Discover the Highest Point in New Hampshire

Written by Brandi Allred
Updated: July 25, 2023
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With a total area of under 10,000 square miles, New Hampshire is one of the smallest states in the country. It also has one of the smallest populations (under 1.5 million people) of any U.S. state. New Hampshire is located between Vermont in the west and Maine in the North. It also shares borders with Massachusetts and the Gulf of Maine in the Atlantic Ocean. As a part of New England, New Hampshire is known for its dense forests, lakes, and tiny ocean coast (less than 20 miles). But just how tall is the highest point in New Hampshire, and where exactly is the state’s highest point?

Keep reading to discover the answer to this question and so much more. Here, we’ll find out how New Hampshire’s tallest point compares to the high points of other states. We’ll also discover how difficult it is to summit this peak and what kind of equipment and experience you’ll need. Then, we’ll take a look at some of the other fun things you can do at or near the state high point. Finally, to top it all off, we’ll learn about the top five highest places in the state.

The Highest Point in New Hampshire

Mount Washington, New Hampshire

Mount Washington is the highest point in New Hampshire and the entire Northeast.

©iStock.com/Gerald G Gantar

At 6,288 feet above sea level, Mount Washington isn’t just the highest point in New Hampshire. It’s also the highest spot in the entire Northeast. Located in the Presidential Range, known locally as the White Mountains, Mount Washington is known for its extreme weather. It’s also an extremely popular destination for tourists from all around. So much so that some controversy has actually arisen over the potential overuse of mountaintops and the possible destruction of natural beauty. But, no matter how you get there, Mount Washington is a must-visit for any trip to New Hampshire.

The surrounding area offers over 1,000 miles of hiking trails, all accessible to visitors.

What About the Rest of New Hampshire?

Mount Washington is unquestionably the highest point in New Hampshire, but how does it compare to the rest of the state? New Hampshire’s topographic profile is one of the generally low-elevation lands. The lowest point occurs at sea level, where the state meets the Atlantic Ocean. In general, New Hampshire’s highest elevations occur in the northern part of the state, largely in and around the White Mountain National Forest. However, pockets of mountainous zones continue south in isolated pockets in the western part of the state. 

Can You Really Ride a Train to the Top of Mount Washington?

Mount Washington is so high that the summit exceeds the tree zone. High winds and extreme storms are often recorded at the top. But can you really ride a train all the way up? Yes, Mount Washington is one of the few state high points accessible by train. The Mount Washington Cog Railway has been in operation for decades and, for a small fee, transports visitors to the tippy top. But that’s not the only path you can take. While the railway approaches from the west, a paved toll road reaches the Visitors Center at the top from the east. 

And, if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, you can always hike your way to the highest point in New Hampshire. In fact, the surrounding area offers over 1,000 miles of hiking trails, all accessible to visitors. But, no matter what route you take to the top, you can be sure that you’ll enjoy stunning views. The summit features plenty of parking, a stone structure known as the Tip Top House, and even a helipad.

Things To Do Near Mount Washington

Mount Washington from Intervale, NH

The surrounding forest of Mount Washington hosts over 1,000 miles of trails.

©Harvey Barrison / Creative Commons – License

If you’re visiting Mount Washington as a nature lover, then look no further. With over 1,000 miles of trails, the surrounding forest will keep you busy for a good long while. Winter visitors should also check out the nearby Wildcat Mountain Ski Resort, which offers plenty of opportunities for winter fun. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can also hike to the nearby summits of Mount Adams and Mount Jefferson. 

For those looking for something a little tamer, there are the nearby towns of Bretton Woods, Gorham, and Jackson. Each offers a host of restaurants, bars, and places to stay. There’s even another ski resort — Attitash Mountain Resort — just to the south of the peak.

Where Is Mount Washington Located On a Map?

Mount Washington is located in Northern New Hampshire near the state’s border with Maine, found within the heart of the White Mountain National Forest. Mount Adams and Wildcat Mountain are among the scores of other impressive peaks found in the region.

Top Five Highest Peaks in New Hampshire

Now that we’ve discovered that Mount Washington is the highest point in New Hampshire at 6,288 feet above sea level, let’s find out more about the state’s highest points. New Hampshire’s second-highest peak is Mount Adams, at 5,774 feet tall. Coming in third is Mount Jefferson, at 5,712 feet above sea level. At 5,584 feet, Mount Sam Adams is the fourth tallest peak in the state. Finally, coming in fifth place is Mount Clay, at 5,532 feet elevation.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/zrfphoto


Sources

  1. , Available here: https://www.britannica.com/place/Mount-Washington
  2. , Available here: https://www.npr.org/2018/07/01/625079053/the-fight-over-new-hampshires-tallest-mountain
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About the Author

Brandi is a professional writer by day and a fiction writer by night. Her nonfiction work focuses on animals, nature, and conservation. She holds degrees in English and Anthropology, and spends her free time writing horror, scifi, and fantasy stories.

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