What goes up Mt Washington, must come down

…but sadly, not on the Cog Railway, a curious-looking beast whose boiler is at a funny slant to enable it to get up the hill (the phrase “I think I can, I think I can…” springs to mind).

Having climbed Mt Washington, we had a discussion in the cafe about whether we should take the railway back down or hike. In the end, the issue was settled for us when we noticed the gift shop closing up and realised that in fact the last train service of the day had just left.

Resigned to our fate, we had a chat with the Park Ranger and found out the best route for our descent – the Jewell Trail.

Crossing over the train lines (reassuring to know that we could outrun this train easily!) we headed along the Gulfside Trail which took us along the edge of a beautiful cliffside until we met the Jewell Trail.


Very quickly it became clear that the way down was also not going to be easy going. Not only was the trail fairly steep, but we had to step from rock to rock like mountain goats. This seemed to suit Darby, whose Norwegian heritage surely showed through here, but I can’t say that Fiona or I found it much fun and we took things at a rather more knee-friendly pace. Once we hit the tree line it looked as though we had a nice clear trail marked through the trees, but sad to relate, more rocks to climb over, spiced up with a return of the snow to slither down.

After a long set of switchbacks near the end of the trail we finally reached a small bridge which crossed over the river to the other side of the ravine. The familiar smell of steam engine began to reach us as we approached the base station of the cog railway and finally emerged from the trees. We watched the sun slowly set as we walked the final half mile back to the car park.


Trail length: 9.5mi (15.3km)
Elevation gain: 3937ft (1200m)

Google Earth file for our White Mountain Hikes.

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. bmh says:

    D would have enjoyed the train.

  2. hwmbo says:

    I hope you remembered what I told you about boilers not being horizontal and for that matter why certain sheep have legs shorter on the left hand side. You obviously had quite a trek I was reminded of our walk off Brocken down that rough footpath and for that matter the last leg of Haystacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *