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 ten passengers and dogs are allowed.
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 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 trips bring passengers down the Mt. Washington Auto Road from the summit and drop them off at one of the following locations. Please note all of these locations are on the EAST side of Mt. Washington.
- 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).
2023 OPERATING TIMES, SCHEDULE & RATES
The first hiker shuttle leaves the base around 8:30am. After that, it operates on demand, with possible waits of an hour or more, depending on driver availability. Operation of the Hiker Shuttle is weather dependent.
- Approximately 8:30 am One-way Up Trips Begin (from the Base Area to the Summit)
- Approximately 11:30 am One-way Down Trips Begin (from the Summit to the Base Area)
- 4:00 pm Last trip down* (Shuttle stops operating)
*Note: during extremely busy times, we may continue to operate the shuttle after 4:00 pm. When available, trips after 4:00 pm cost $75 per person.
|May 27 (opening weekend) to Mid-June||Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays|
|Mid-June to October||7 days a week, based on demand|
|October 22, 2023||Last day of Hiker Shuttle|
Operation is weather dependent!
RATES (ONE-WAY UP & ONE-WAY DOWN)
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 $75 per person.
for dispatching a vehicle after hours
|Per person charge||$75|