up was crowded, as to be expected on such a nice day. And the summit was even more so. The line to take a picture at the highest point with the elevation sign was constantly 50 people thick. In the Sherman Adams building, it was difficult to find a table that we so desperately needed to sit down at. There were lines for the restrooms and lines to refill water. (There were additional restrooms downstairs) And of course the longest line lead to the cafeteria that accepts only cash and served chili dogs, pizza, chips, and ice cream sandwiches.

We spent about 2 hours at the summit resting, eating, exploring, and snapping pictures from the observation deck. The views are as magnificent as foretold. One minute, thick white clouds would roll in an engulf everything. Then clear up 15 mins later.

Eventually we began our descent at 3:30. We were ever so slightly tempted to take the hiker shuttle down, but it is first-come-first-serve, was already full, and we didn’t have enough cash.

The hike back was slow going. Our aching legs and feet had to learn how to climb downwards. With large boulders to circumvent, lose rocks at every other step, and slippery wet surfaces, it was a treacherous endeavor. We opted to take Lions Head trail down expecting an easier more gradual descent. But it was equally difficult with very steep, wet and technical sections.

The trail just went on for what felt like forever, and we hadn’t even reached the halfway point of Hermit Lake. Morale was draining away. Backs were sore, legs were shaking, toes were screaming. One of our group took a tumble, but luckily got back on his feet with some scrapes and bruises.

We made it to the Hermit Lake shelter by 6:30. As we continue downwards, we were losing daylight quick. As some point we decided that it would be better to follow the Sherburne ski route the whole way down instead of following the detour back onto Tuckermans. It was a wider trail and brighter lit, despite have some steep and muddy sections. Hiking poles definitely helped here. The sun did set at 7:33 and flashlights came out 15 mins later. Unfortunately not all of us were prepared with lights, so depending in poor visibility slowed us down even more. Thankfully, no one tripped and we got back to the trailhead at 8:05, with just enough light to make it back to the car.

It took us 5 hours 15 mins to reach the summit and 4 hours 45 mins to make our way back down. It was an excellent trail, with good variation, amazing views, and ultimately a great time with good friends.

Key takeaways:
1/ With water refill stations at the Hermit Lake and the summit, do not over pack on water, it will just weigh and wear you down.

2/ Start early, at perhaps 7am. Not only do you get more daylight use, you have a better chance to get a decent parking spot.

3/ Never go hiking without a flashlight or headlamp. Never.

4/ Bring cash.

5/ Poles and gloves recommended.

hiking
2 months ago

I hiked this trail with my boyfriend on 8/26. It was a beautiful day with clear blue sky. There are two detours which takes you on a ski trail and it’s a little bit steep. The overall hike is amazing and gets beautiful as you hike up. The path along the waterfalls was my favorite part of the hike. I highly recommend this hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Gorgeous views. A few detours this year, but still a great hike overall.

hiking
2 months ago

Myself and 3 friends recently completed this hike. I completely underestimated the difficulty of this hike, but we managed to ascend in approximately 3.5 hours, spent an hour on the summit, and then descended in about 4 hrs and 15 minutes. The hike down was more difficult than going up in my opinion as we were literally climbing down boulders/rocks the entire time so we had to be extremely careful with our footing. We stopped frequently to eat snacks, take photos, and drink water. We took the Tuckerman Ravine Trail up and came back down via the Lions Head Trail. We had a picture perfect day to complete this hike. Absolutely breathtaking views wherever you looked, numerous points throughout the hike I found myself turning around and just taking everything in. Was completely in awe of the pure beauty of the mountains. I would absolutely love to do this hike again at some point. My advice for anyone contemplating this hike is to be sure to prepare yourself mentally for the challenge!

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on 8/25/2018. Weather was perfect and the trail was semi-crowded but not too bad. The detour is NOT fun due to some very muddy and very steep inclines. The trail opens up into Tuckerman Ravine proper after the Hermit Lake Shelter, and you will begin slowly ascending out of the ravine as you hike past some amazing waterfalls. From there, it's direct to the summit through the toughest part of the trail. Nothing but boulders, big and small. Watch your footing and keep on eye on the cairns, especially if the visibility is poor. One you're there, enjoy it! The descent can be equally as tough if not tougher due to the treacherous footing near the summit and the wet rocks going down out of Tuckerman, but once you get back to the shelter it's a straightforward walk back to Pinkham Notch. Just be sure to watch the downhills on the detour.

2 months ago

Hard but worth it very beautiful especially near waterfall bring lots of water the last half mile is tough saw mama and baby moose along the trail within the first quarter mile of the trail too!

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