Pinkham Notch is the base camp that you will find on Route 16. Its elevation is at 2,032 feet. If you start here, it will take you about 2 hours to reach Hermit Lake.
|Location||Elevation||Typical Hiking Time||Description|
|Pink Notch (Base Camp on Route 16)||2,032 ft||2 hrs to Hermit Lake||
You’ll find the trail going to Hermit Lake is fairly easy to tackle. The HoJo’s that happens to be the caretaker’s cabin is nearby and worth stopping by for the latest weather updates. The path is rocky and well-traveled. You’ll pass Crystal Cascade just a few short minutes from Pinkham. Just keep going and cross Cutler River, follow the switchbacks. You’ll notice that the path does get a bit steep, but tapers off once you cross the Cutler River again.Keep a keen eye out for the 3/4 marker where you’ll be able to get your first view of Lions Head. A few moments later Tuckerman will come into view. Be sure to have your camera ready as it is a sight to see. Another great spot to keep an eye out for while hiking to HoJo’s is Hillman’s Highway and Hermit Lake Shelters. It’s here that you might want to take a break and enjoy the view. But you should be right on the door steps of HoJo’s.
|Hermit Lake Shelters||3,900 ft||2 min to HoJo’s||The Hermit Lake Shelters can be found at an elevation of 3,900 feet. It is only a few minutes from HoJo’s and nearby facilities. You’ll find three platforms for tents and eight lean-tos for those looking to camp in the area. However, if you want to stay overnight or longer, you’ll need to register your group at the Pinkham Notch station. The price is only $8 per person per night, making it a reasonable place to stay for short trips.|
|HoJo’s||3,900 ft||45 minutes to the bowl||
You’ll find HoJo’s at the 3,900 feet mark and it usually takes about 45 minutes to get there from the Bowl. You’ll find that HoJo’s isn’t a facility, it is actually the caretaker’s cabin and the outpost for visitors headed to Tuckerman Ravine. You’ll be able to find basic stuff at HoJo’s like snacks and stuff in case you’ve forgotten something.
If you’re looking for the Tuckerman Ravine trail, you’ll find the start here at HoJo’s. All you have to do is follow the ridge that’s above Culter River and look for the steep staircase that’s basically rocks. Be careful during the springtime if you’re hiking up this way. The rocks can get very slippery.When taking this trail be sure to have your camera ready. You’ll get great shots of Wildcat and the HoJo’s along with Hillman’s Highway.
|Tuckerman Ravine Base||4,500 ft||45 minutes to the bowl||
The elevation for Tuckerman Ravine base can be found at 4,500 feet and the average hiking time to the Bowl is 45 minutes. To get there, you’ll need to follow the ridge that is above Cutler River. From there hike up the rocky staircase. Be sure to wear good boots during this hike as this part of the trail can get super slippery in the springtime.
Take a moment to look back at HoJo’s and take a sneak peek at Wildcat towards the east. You’ll be glad you did. Plus you should be able to see Hillman’s Highway and the lower snow fields, which makes for an awesome photo op. Next, you’ll want to head to Lunch Rocks. This will be a great place to take a break and get ready for your skiing or snowboard adventure. Or you could just chill and watch what others are doing at this location.If you just want to watch the action, Lunch Rocks happens to be the safest place in the area. Remember that Tuckerman Ravine is prone to avalanches and this area is the best spot to be if something like that happens.
|The Headwall||5,100 ft||1 hour to the Summit of Mount Washington from the top of the headwall||
You will find the Headwall at 5,100 feet. It is important that you speak with a ranger before making the trek to this location. There are several things that can happen in the hour that it takes you to get to the summit of Mt. Washington. Remember that this area is prone to avalanches and you should always follow a safe route to steer clear of any crevasses or undermined snow.It’s also important that you hike this area before you try to ski it. That way you know where the rocks and hazards will be so you can stay in your comfort zone.
|The Summit of Mount Washington||6,288 ft||N/A||
The Summit is by far the easier route to take compared to the Headwall. You’ll find the Summit of Mt. Washington at 6,288 feet and it is not nearly as steep as some of the other routes. The only downside to the Summit is that it’s only accessible March through April. Even then, it depends on how much snow has fallen in the area.The Summit as you can imagine is completely exposed to the elements as it is above the treeline. You shouldn’t try to take on the Summit unless you are an experienced skier. Even then though, you need to be on your toes when taking this route. The Summit is one of the harshest environments you can tackle in this region. Not only are you battling winds and other harsh conditions, but there are avalanches and a narrow window to ski this area.
|An Alternative to Hillman’s Highway…|
|The Base of Hillman’s Highway||3,900 ft||2 minutes from HoJo’s||Why not start off at the base of the matter? Hillman’s Highway base is located at 3,900 feet and is approximately two minutes from HoJo’s. This area gives you easy access to the Lower Snowfields, plus is a great place when avalanche danger is high in the area. You should also hit this spot if the ravine is a no-go due to weather conditions or poor snow quality.|
|The Top of Hillman’s Highway||5,300 ft||1.5 hrs to the top of Hillmans Highway from HoJo’s||Looking for Hillman’s Highway? Well if you are starting at HoJo, you’ll find that it begins just south of HoJo’s. At 5,300 feet, the ascent is easy enough and you’ll find the slope north of Boott Spur. During ideal conditions, you could even head to Tuckerman or tackle Mount Washington’s summit cone.|
|Little Headwall||600 vertical||10 min to HoJo’s from the ravine floor||
The Little Headwall will provide you with a great run with a vertical elevation of 600. You’ll find Little Headwall ten minutes from HoJo’s ravine floor. Just be careful if you are planning on taking this route in the springtime. You’ll find that there is a great hazard due to the undermined snow and the melted water from this ravine pours out into Cutler River.Also, you need to be aware of scrubs in this area. If you are planning on taking this route, you should head to the south and access the snowfields to get back to HoJo’s. Once you’re at HoJo’s, keep going until you reach Sherburne Ski Trail, which you’ll find yourself at Pinkham Notch. Plus, if you’re camping in the HoJo’s area, it is a short walk to get back to your base site.
|Sherburne Ski Trail||1,860 vertical||30 min to the base at Pinkham||
Looking for a fast run? Or maybe one that is a bit more advanced? Then you might want to check out the Sherburne Ski trail that has a 1860 vertical. You’ll find this run 30 minutes from the base at Pinkham. To get there, you’ll need to start at HoJo’s and follow the Tuckerman Ravine trail closely to get back to Pinkham Notch.You’ll find that the Sherburne Ski Trail is narrow, but not very steep. This run is covered with moguls in the springtime and the branches and rocks do create hazards. This trail is typically open from early- to mid-April from top to bottom. If you’re planning on taking this run, you’ll find you can ski until the snowline and hike over to the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. It is important to note that you should not ski down the Tuckerman Ravine Trail.