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Drive Yourself

From Base to Summit, Find Adventure at Every Turn

Driving the Auto Road is about a new experience at every turn, even if you’ve already driven it several times. Weather, foliage, views … they’re always changing and keep the trip exciting. Drive yourself and earn the famous “This Car Climbed Mount Washington” bumper sticker.

  1. Check our Hours & Dates of Operation.
  2. You do not need to make a reservation to drive yourself on the historic Mt. Washington Auto Road. You will pay the fee when you arrive at the Toll House; we take all major credit cards and cash.
  3. Download the Auto Road App — includes a guided tour of the Auto Road.
  4. Weather always dictates operational status on the Auto Road. Please check the Road Status & Weather for current information.
  5. We have weight restrictions for an automobile—you can NOT have over 900 lbs of interior weight inside a vehicle. Tested over and over again, we have found that anything over that limit, the weight is too much for a transmission to hold back the vehicle on the steep grades. It can cause you to use your brakes too much, which will lead to overheated brakes, or worse. Please keep the interior weight of the car in check.
  6. Safety considerations dictate that some vehicles cannot be permitted on the Auto Road. In addition, Check our Vehicle Restrictions page to make sure you have a safe journey.
  7. At the Toll House, you’ll receive the famous “This Car Climbed Mt. Washington” bumper sticker.
  8. Enjoy the drive! Due to its remarkable location, weather, and history, the Mt. Washington Auto Road is unlike any other driving experience in the Eastern United States.

You’ll drive up in your normal gear (“D”), and down in your lowest gear (“1”, “L” or “L1”). Driving down in low gear will allow your engine to help with the braking of the vehicle. When using your brakes, don’t “ride” your brakes unnecessarily. A pumping action of the foot pedal allows the brakes to run cooler than does a steady pressure. If your brakes overheat, there will be many turnouts along the road to stop and cool them.

Visit our FAQs to see if there’s a common question you have about the road!

If you are a first time visitor who is not comfortable with heights or narrow mountain roads without guardrails, you may choose to enjoy one of our comfortable 2-Hour Guided Tours rather than driving your own vehicle.


The Sherman Adams building at the summit, managed by the NH State Park, is open.
The Sherman Adams building houses a cafeteria, restrooms, and it is the home of the Mt. Washington Observatory museum, which is operating this summer.

For more information, please visit the Mt. Washington State Park webpage.


Peak rates are currently in effect through October 24, 2021 for foliage.

Car & Driver Peak Times $45 (regularly $39)
Motorcycle & Operator $25
Adult Passenger Peak Times $20 (regularly $14)
Child Passenger (Ages 5-12)  $9
Child Passenger (Under 5)  FREE

Vehicle Restrictions apply.

Planning to visit the Auto Road more than once this summer? Consider a Season Pass.

a close up of a plate

*NOTICE: Picking up hitchhikers on the Mount Washington Auto Road is prohibited because putting additional passengers in a vehicle could exceed the recommended safe load limit for that vehicle, resulting in brake issues and a possible accident.

If you have any questions about driving the Auto Road yourself, please call us at (603) 466-3988.