Mt Washington State Park, Monday May 7, 2012

This weekend it is really starting to feel like spring is here in the mountains. The Cog Railway is operating weekends and was able to make it all the way to the summit on Saturday and Sunday. The Mt Washington Auto Road, is open to the tree line for private cars and with a little luck with the weather they could possibly be open to the summit next weekend. Moose Brook State Park has opened a section of the campground for early campers. Moose Brook is one of my favorite state parks! There are cozy campsites nestled in a spruce forest with lots of trees between neighboring sites, showers and facilities are top notch but also the myriad of hiking and biking trails through the northern sector of park is a little know secret. Along these paths are interesting views of the Northern Presidential Range

Mount Adams

but also one can find many varieties of spring flowers

Trillium Cluster
Dutchman’s Breeches
Wood Sorrel

Moose Brook State Park in Gorham NH is a convenient base for hiking Mt Washington as it is only 8 miles from Pinkham Notch where several of the more popular trails begin for a climb on the east side of the mountain. Hiking one of the 12 trails to the summit of Mt Washington can be an extremely rewarding adventure. Being high up in the alpine zone is like no other hiking experience one can have this side of the Rocky Mountains and below Newfoundland. It can also be dangerous for those under prepared either physically or equipment wise. If you’re not an experienced hiker than it is always a good idea to climb the mountain with someone who has and to do your homework on researching the hiking trail guide books, trail maps and of course get an up-to-date weather forecast. For the hard core skiers there is still skiable snow in Tuckerman Ravine, the Eastern Snow Fields

Eastern snow fields on 5-4-2012

and for high end expert skiers the Great Gulf Headwall

Great Gulf Headwall ski gullies on 5-4-2012

Park staff is hard at work behind the scenes getting the summit facilities ready.

Inside pump vault

We are not up there just looking at the view but there are times when we just have to stop and gaze out at the wonder scenes of nature that is constantly unfolding before our eyes such as an under cast with a Brocken-specter,

Brocken-Spector on clouds below

Or a hungry fox looking for a snack being chased away by the summit mascot.

No matter how you plan to get up here, don’t forget to call ahead if you’re planning on taking the Mt Washington Auto Road (603-466-3398), or Cog Railway (603-278-5404) to the summit or the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center (603-466-2725) for the latest on hiking trail conditions. See you soon!

PS, For decades summit crews have occasionaly put out turkey and meat scrapes to feed the foxes and ravens in winter to help color an often dull white world at the top of New England. This is not done in summer as there is plenty of colorful secenery and lots of natural food for the wild animals. Mike P


Mike Pelchat, Manager of Mt. Washington State Park

I've been working atop Mt Washington for past 30 years so you can guess I like it above the tree line! After all these years I still never tire of the beauty of our NH White Mtns and consider my employment an extreme honor and privilege to work for the State Of NH and serve its visitors. When not on the summit you can find me enjoying the rock & ice climbing one of the many beautiful granite cliffs we have in Franconia, Crawford or Echo Lake State Parks. I have taken these climbing skills learned at our NH State Parks to climb in Alaska, Andes, Canadian Arctic and Himalayas. I live in Gorham NH with my wife Diane Holmes.

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