Huntington Ravine, on the east side of Mt. Washington, may not be as well known to the general public as its southern neighbor Tuckerman Ravine, but don’t let that fool you. While the snow covered slopes of Tuckerman largely attract those whose goal is a thrilling descent, the lure of Huntington is felt by those looking to be challenged on their way up. During the snow-free months the Huntington Ravine Trail is regarded as the most exposed and intimidating hiking path in the White Mountains. Add a little bit of snow and making your way through the Ravine automatically becomes a full-blown mountaineering challenge.
The Huntington Ravine Trail provides year-round access to the ravine’s pronounced gullies and buttresses. It leaves the Tuckerman Ravine Trail on the right approximately 1.3 miles from Pinkham Notch and then follows the North Branch of the Cutler River to the base of the 800′ headwall. From there it ascends steep slabs and ledges to the climber’s right of the prominent feature known as Central Gully. When deep snow covers the ground the, Huntington Ravine Winter Access Trail (also known as the “fire road”) provides a better alternative to the trail’s lower section by avoiding two bridgeless river crossings. It begins on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail 1.7 miles from Pinkham Notch and from late spring to mid fall is usually too wet to be a pleasurable hike.
Because snow can be found in the ravine for more than half of the year, all late fall, winter and spring visitors to the ravine should come prepared with the tools and skills necessary for technical travel in avalanche terrain. Every year the Snow Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents that often result from poor planning, improper skills and equipment, or bad judgment. Don’t be one of them! The following pages provide additional information about the Ravine and will help better prepare you for your next trip. The more research and planning you do now, the safer and more enjoyable will be your trip in the future.