Tuckerman Ravine Trail to Mount Washington

HARD 415 reviews

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

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.

hiking
2 minutes ago

Beginning of the trail is closed so we took the detour up the ski trail. It was probably the worst part-straight uphill on dirt with no traction in multiple spots. Once we got to the ravine, it was beautiful! It was steep but more actual hiking. Pretty warm and humid today until we got above the tree line. There was a nice breeze for the rest of our climb to the summit. I definitely recommend hiking shoes. Lots of rocks and even kind of a scramble-like hiking on the way to the top. Because of the waterfalls/small stream coming off the rocks, your shoes will inevitably get wet. I saw people in sneakers though I wouldn’t want to do it. Hike ended up being about 6 hours and we also stopped at the top for quite a bit. I think the weather really determines the capability of this hike. We had a perfect day and saw a ton of people who were probably in average shape that were doing just fine. If the weather wasn’t on our side, I can definitely see how it would get treacherous, with all the rocks on this route and on the way up to the summit. Just make sure you check the Mt. Washington weather site.

From the start of trail always climbing upwards till the top . Good exercise for a good night sleep !

hiking
2 days ago

tuckerman up , lions head down. it seemed like tuckerman was steeper but I'd rather do that for both ways next time as it was a better trail overall.. 3 hours and 20 mins to get up. 2 hours 20 mins to get down. had some chilli from the cafe and snapped a few pics. saw some guy who needed first aid . the fatality board inside was interesting.

hiking
3 days ago

We hiked the Tuckerman Ravine Trail up and the Lion Head Trail down. The last mile and a half is definitely tough going over all the rocks and boulders but it was a lot of fun and well worth it! If I were to give advice I would say wear sturdy shoes, pace yourself and have fun!

hiking
5 days ago

We hiked up Lion's Head (it's steeper) and down Tuckerman's and it was absolutely gorgeous. Incredibly difficult and we were sore for days, but totally worth it. We went at a fairly fast pace with a few stops and it took us 3.5 hours to get up and 3 to get down.

The hike can be divided into three distinct parts: the first third is fairly easy, then you hit the rest area with a water refill, then the second third is very rocky, and the last third is a seemingly neverending scramble on very uneven rocks that will break your spirit.

Overall, the Tuckerman's Ravine Trail is incredibly beautiful and has a waterfall, and next time I would definitely do this trail both up and down, as Lion's Head is just way steeper with lesser views.

In terms of clothing, you'll get very warm while hiking, but the top third is so windy and cold, you'll want to bring a hat, warm layers, and probably a windbreaker. Hiking boots are a must!

hiking
7 days ago

Speechless. What a hike! Tuckermans Ravine/Shurburne ski trail + Lionshead. Hardest thing I’ve ever done. In serious pain, but what a sense of accomplishment. Well worth it. Prepare, drink a lot of water, and be ready to face challenges.

Good luck!

8 days ago

7/7/18 left from Pinkham Notch at 7am. The weather was cloudy with rain forecasted so the parking lot was fairly empty. Took Tuckermans Ravine trail but there is a detour from the south end of the parking lot you have to take due a closure at the start of the trail. The detour is a steep ascent out of the gates which gets the heart rate up quick. Rocky ascent up to the lake shelter took about 1.5 hours and then the fun began. We stayed on Tuckermans from there as it is less exposed than Lions head and the weather wasnt looking promising. We almost turned around but we had the right gear so pushed through. From the lake shelter until about .5 miles to go we got poured on and visibility was low. Wind picked up towards the top. Last .5 miles was a mental test. Wind was 50-60mph and visibility was nil. We went from Cairn to Cairn. As you got to a cairn you could barely make out the next one. We moved like this through the wind and and foggy mist until the summit. It took 2:47 moving time according to the app. We decided it wasnt safe to descend so we took the shuttle down. This was a mental accomplishment and Luckily we were prepared with pants, OR Helium 2 rain jackets and multiple layers and a dry bag to keep everything dry. I would not recommend this hike if the forecast is anything but “clear”. We read the next day 2 diff groups of hikers had to be rescued that day due to not being prepared. We saw one of the groups earlier in the day.

hiking
9 days ago

My partner and I hiked this trail on 6/16. We got to the parking lot at 7:45ish in the am. The main parking lot was already filled and we circled back and found parking in a nearby dirt opening. I highly recommend starting this hike shortly after sunrise or as early as possible if you would prefer not to deal with the crowds. We read the signs at the trail’s entrance which indicated that sections of tuckerman’s ravine was closed due to an accident and falling boulders... yikes! And then began our ascent! This hike is really nothing short of incredible. In terms of our fitness level, My partner and I are avid hikers. We did 25 ‘hard’ trails in 17’ and aimed for 30+ this year. However, due to an accident earlier this year, we got a slow start to our hiking adventures. Mt. Washington was actually our 4th hike for the year to date. Not a lot of practice and perhaps out of our normal hiking Rhythm. Nevertheless, we comfortably made it up to the summit in 3.5 hours. We did tuckerman ravine to lions head. The final 1 hour ascent is the hardest. You are out of the tree line and exposed to the elements. For us, on that day it was the sporadic high winds and temperature drops that we found most interesting. When we made it to the top there was a race going on. Runners took the auto trail up to the summit along with supporters who drove up as well as others who took the train. It was chaotic but exciting. It certainly did not take away our feeing of accomplishment and excitement. We spent 2 hours at the top exploring the area, taking pictures, and finally grabbing some hot soup. At that point, we were freezing cold from the low temperature and high winds at the summit and also hungry. The soup might as well have been the world’s best soup.. hehe. Don’t forget to bring some pocket change to have some hot soup. The hike down was fun for us but we also felt some of the light pressure. We decided to run the last 30 minutes of the trail.. at that point, I could not feel my toes so no worries. All in all, I encourage you to do this hike. It is an amazing unforgettable experience. This trail does not require excellent physical fitness however, you need to have some basic hiking skills/experience and mental strength to keep going up the steep climb. If you are really concerned about fitness, try doing some similar smaller hikes to train for 1 month. On the trail, you will see and meet many hikers, some who are extremely fit and others who are not quite fit so do not be too worried or discouraged. An important note that goes without saying; hiking boots are a must. You’ll thank yourself later. Don’t forget to break them in.. As far as load, our pack was 60lbs. Two 46oz water bottles, 2 sneaker bars, 2 power bars and sweaters. My partner drank no water on the way up. He felt that it would interfere with his focus.. I drank approx 26oz.

hiking
10 days ago

Did this all in one day (including the drive) while living 4 hours away, 3am - 3am when I got back home. Summary: It’s doable, and a fantastic experience. Had an epic day. Ensure that the weather is optimal, and prepare your body for a pretty brutal tenure. It’s all worth it though!

10 days ago

Wow, tough. Parked at 9am. Sign said lot full but we found a spot. Started out on the detour (bridge work at beginning of trail) pretty sure we were climbing sherburne ski trail. STEEP. muddy. Then the detour led us to the actual trail after .25 mile or so... Gradual incline, mostly rock. HOT DAY 7/4/18. Then another detour to more steep ski trail for what seems forever. Then you reach the hermit lake shelter and water 100yds past hut. Then, it’s just straight up from there!! Took us 5.5 hours to top. Many breaks, so hot out. Spent an hour or so at top, 3.5 hours down around 730pm. Would prefer a less crowded trail next time!

hiking
11 days ago

We arrived at 7:20am and Pinkham Notch Lot was full! We got the last spot. First half of the Tuckerman Ravine trail was generally easy with nice waterfalls along the way. Had to take Lions Head Trail due to the Ravine having snow. Lions was steep and challenging but breaking the tree line made the challenge amazingly rewarding. Last mile was rocky and open to elements. We had a 70 degree day at the top of Mt Washington so the exposure was lovely and sunny. Took us 4 hours to the top and 3.5 down. Strenuous but completely worth it to experience the view of the presidential range.

hiking
11 days ago

Superbe montée!!!!!! Assurément, les bottes sont indispensables!!!!! Je la referais demain matin!!!! La vue est à couper le souffle!!!! Effort soutenu qui en vaut le coup!!!!!

hiking
23 days ago

My wife and I climbed Mt Washington this week. We practiced by hiking the Frankenstein trail and biking Franconia Notch. This was our 1st time mt. climbing but enjoyed it tremendously. The views are beautiful. We are both 63 yrs old and felt pretty good about ourselves when we reached the Summit.

hiking
25 days ago

Well marked trail with incredible vistas. We went Lions Head since Tuckerman's higher up was closed. Quite challenging! I'm use to hiking trails with a lot of switchbacks coming from the desert southwest. 4,000' in

28 days ago

Lions head over looks is amazing

hiking
29 days ago

Best Mountain in New England

1 month ago

Loved it very challenging towards the end but fun did it with my family

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked yesterday with a friend and it was amazing. Started at Tuckerman Ravine, to Lions Head, then Alpine Forest Trail to Summit. Lions Head was moderate with mostly scrambling and some steep areas. Then Alpine trail kicks your butt with only steep scrambling. The summit is gorgeous and you feel accomplished but it was cold. The day we went was partly cloudy with winds up to 55mph gusts, we even saw some snow flakes. To prepare, you should layer-up because there is some heavy sweating on the ascend and the air at the top will chill you to the bones if you can't get out of the wet clothes. Our total climb up was just under 3 hours. To descend, we took Crawford's path to Boot Spur. The descend took another 3 hours. Overall an amazing, epic day.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this yesterday for the first time and loved it so much. The Tuckerman’s Ravine trail was closed about half way up because of the ice so we took the Lion’s Head trail after the Tuckerman’s Ravine trail was no longer safe to travel on. We didn’t love the summit because it was incredibly crowded, but the views as we hiked down were spectacular.

I have never previously hiked with poles before because I’ve never had an issue going up or down and my knees have never bothered me, but a friend strongly recommended for this serious hike so I took her advice and am SO GLAD I did. My poles saved me going down. If you plan to go and don’t use poles I would strongly encourage you to consider them.

Must have warm layers for summit. I was drenched in sweat in the beginning but by the summit I had gloves, hat, a long sleeve t-shirt and a thick fleece.

We started at 8am and were back to our car by 7:30pm. We spent 40 minutes on summit and took two small snack breaks ascending and descending. The trail was crowded, but we very much enjoyed chatting with and getting to know fellow hikers along the way.

This is not a hike for an inexperienced hiker. Practice on something smaller several times and be comfortable doing that before attempting this. Living in Midcoast Maine, there’s not much in my area to hike. I’ve trained by driving to Bridgton 1 1/2 hours away twice a week to hike Pleasant Mountain, which was helpful but Washington truly was an entirely different experience with more technically challenging stuff. There were several iffy sections that I basically just slid on my butt down because I wasn’t comfortable on my feet. Take your time, be well prepared, and enjoy the experience!

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike with fantastic views! One of the more difficult trails up to Mt Washington, so it's important that you're in good shape and an experienced hiker if you decide to undergo this route.

1 month ago

I'm partial to hiking on rocks so I absolutley loved this trail. Alpine views are breathtaking and serene. Not for beginners. Altitude rocked me until I got used to it.

hiking
1 month ago

I agree with the all trails description. Do not attempt a summit hike unless you are very fit or expert hiker. Extremely rocky and appropriate gear suggested. I hiked today. No snow, no cleats required. Lionhead Trail. First portion is fairly moderate. Clicked off 2 miles in 1 hours. Do not be fooled. You maybe 1/2 in distance at the trail branch to LionsHead but it’s only 1/3 of the time and effort if you keep similar pace. LionsHead is increasingly steep and covered. Cool ladder part of the way up and the remainder will test your ability and agility. Once you reunite with main trail it’s one huge rock pile all the way to the top. Views are rewarding and there is a cool summit sign all the way at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. From the start to Hermit Lake, it's gravy. Camp at Hermit Lake or at least stop by the pond near the water pump and take in the splendor of Tuckerman's Ravine. From Hermit Lake to the summit via Lion's Head, I hope you ate your Wheaties. It's mostly scramble with a couple of class 2 situations.

hiking
1 month ago

One of the best trail I hiked sofar. Little bit dangerous but felt happy at the end. We had to use Lion heads trail because some part of this trial b cause of snow. Lions head trail is really challenging. Finished in 6hours including 1 hour stay at summit.

hiking
1 month ago

The White Mountain is the gold standard of hike in New England. It's the perfect full day hike for experienced hiker. On my first trip up, I was poorly prepared and lack proper hiking boot and really paid the price. The rocky terrain makes it brutal on the feet. Since then I've learned my lesson and hiked it up a total of three times now and have a blast every time.

I especially like staying overnight at Lake of the Cloud hut. It combines for one hell of an incredible experience. As for the view, honestly I like the view for 3 to 4K peak better. The view of 4000 footer like Mount Flume, Mount Liberty, Mount Haystack are simply unbeatable. But for these taller peak I think the journey is the reward in of itself.

I plan on hitting this trail again this year so I'm really looking forward to it.This time I have really nice camera to really do justice to the scenery as well.

great hike. challenging from lake of clouds to summit otherwise great hike

1 month ago

Hiked this trail yesterday in gorgeous clear weather. Tuckerman's was closed partway up, but Lion's Head can be used to get up above tree-line.

Recommend at least 2 liters of water and packing extra layers (or doing the sub-alpine sections shirtless if possible) as the wind above tree-line will chill you significantly if you are sweaty. Overall a gorgeous hike, very strenuous at parts.

Usually crowded at the top—due to the auto road—so don't expect much solitude after the climb!

hiking
1 month ago

Made the hike up to Mr. Washington yesterday. The part of Tuckerman Ravine trail past Lionshead Trail is closed. On the way up, I took Lionshead Trail up to the top of the mountain, which is a very difficult climb. Weather conditions worsened the higher up I climbed, and visibility became an issue as the fog and rain set in. A portion of the trail is all snow (1 - 2 feet deep still) near the top. Kept climbing and finally made it up to the top. Great hike but hiking down was dangerous given the rain and slippery conditions. Given the conditions, combined with a 30-45 minute rest at the top, the roundtrip hike took about 6 hours. Very challenging hike but felt great.

skiing
2 months ago

I skied this on May 9th and I’ll never forget it. Definitely one of the coolest things you can do in the east. I hiked most of the way with my boots on my back until I reached the snow. The trail itself is fairly easy with a few rocks here and there. After The Hojo Hut, the section of trail called “Little Headwall” didn’t have any snow so it was very tricky in ski boots. In the winter and spring, generally you climb what you ski. I was able to climb Chute and ski Center Headwall. I also did Left Gully. If you are climbing Chute or The Lip, you’ll definitely want an ice axe. Left Gully can easily be done without one. In early spring, you can ski the Little Headwall, after mid April you have to hike down. I was able to ski the first half of The Sherburne Trail, then I reached a closure rope and had to cut over to the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. The Sherburne Trail might only be partially open or completely closed since it is a “ski only” trail and hiking will damage it. Bring plenty of water and some snacks. It is a long day. Don’t put on your coat until it’s time to start skiing, you will get very sweaty if you wear it on the hike.

2 months ago

Semi hard hike but absolutely worth the effort! The hike offers many diverse experiences as you climb, both regular hiking and a bit of rock climbing. The weather at the top is extremely erratic so go well prepared to deal with it. If you have not been hiking regularly, highly recommend easier hikes in the White Mountains first to get prepared for this one. Our group encountered heavy fog and a bit of mist at the top on a clear summer day, with close to zero visibility for the last mile of the hike.

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