Lion Head Trail
This trail is one of the most popular ways to the Summit from any direction. The Lion Head Trail follows two seperate paths depending on the season: the Summer Trail and the Winter Route. Please realize that both of these variations include very steep sections of strenuous climbing. The Summer Trail is not used in the winter because the trail passes through a snowfield that is prone to avalanches. The switch-over between Summer Trail and Winter Route takes place each late fall or early winter when avalanches are possible, and the switch-back occurs when the snows melts sufficiently on the Summer Trail. Please check our avalanche advisory before you head up the hill.
The Summer Trail leaves from Hermit Lake Shelters, and climbs steeply up the ridge until the junctions with the Alpine Garden Trail and the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. The upper section of this trail crosses an avalanche-prone snowfield in the winter months. To avoid this, the Winter Route is opened up each year when the snowfield grows large enough to become a concern.
The Winter Route leaves from the Huntington Ravine Fire Road near its junction with the Raymond Path. This route is very steep, and contains sections of ice, snow, and rock. In order to travel safely here, you should certainly have an ice axe and crampons and experience with using them. This trail is not built for traffic without adequate snow cover; use the Summer Trail if the Winter Route is not yet open. When this route is opened, there will be an orange trail sign at the intersection of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail and the Huntington Ravine Fire Road which points the way to the start of the Winter Route. As tempting as it may be, on your descent do not attempt to glissade sections of this trail while wearing crampons. It is one of the most common and preventable causes of injury on Mt. Washington in the winter months!