By Roger Lohr – The Mt. Washington Auto Road began its 156th season on Saturday, April 29 for guests to drive their own vehicles to tree-line at 4,200 feet. Operating hours are 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., weather permitting. The 4.5-mile drive to the area provides stunning vistas of the northern Presidential Mountains and Great Gulf Wilderness offering a true taste of the Mount Washington experience!
A reduced rate of just $29 per vehicle to drive yourself includes the famous bumper sticker and an audio tour on CD. The road to the top of the Mount Washington Auto Road at 6,288 feet elevation is being cleared during the month of May and it is projected to be fully open during the month or by Memorial Day. Check the website for details and special programs at http://www.mtwashingtonautoroad.com/
Guided Tours offer a unique opportunity to learn the true nature and history of Mount Washington and the Auto Road. Driven by an accomplished and dedicated tour guide, your “stage driver” will offer stories, anecdotes, legends, history and insight into the ecological wonder of Mount Washington as well as point out interesting features and scenic opportunities from the base to the 6,288-foot summit. Enjoy walks, hikes, alpine flowers, ecological zones, history, or simply extended time on the summit – these are all options that are available on a 3-Hour Adventure Tour and discounts are available if booked online.
Bicknell’s Thrush Guided Tour
The Bicknell’s Thrush is an extremely rare bird species with very limited breeding grounds. It is the most secretive of the breeding thrushes in North America and it is the only bird whose breeding is restricted to the Northeastern part of the continent. They usually breed at higher elevations, normally nesting above 3,000 ft. The unique and harsh climate is just what the birds prefer due to the combination of low vegetation and abundant moisture. The Mt. Washington Auto Road offers you a rare opportunity to view these obscure birds on a guided tour. The Bicknell’s Thrush Guided Tours are scheduled for selected mornings in May (5/28) and June (6/3, 6, 8, 16) leaving early in the morning (6:00 AM) before the Mt. Washington Auto Road opens to the general public to insure there is as little additional noise or disturbance as possible. Our success rate at hearing and seeing this elusive thrush is quite good, but with the species in decline due to wintering habitat losses, there can be no guarantee of sightings. Tours are $50 for about 2 hours and advanced reservations are required.