Huntington Ravine Trail

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 44.27060°N / 71.3047°W
Additional Information Route Type: hiking trail, with a steep section involving scram
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: class 3
Sign the Climber's Log


Park at Pinkham Notch and begin by hiking up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. At 1.3 miles the Huntington Ravine Trail branches off right. Alterantely, in early season when snow is still present, you can continue up the Tucks trail, crossing the second bridge, then take a right on the snowcat road which in about 15-20 minutes takes you to Harvard Cabin and the Huntington Ravine Trail.

Route Description

Between the Tucks trail and Huntington Ravine this is a fairly typical New England trail - kind of rough with lots of rocks and some bushes. It's not very long, but can take a while. The floor of the ravine is reached about 1.5 miles after the junction. There are some really big boulders here; however the trail is easy enough to follow as there are paint blazes on the rocks. From the boulder field the trail climbs up the talus slope known as the Fan. Depending on the season, this slope can be a snowfield through Memorial Day and after; in this case an ice axe may not be a bad idea. After climbing the Fan (careful of loose rock) the trail turns right and begins traversing a big slab. This is the beginning of the class 3 section. It's not very hard at all - for most people it will simply be a lot of fun. But I suppose if you're scared of heights or if it's wet it could be pretty unpleasant. In any case, it's a spectacular section, with the trail gaining altitude very rapidly and offerring stunning views from various rock outcrops. As it approaches the Alpine Garden plateau the trail decreases in angle, and finally joins the Alpine Garden Trail at about 5,600 feet near the top of Central Gully. From here the shortest way to the summit (unless you want to just scramble up the boulder field) is to follow the Huntington Ravine Trail until it reaches the Auto Road, and from there follow the Nelson Crag Trail to the top.

Essential Gear

Good-soled hiking boots. Ice axe and possibly crampons if snow is present on the Fan.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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CharlesD - Jun 10, 2004 2:07 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

The AMC White Mountain Guide suggests that "Descent by this route is not recommended". This warning is mostly aimed at casual hikers, not seasoned climbers, but it is a fair warning none-the-less. The rocks become quite slippery in rain or fog and it's a pretty exposed route.

Of course, when my college roommate and I descended this route back in 1994, we were young and stupid and, more importantly, hadn't read the relevant passages in the guidebook. We arrived safely at the bottom of the ravine and met a group of climbers roping up for an ascent. They looked fairly surprised to see us come sauntering down in tennis shoes.

Your milage may vary...


AlexeyD - Jun 11, 2004 12:05 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

Good point...I should've mentioned that.

I think mostly, this warning refers to the scenario when a party decides to use the trail as an escape route out of a storm up on the Garden. In this scenario, the rocks are garaunteed to be slippery.

I've never gone down it - not so much because of this warning, but because it makes for a nicer, more interesting loop to go either over Tucks, Lions Head or Boot Spur for the descent.

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