In mid-June 2018, I did a loop hike that provided views into New Hampshire’s famed Tuckerman Ravine.
Tuckerman Ravine is a glacial cirque on the southeast face of Mt. Washington. It’s enjoyed by hikers throughout the year. However, perhaps it is best known for the many "spring skiers" who ascend it on foot and then ski down the steep slope from early April until sometimes as late as July. During that time period, the temperatures are relatively mild and there is usually a natural snowpack that is sufficient for skiing. Skiing is not limited to this time frame, but from late December to early March there is an avalanche danger. Special training and experience is needed to assess and navigate the ravine safely during the heart of winter.
My 5.7 mile loop hike was done in a clockwise direction. It involved a 2,787 ft. elevation gain using these trails: Tuckerman Ravine Trail; Boott Spur Trail; Boott Spur Link. The actual hiking time was close to the ‘book time’ of about 4.5 hours. However, plan on more time than that since you’ll want to make several stops to enjoy the many views along this route.
|Map showing the route of travel for this loop hike|
|This first photo taken from “Ravine Outlook” shows a wide vista that includes Tuckerman Ravine and surrounding peaks. Yup! There’s still some snow there in mid-June! :-)|
|This is a slightly-zoomed photo of Tuckerman Ravine that was taken from the “Ravine Outlook” viewpoint.|
|This is a highly zoomed photo of the floor of Tuckerman Ravine that was taken from “Ravine Outlook”.|
|After leaving the “Ravine Outlook” viewpoint, it was onward and upward to meet up with the Boott Spur Link trail. Along the way, you pass by Split Rock. In case you didn’t recognize it as being a split rock, there’s a sign to tell you that it is. :-)|
|The junction of Boott Spur Trail and Boott Spur Link|
|Looking down at the Hermit Lakes Shelter complex from the Boott Spur Link|
|In addition to the views into Tuckerman Ravine, this loop hike provides many other views, such as this vista looking southward down the Pinkham Notch.|
|On the return leg of my hike, I made a very quick ‘point and shoot’ visit to Crystal Cascade. It was a nice finish to a day that was filled with many picturesque sights.|
|During the relatively short segment of my hike that was in the Alpine Zone, the only alpine flora that I saw and photographed were Diapensia and Mountain Cranberry.|
TO SUM IT UP:
Climbing to the tops of mountains can be exhilarating and provide wonderful views. However, there are alternative hikes, such as this one, where you can get great views without summiting a mountaintop.