Guide to Driving the Mount Washington Roads, New Hampshire

Mount Washington is located in Sargent’s Purchase, in northern New Hampshire. The mountain is categorized as the highest mountain peak in the Northeastern part of America. Reaching 6,288.2 feet, over a mile tall, Washington has been a huge tourist attraction for many decades and is a very popular mountain around the world. This blog will be providing a guide on driving the Mount Washington auto roads, exploring the mountain and personal experiences.


Step 1: Beginning of the Drive

At the beginning of the Mount Washington auto roads, you must pay $45 dollars per car and $9 per child to have access to the auto road on Mount Washington. The auto roads is in total 7.9 miles long and usually takes 30 to 45 minutes to get to the top. Leigh McAdam in his blog on M.T Washington roads states, “The Mt Washington Auto Road climbs 4,618 feet over 7.6 miles and crosses through four unique ecological zones.” 

It would be a good idea to make sure your car brakes are in good shape before driving up the mountain, because there are risks of brake failure while driving down the mountain.

Step 2: Driving up Mount Washington

The Mount Washington auto road is a challenging drive. During the drive, you will notice that there is zero guardrails with huge drop-offs, reaching over thousands of feet. While slowly driving up the mountain, at around 5-10 mph, the driver of the car should be a skills/confident driver. People recommend that the driver should only focus on the road because looking over the cliffs may cause anxiety and frighten the driver.

Step 3: Reaching the Peak

Once you began reaching the peak of Mount Washington, at around 6,300 feet, you will notice a dramatic temperature change. At the peak of the mountain the temperature will be around 49 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer. “In July, the average temperature is just 49°F. The record high is 72°F. The record low -47°F, without windchill [Leigh McAdam].” There are zero trees at the top of the mountain and includes many scenic views. You may also get a bite to eat at the dining hall located at the summit of the mountain.


Step 4: Driving Back Down

Driving down Mount Washington may be a scary experience for some tourists, but if you’re confident in yourself you will be fine. GAD states, “The drive down the dirt road was not scary – it was terrifying.” This is a quote by blogger who explains his experience on driving the auto road. The drive back down the mountain is a slow and steady process, but gets easier as you continue down the mountain. It is VERY important to make sure your car brakes are in good condition because there are risks of brake failure, which can end in horrific results.

Once you complete the Mount Washington auto road, at the exit, you will receive a car sticker that states, “This car climbed MT. Washington”.


Personal Experience:

In August of 2017, my family and I went on vacation in New Hampshire and decided to drive up the Mount Washington auto roads. In my personal experience, I thought it was an amazing adventure and the views were beautiful. The drive up was a little spooky at some points, but I recommend to give it a try and have fun with it.

Discussion Questions:

-Have you driven up the Mount Washington auto road? If yes, was it an exciting and fun experience or was it a sketchy/scary experience?


  • Find adventure at every turn when you drive, tour and explore the legendary Mt. Washington Auto Road!   Driving yourself? No reservations necessary.Interested in a Guided Tour? Book ahead! . (n.d.). Retrieved from

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