Mount Washington Auto Road, Gorham NH

Hiker Shuttle 

The Mt. Washington Auto Road offers a one-way shuttle service to hikers — either up to, or down from the summit. The shuttle is available on a first-come, first-serve basis (we do not take reservations nor do we allow tickets to be purchased in advance), and operation is weather dependent. Each trip can accommodate a maximum of eight passengers, dogs are allowed, and masks are required.

Because of the limited seating and extreme weather on Mt. Washington, which may cause the road to close, there is no guarantee of a ride. You should always be prepared to hike down the mountain. For your own safety: if the weather turns bad during your hike to the summit, you should turn back.

See Hiking Mt. Washington for more information on planning your hike.

Important Operating Notes

  • You should ALWAYS BE PREPARED to hike down the mountain — there is NO GUARANTEE of a ride
    Plan ahead: know the weather forecast and the abilities/limits of each person in your party.
  • Hiker shuttle is not available after the Auto Road closes for the day
    If you are coordinating with a friend or family member to pick you up at the summit, pay close attention to the closing time (/hours-dates-of-operation) of the Auto Road. We sweep the summit of cars exactly 45 minutes after the posted closing time. Thus, if the posted closing time is 5:00pm, all cars must depart the summit by 5:45pm. (IMPORTANT: See below for information about After Hours Rescue)
  • Inclement weather may affect the shuttle schedule and the shuttle may stop running if the weather turns bad
    This includes during times of low visibility/dense fog, during high winds, high precipitation, lightning, and any unsafe condition impacting travel on the Auto Road.
  • You may NOT reserve a Guided Tour as a replacement for the hiker shuttle
    Guided Tours start and end at the base of the mountain; drivers bring the same number of guests from the base to the summit — and back. Empty seats on the way up will be filled at the base area, so the tour will be full going up and down the mountain, and you will not have a seat.
  • Hitchhiking on the Auto Road is PROHIBITED
    This can lead to unsafe weight loads in the vehicles, which can cause vehicle damage and create unsafe driving conditions on the steep terrain of the Auto Road.

Trip Information: One-Way Up & One-Way Down

One-Way Up

One-way up trips typically start at the Base Lodge at the Auto Road (where the Guided Tours begin). They can also begin at the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.

One-way Up tickets are purchased at the Stage Office in our Base Lodge.

If you plan to start and end your hike at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, we will pick you up there and bring you to the Base Lodge where you purchase your One-way Up ticket.

One-Way Down

One-way down trips bring passengers down from the Summit of Mt. Washington and drop them off at one of the following locations:

  • Base Area of the Auto Road
  • AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center
  • Great Gulf Wilderness Trailhead

We do NOT take hikers to the Western side of the mountain (e.g. Base of the Cog Railway).

Tickets (One-way Down)

This summer, our Summit Stage Office will be closed while we complete work on the building. While this office is closed, tickets for One-Way Down trips may be purchased in the Pack Room of the Sherman Adams Building (on the summit). On the east side of the building, next to the main doors, walk down one flight of stairs to a cement pad and double doors. This is the pack room.


2021 Operating Times, Schedule & Rates

The first hiker shuttle leaves the base at 11:00am. After that, it operates on demand, with possible waits of an hour or more. Operation of the Hiker Shuttle is weather dependent.

Operating Times

  • 11:00am One-way Up Trips Begin (from the Base Area to the Summit)
  • 11:30am One-way Down Trips Begin (from the Summit to the Base Area)
  • 4:00pm Last trip down* (Shuttle stops operating)

*Note: during extremely busy times, we may continue to operate the shuttle after 4:00pm. When available, trips after 4:00pm cost $75 per person.

Schedule

May 29, 2021 Hiker Shuttle begins Operating (weekends only)
June Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays
July 7 days a week, based on demand
August, September, October 7 days a week
October 24, 2021 Last day of Hiker Shuttle

Operation is weather dependent!

Rates (One-way Up & One-way down)

All passengers $50
Dogs $20

These rates do not include a tip, which is always greatly appreciated.

*Note: during extremely busy times, we may continue to operate the shuttle after 4:00pm. When available, trips after 4:00pm cost $75 per person.


After Hours Rescue

If we are required to dispatch a vehicle from the base of the mountain after hours to transport hikers back to the base from the summit, it is considered a rescue and you will be charged the base rate for dispatching a vehicle after hours plus $50 per person.

Base rate
for dispatching a vehicle after hours
$500
Per person charge $50

If you require transportation back to the base of the Cog Railway, we charge an additional $100.

*NOTICE: Hikers who find themselves stranded on the summit after hours in severe weather and require outside assistance from Mt Washington State Park or NH Fish & Game personnel to provide shelter or transport services fall under NH RSA 206:26-bb and NH RSA 153-A:24 for negligent conduct and may be subject to prosecution and state fines.