Going to the summit of Mt. Washington has been on my New England bucket list since I visited the White Mountains region. The reason I wanted to see this famous mountain is that it’s known for its erratic weather. Now, there are three ways to get up this mountain: hike, drive, van tour, or take the train. We wanted to drive but realized our little Nissan would not make it up that mountain. So we took the 2-hour guided tour of Mt. Washington, and here is my guide to make the most out of that trip.
What does the Guided Tour of Mt. Washington Entail?
The guided tour of Mt. Washington was enjoyable. Our guide, Kevin, was extraordinary. He had tremendous knowledge of the mountain and the history of the area. We also got some lessons on the flora and fauna of the mountain. No matter what type of question my group had, he had an answer for everything. I left that tour with so much knowledge, appreciation, and awe.
When you drive up the mountain in your car, you have the option to stop at the little rest areas. The van will not stop until you reach the summit. Thankfully, the van parks close to the Sherman Adams State Park Building, so you don’t have to climb stairs (especially during ugly weather) as personal drivers do.
It takes around 30-minutes to get up and down the mountain, which means you get an hour at the summit. The one hour gives you time to take photos, enjoy the summit, visit the state park building, and be present in the moment.
What are the hours available for the tour of Mt. Washington?
The 2-hour guided tour of Mt. Washington is open seasonally from late May to late October. If the weather is awful, the road can be closed, and they will take you to the winter line. The winter line isn’t bad, though, because you still get gorgeous views of the mountains.
You can find hours and dates of operation here.
Do I Get Updates on the Weather?
Did you know that Mt. Washington can get snow in the summer? Because of this, I HIGHLY recommend checking the weather and wind speed on the summit before you go on your tour of Mt. Washington. When we went, I checked the weather days leading up, so we knew to dress for severe winter weather. Even though it was 65-70 degrees at the base, the summit was 32 degrees with a windchill of 8 degrees. The wind was in the 60 mph range with gusts up to 75 mph.
We wore jackets, snow boots, scarves, and multiple layers. We even made sure to add hair pins to our hats so they won’t blow away with the strong wind gusts. But, there were people up there in shorts and t-shirts regretting their life decisions.
You can check the summit weather here.
What is the cost of the tour of Mt. Washington?
Prices for the tour of Mt. Washington vary by when you are going.
- Adult (Non-Peak): $45
- Adult (Peak): $51
- Senior (62+ Non-Peak): $40
- Senior (62+ Peak): $46
- Child (Ages 5-12 Non-Peak): $25
- Child (Ages 5-12 Peak): $31
- Child 4 and Under: $10
If you aren’t sure when peak season is, you can use the hours and dates section link. Also, a portion of your fare goes to support the Mt. Washington Observatory non-profit.
Where do I buy tickets?
You can find the calendar here. All you need to do is find the time and date that works best for you and your group, and you can purchase tickets by clicking the time. We bought our tickets a week before, but tickets can sell out faster depending on holidays and the fall foliage.
Going on the 2-hour guided tour of Mt. Washington was one of the coolest experiences we have done in New England. I highly recommend going on this tour before taking the drive yourself. Even though it is expensive, you don’t have to worry about driving in awful conditions.