Nelson Crag Trail

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 44.27060°N / 71.3047°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hike (Class 1-2)
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Walk-up
Sign the Climber's Log


From the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center head 1.7 miles down the Old Jackson Road for the start of this trail. It is also within a very short distance of the auto road.

Route Description

This route heads up the imfamous Chandler Ridge which is also ascended by the Mt. Washington Auto Road on the east and north sides of the mountain. Starting along the Old Jackson Road this trail reaches treeline fairly quickly in 1.1 miles. That first mile or so is quite steep though as you'll gain 1,500 feet. From here you are totally exposed to the full force of Mt. Washington's famous bad weather so check the reports.

Once you reach the ridge-crest the trail will head north over all rock and you won't be too far from the auto road all the while. The next landmark you will rech is Nelson Crag before continuing through Alpine Garden and up to Ball Crag. From here it is a short jaunt up to the summit across the auto-road and cog railway tracks. The total round-trip distance is approximately 9.8 miles with nearly 4,000 feet of elevation gain.

Essential Gear

Comfortable hiking boots, food/water, trekking poles, bad weather gear, and a camera.