The Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center is a non-profit museum that operates out of an institution whose aim it is to measure the often extreme weather conditions found on Mount Washington. Their Discovery Center teaches and educates the public on the climate and weather patterns through fun interactive exhibits and tours. They run a range of other educative programs alongside this central location.
Things to Do
- The Discovery Center runs classroom programs for children from Kindergarten age to twelfth grade. These programs include classes on the fundamentals of how weather works, studies into the particular weather systems of Mount Washington, classes on lightning and more.
- It is possible to organize over-night trips to the summit of Mount Washington in summer and winter with the Observatory. You can also organize day trips. The over-night trips will see you spend a night at the Observatory's weather station which sits at 6,288 feet above sea level. These summits are all inclusive though you should be in good physical condition before taking on the challenge and you must bring your own hiking gear.
- Access by Car: Mt. Washington Auto Road: This privately-owned toll road ascends the east side of Mount Washington, departing from Route 16 in Pinkham Notch.
- Access by Train: Mt. Washington Cog Railway: This privately-owned historic cog railroad ascends the west side of Mount Washington, departing from Route 302 in Crawford Notch.
- Access by Foot: A number of rugged, scenic hiking trails ascend to the summit of Mount Washington. For trail information and advice, we recommend contacting the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC). Maps and guidebooks may be purchased in this online shop, and guide services are available through several local outdoor schools.
- Winter Visits: When the Cog Railway and Auto Road close for winter, usually from mid-October to mid-May, the Mt. Washington State Park also closes and no facilities are available. The only way to access the peak during this time is via foot, or an Observatory snow cat trip.
Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center Insider Tips
- Admission to the site is free although they do welcome donations.
- Group Tours can be arranged in advance with a fee of $20 per person in the group.
- The Center has a choice of distance learning programs which individuals or class groups can sign up for. There is a fee for this service.
- Younger visitors can test their climate knowledge with fun quizzes and games.