Circuit around Mt. Washington (July 19, 2020) - 11 hours

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The source of the Ammonoosuc River with some great stream crossings.    Crawford Path past the lakes.

This is one of my favorite hikes. It does a full loop around Mt Washington on little-used trails, staying above treeline the whole time. I went up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail which climbs to the source of the Ammonoosuc River with some great stream crossings (left). The Lake of the Clouds hut at the top of the trail was open for day use but not for lodging. From the hut I went up the Crawford Path past the lakes (right) and promptly took the Tuckerman Crossover, leaving the crowds behind.

Tuckerman Crossover.    Tuckerman Ravine.

The Tuckerman Crossover and similar trails criss-cross the plateau on the east side of Mt. Washington but are ignored by hikers who just want to get to the summit. They make for wonderful relatively flat walking with great views (left). And you get to cross the trails heading to the summit. Here's Tuckerman Ravine, where I took the trail down a bit to connect to the Alpine Garden Trail.

The Alpine Garden Trail.    Huntington Ravine.

The Alpine Garden Trail was true to its name and carpeted with yellow flowers (left). It took me to the rim of Huntington Ravine (right) and ended at the Nelson Crag Trail.

Nelson Crag Trail.    Nelson Crag Trail.

The Nelson Crag Trail goes to the summit but receives very little use because it is often within sight and sound of the auto road (left). I detoured to go to Nelson Crag and have views to the north (right).

Nelson Crag Trail to Ball Crag.    Great Gulf and Spaulding Lake.

I then backtracked and went up the Nelson Crag Trail to Ball Crag, which at 6,111 feet is a stone's throw from Mt. Washington (left). There I crossed the auto road and picked up the Gulfside Trail. I went for a few yards on the Great Gulf Trail to the lip of the headwall for view of the Great Gulf and Spaulding Lake (right). Going to Spaulding Lake was a previous epic hike where Peter Wyatt and I found the Great Gulf Trail to be very poorly marked.

The southern Presidentials.    Bretton Woods.

From the Gulfside Trail I took a left on the Westside Trail, under the Cog Railway and finishing the circuit with views of the southern Presidentials (left) and Bretton Woods (right). The Westside Trail eventually took me to the Crawford Path, and from there it was down to the Lake of the Clouds hut and the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail.

See also: 2020 Hikes