Mt Washington Auto Road: Not a Journey for the Faint of Heart

The highest mountain in the Northeast
The highest wind ever observed by man
The scariest road ever observed by me!

I also double this post as an entry to Jakesprinster’s Sunday Post: Road. (I know it’s already Tuesday :P)

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Mt Washington Auto Road

Before you are about to enter the toll both of Mt. Washington Auto Road, the first thing you see is this warning sign.

ATTENTION
The Mt. Washington Auto Road is a steep, narrow, mountain road without guardrails. If you have a fear of heights, you may not appreciate this driving experience. Guided tours are available.

Thought it was just a regular warning sign. Perhaps a sneaky way to threaten us and use ‘fear’ to sell guided tours which are more expensive than tolls if driving ourselves. I don’t have a fear of heights, so no problem.

We paid the fees ($25 for the car and driver, plus $8 for each additional adult) and got an audio tour on CD and a bumper sticker saying “This Car Climbed Mount Washington”.

Alas, little did I know…

On the way up, I was just so scared that I couldn’t take but a few pictures. My hands were shaking. And my heart was pounding! I thought we were going to plunge down the mountain every other turn. The road is steep and narrow. Don’t let the Auto Road’s average figure of 12% grade fools you. The steepest part of the road is 22% at the very top! Imagine driving up here on a cloudy or rainy day and rounding the hairpin turns on slippery road with no visibility! That warning sign is no joke…

And during all this drama, the Better Half was having a good time driving and enjoying the scenery. Lol.

At last, I’m on top of the world! At 6,288 feet.

Mt Washington Observatory

The highest wind ever observed by man was recorded here. 231 MILES PER HOUR!

Then unexpectedly, the train arrived…in style.

Even the Amish (or Quakers?) came to conquer Mt Washington.

The train ride should be less scary than the auto road, I think. Then I had this idea that I wanted to abandon the car (and the Better Half along the process) and took the train down. Lol.

It turned out that the trip down wasn’t as bad.

This car has climbed Mount Washington.

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19 comments on “Mt Washington Auto Road: Not a Journey for the Faint of Heart

  1. jakesprinter says:

    Great work for this week theme my friend and I love all of it,
    Thanks for sharing your stunning photographs :)

  2. enjoyed the journey and the views -but think I’d take the train

  3. restlessjo says:

    That’s an impressive bit of road but I did like the little blue train.

  4. Breathtaking. A view filled with fun and excitement!

  5. been there, done that. hubby had a panic attack halfway up.

  6. ndjmom says:

    This reminds me of my drive (hubby drove, laughing by the way) in Rocky Mountain National Park. We crossed the summit at 14,000 feet and then the next day went on the one way road to the top which was dirt with very few side rails. Both had switchbacks with a speed limit of 15 mph.

    Although there were no warning signs on the main road. Just one on Fall River Road, one way, once you start you can’t turn around.

    • sutira says:

      Hi ndjmom. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your scary road experience :) I can imagine along.
      Mt Washington Auto Road has a speed limit of 25 mph which I think is a little too fast.

  7. Lynne Ayers says:

    Not for the faint of heart indeed! I feel my heart racing from here and a mantra from somewhere over and over, don’t look down, don’t look down.

  8. BeemerGirl says:

    Hi! I just found your blog, searching for the wording on the sign. I just rode my motorcycle up that Auto Road and had to put in my two cents. I completely agree with you! My mantra now? I’ve done it once, I don’t ever have to do it again! :) (I would do it in a car, but the hubs actually would ride it again!)

    I took the COG Railway up in 2007 and highly recommend it. Great ride.

    • sutira says:

      Hi BeemerGirl! Thanks for stopping by to share your experience. I can’t imagine myself motorbiking up the Auto Road! Too scary…

      It’s nice to have a visitor from Blogspot. I really like your blog which is full of cool stories and pictures. :)

      • BeemerGirl says:

        Hi Sutira! “Too Scary” Yep. That about sums it up. :) I’m editing the video now and still having “flashbacks” of the hair pin turn.

        Thank you for the kind words about my blog. I hope to have the video up in a day or two.

        I really enjoy your blog and love your themed photographs!

        -Lori

      • sutira says:

        Lori, I also had flashbacks watching your vdo too! Thanks for sharing it to us. You and your husband are such ‘adventurers’ ;)

  9. Sutira, thank you for sharing your experience and following along with mine. Reading your adventures, seems you guys get out too! :)

  10. Jake says:

    What a loser. You drive up a mountain. I guess this is America in the 21st century. This is not an adventure, not even getting out, like BeemerGirl says

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