Every year, the crew at The Mt. Washington Auto Road undertakes the huge task of getting the snow off the road so that thousands of guests can enjoy a ride into the clouds to visit the Observatory and capture amazing photos. At 6,288 ft in elevation, Mt. Washington is the tallest peak east of the Rockies and is known to have the worst weather in the World!
As I’m writing this post, it’s 17.9 degrees at the Observatory with wind blowing at over 36 miles an hour – and it’s April 25th. You can just imagine what the weather is like all winter long when the road is closed because of the conditions and is only accessible by SnowCoach. These photos show what an enormous task they have to get the road ready for visitors come May – sometimes it’s not ready to mid-May depending on Mother Nature.
As I scrolled through Facebook photos on the Mt. Washington AutoRoad’s page, I was amazed to see these old photos showing just how this incredible task was accomplished years ago before we had modern machinery. And to think we all squawk when we have to shovel out our car – these guys did miles of road with 20′ or more by hand with shovels.
Photo from the Douglas A Philbrook collection.
As Innkeepers, we are often asked what’s a must do activity when coming to The White Mountains. I can honestly say that if a guest only has a couple days and wants to have an amazing experience, then they should definitely go to the top of Mt. Washington. Whether by train on the Cog Railway, driving up in their own car listening to the audio CD they provide, or riding up with a guide in the coach (now a large passenger van but previously a horse drawn stagecoach) it’s an amazing experience.
But be warned, it can be 80 degrees down here at Bear Mountain Lodge and only 20 degrees up on the mountain so jackets are always recommended. So if you’re coming to visit us this year and want to have an incredible day, check out the many options for getting to the top of Mt. Washington and taking in the splendor – Michael and I never tire of the trip.
And thanks to all the hardworking people who clear the road and make it possible for us all to enjoy the ride!