This is a nice high altitude loop if you are not in the mood for hiking from the base to the summit, but still want to spend time above treeline. Drive the Mt. Washington Auto Road from the base to the summit and park. Then descend to the southeast and join the Tuckerman's Ravine Trail for the beginning of the descent.
A steep and rocky descent ensues until the intersection with Lion Head Trail, at which point the descent becomes less steep, but all the boulders become larger.
The next intersection is the Alpine Garden Trail which leads north along the east side of the Mt. Washington summit cone, following a plateau until reaching Huntington Ravine Trail, which ascends steeply to Ball Crag and then intersects with the Nelson Crag Trail to close the loop to the summit buildings, either crossing or following the road.
This is a great alpine exposure trail that lets you use the Mt. Washington Auto Road to reach the summit, thus providing an entire day of above treeline experience. Enjoy it, but respect it. This mountain can be highly dangerous.
Above Treeline Warning
People have died above treeline every time of the year. On the summits, the air is thinner (approximately equivalent to Denver, Colorado) and at any exposed altitude weather conditions can vary from sun to rain, sleet or even snow in moments. Winds frequently exceed 30 mph and can generate severe wind chill, even in summer. Check weather reports, but prepare for the worst.
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