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Lakes of the Clouds Hut + Mount Washington

Ammonoosuc Ravine + Jewell Trail Loop

White Mountains, New Hampshire

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Lakes of the Clouds Hut + Mount Washington

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  • Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail.- Lakes of the Clouds Hut + Mount Washington
  • First views high on the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail.- Lakes of the Clouds Hut + Mount Washington
  • Getting close to the ridge on the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail.- Lakes of the Clouds Hut + Mount Washington
  • Lakes of the Clouds Hut with Mount Washington behind it.- Lakes of the Clouds Hut + Mount Washington
  • Inside the Lakes of the Clouds Hut.- Lakes of the Clouds Hut + Mount Washington
  • View from the Lakes of the Clouds Hut dining room.- Lakes of the Clouds Hut + Mount Washington
  • Bunk room at the Lakes of the Clouds Hut. - Lakes of the Clouds Hut + Mount Washington
  • Lakes of the Clouds.- Lakes of the Clouds Hut + Mount Washington
  • Looking back at Mount Monroe from Lakes of the Clouds.- Lakes of the Clouds Hut + Mount Washington
  • Looking back at Lakes of the Clouds Hut.- Lakes of the Clouds Hut + Mount Washington
  • Heading toward Mount Washington.- Lakes of the Clouds Hut + Mount Washington
  • Mount Washington.- Lakes of the Clouds Hut + Mount Washington
  • Mount Monroe and Lakes of the Clouds Hut from below the summit of Mount Washington.- Lakes of the Clouds Hut + Mount Washington
  • Mount Washington summit.- Lakes of the Clouds Hut + Mount Washington
  • Northern Presidential Range from Mount Washington. - Lakes of the Clouds Hut + Mount Washington
  • Looking back up at the ridge on the way down to the junction with the Jewell Trail. - Lakes of the Clouds Hut + Mount Washington
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Incredible views. Backcountry lodging. State high point.
Cons: 
Rugged terrain. Not for beginners.
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Region:
White Mountains, NH
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Highest point: 
6,288.00 ft (1,916.58 m)
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
National Forest pass
Permit required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
9.60 mi (15.45 km)
Total elevation gain: 
3,788.00 ft (1,154.58 m)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,500.00 ft (762.00 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Of the many huts the Appalachian Mountain Club runs, the Lakes of the Clouds Hut is one of the most visited due to its popular location and sleeping capacity. The hut sits at 5,012 feet perched high on the ridge below the summit of Mount Washington, the highest point in both New Hampshire and in the Northeast. The hut sleeps approximately 90 hikers and is open for full service during June through mid-September, with family-style breakfasts and dinners served every day. If you happen to be passing by during the day, hikers are invited to stop in for coffee, soup, or baked treats for a small fee and donation. The hut is the perfect place to see pink and white alpine flowers, sit beside the Lakes of the Clouds, or watch a colorful sunset.

The shortest and most direct route to Lakes of the Clouds Hut is the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. The trail may start out with an easy to moderate incline, but after passing the beautiful Gem Pool, it becomes very steep and rocky, and you may need to use your hands at times. Enjoy the first views of Mount Washington as you near the ridge knowing it only gets better from there. The trail meets the ridge beside Lakes of the Clouds Hut, where you can take a quick break or stop for the night before continuing up to the summit of Mount Washington. Restrooms, water, and a snack bar are available on the summit only during the summer operating season. The Gulfside Trail follows the ridge north to a junction below the summit of Mount Clay, where you’ll follow the Jewell Trail down to complete the loop.

Keep in mind that much of this hike involves rugged and rocky terrain as well as extended time above treeline to complete the loop. It is important to be aware of the weather and to be properly prepared because conditions can change rapidly and unexpectedly.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(13 within a 30 mile radius)

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(54 within a 30 mile radius)

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