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A Lifetime Experience on a Budget - Mount Washington

Posted in Main Blog
September 05, 2014 by Trish R. Share on: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Until recently, I’d never been to the top of Mount Washington. It was always too far, too expensive, or the weather was not cooperating. This summer though, we had guests from out of town, so a sunny Saturday found us all enjoying this experience of a lifetime.

Weather in New England

photo collage of Mount Washington view & signs

This is New England, the weather on the mountain can change at a moment’s notice, and it usually does! You'll definitely be dealing with wind. Perhaps the balmy breeze we enjoyed, but more than likely a strong 35 mph or more depending on the time of year. Check Mount Washington’s website before you go. The Auto Road may be open in rainy, foggy weather, but you’re not going to see much!

Options for Getting There

“Taking the Cog”

The Cog Railway has been taking tourists to the summit 1868! It’s a fun way for everyone to enjoy the ride up. Available April – November.


  • Discounts offered on the final run of the day
  • Military discounts
  • Check with your hotel or timeshare for a group discount
  • Average price non-discounted for a family of four is >$200

The train fills fast so making reservations before you arrive is a good idea! Boarding starts 45 minutes before departure!

Guided Tours – “Take the Stage”

Enjoy the ride with a tour guide/driver. Round trip allows half an hour for travel up and down, and an hour spent on the summit. Reservations are accepted for first two trips of the day, "first come, first served" after that. Tickets sell out by 1 PM some days. Hikers and their dogs are welcome for a one way trip up or down.

In winter, take the SnowCoach to the 4,200 foot mark/tree line.


  • Discounts for seniors
  • Military Discount Available

Average price for family of four $100.

Drive Yourself!

"This Car Climbed Mount Washington!" You'll find out why this is such a big deal. This is a narrow road with no guard rails, and half of the trip you'll have nothing between you and the multiple thousand foot drop. If anyone (especially the driver) is uncomfortable with heights, give this serious thought. There is no room to turn around if you change your mind. Thankfully, the ride down is less scary. But take it slow and use pull-out areas frequently to let your brakes cool. We drove our mini-van and had no issues, but stopped 3 or 4 times on the way down to take photos, and let the brakes cool a bit. Water is available half way down for radiators.

There is an electric car charging station at the bottom.


  • $28 per car/one driver
  • $8 each additional adult
  • $6 per child

Fee includes a bumper sticker and certificate celebrating your momentous achievement, and a Certificate narrating your drive both up and down!

Mount Washington offers photo opportunities galore, lessons on rock formation, wildlife, weather, and ecology.

Healthy food options are available at the top of the mountain. There is a museum, tours of the observation center, and numerous trails that start and end at the top so you can drive up, do a bit of hiking, then drive back down.

With planning, this is a great experience for the entire family.

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