Mt. Washington is one of the most heavily visited areas in the Northeast, and also one of the most fragile. Please take the time to understand the special camping regulations in this area. Not only will it make your stay more pleasant, it will help preserve the area for future visitors. In the Cutler River Drainage, you may only camp in one of two places: Hermit Lake Shelters or the Harvard Cabin (during the season).
Alpine Zone (Above Treeline)
Though camping is allowed in most of the alpine zone if on greater than two feet of snow, there is no camping allowed in the alpine zone of the Cutler River Drainage including in the Ravines, the Alpine Garden, and the Summit Cone. Even above treeline and on snow, camping is prohibited in the Cutler River Drainage year-round. Yes, this means you may not camp in a snowcave at the top of the Lip or at the base of Pinnacle Buttress.
- Camping in the parking lot of Pinkham is prohibited, as is camping on the National Forest within ¼ mile of Rt. 16 from Gorham to Glen.
- Campfires are prohibited in all areas of the Cutler River Drainage.
- Violating the Cutler River Drainage Forest Protection restrictions is punishable by fine pursuant to 16 USC 551. The area is patrolled frequently.
Taking Your Dog
You may take your dog with you to Mt. Washington; however, pets are not permitted overnight at either Hermit Lake Shelters or inside the Harvard Cabin. If you bring your dog for a hike, bring a leash. You know your dog better than anyone else. If he or she should be on a leash, please use it. Not everyone on the trail is a dog lover, so please keep your dog under your control.
We frequently witness people get into trouble with their dogs in ways you might never see coming. For example, many dogs are comfortable hiking up but are very uncomfortable coming down steep terrain. We’ve also seen several dogs get stepped on by crampon-wearing hikers and run over by ski edges. What will you do if your dogs paw pads become chock full of snow and ice? These are all things you should think about before taking your dog with you, and if you decide to take the pooch, please, remember to take food and water!
Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace, Inc. is a leader in developing guidelines for treading lightly in backcountry areas. Given the incredible numbers of people visiting Mt. Washington each year, it is even more important that when you visit you leave the area in as pristine condition as possible for future visitors.
HikeSafe! is a first-of-its-kind educational campaign created by a collaboration between New Hampshire Fish & Game and the US Forest Service. The goal of hikeSafe! is to give people the information they need to travel safely through the backcountry areas of the White Mountain National Forest, thereby reducing the number of lost and injured persons in need of assistance.