Don't Miss: Mt Washington Summit
The Sherman Adams Summit Building is the hub of Mt Washington State Park, which covers more than 63 acres atop its namesake mountain. Inside you'll find the private, nonprofit Mt Washington Observatory, its observation tower and its museum, which is one level down. The observation tower is open only by prearranged tour. Other occupants of the building include an information desk, a cafeteria, a gift shop and a tiny post office. Near the museum, a sobering list of fatalities on the mountain from 1849 through 2017 includes each person's cause of death – hypothermia, exposure and cardiac arrest are typical.
An open-air observation deck is perched atop the roof of the Sherman Adams building. Be aware that the summit is often cloudy and you may not see a darn thing beyond the observation deck's railing. On a clear day, however, you can see five states, Canada and the Atlantic Ocean. A photo-ready summit sign marking the 6288ft altitude is a few steps from the observation deck, as is the historic Tip Top House, which is open to the public. If you stroll the perimeter of the summit, take note of the boulders blanketing the slopes – you'll understand why this lofty place is nicknamed the Rock Pile.
The Mount Washington Cog Railway and the Mt Washington Auto Road, which are separately owned, end at the summit. Each dropped off more than 100,000 visitors in 2017. Several hiking trails also reach the summit, adding more day-trippers to the mix. According to a recent study by the Mt Washington Commission, which oversees summit operations, visitors aren't yet put off by the crowds – but you may want to get there soon.