Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6288 feet. It has hiking trails, back-country skiing, glider flying, an annual bike race but most famous of all is its Auto road. A 7.6-mile drive to the top of the mountain. The average grade of the road is 11.6%, so it is a steep climb and a thrilling adventure for anyone scared of height.
It is insanely beautiful and adventurous. As a thrill-seeker, I loved the drive. It is delightful to see the transition from thick forest to sparse land as the tree line changes. As it was fall I simply loved our drive to the summit. I could see all different fall colors just as I imagined fall would look like. Drive to summit is insanely beautiful. There are steep drop-offs so if heights are not your thing be prepared for a panicky ride. There are also a lot of outlooks to stop and soak in all the beauty auto ride has to offer. It is also perfect for going down as it gives your breaks, a well, much-needed break so they don’t overheat. I found myself stopping at almost every other outlook to click photos and just take a break to soak it all in.
As we reached the summit, I realised why it is famous for its winds. It was so windy and chilly I was freezing. I took a round of the summit to gaze around and found a place where the wind was blocked by shops. It literally made me freeze thinking about how it is in the winter, where it turns into a frozen field. Eventually, we could stop at a point and spend some time there. The summit has a house which is believed to be the oldest surviving mountain top inn in the world, an Observatory, a visitor centre, a museum.
The highest wind speed ever observed by man was 231 mph on Mount Washington summit on April 12, 1934. Note that it is “observed by man” because there is actually a higher wind speed of 253 mph that has been recorded by weather instruments in April 1996 on Barrow Island off the coast of Western Australia during Typhoon Olivia. Regardless of where the highest wind speed was recorded, Mount Washington is definitely known for the wind.
Mount Washington Auto Drive is definitely a great day trip if you are in the New England Area. It is also an excellent place to go and see fall.