The White Mountain National Forest Trails are OPEN!

Due to the recent partial government shutdown one of the most commonly asked questions this week is if the White Mountain National Forest trails are open. Although the U.S. Forest Service is closed, the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) is not under a closure order, making visitors free to recreate in the forest! Visitors however should expect WMNF ranger stations, campgrounds, and restrooms to be closed. The Hermit Lake Shelter in Tuckerman Ravine is also closed and camping is not permitted within 1/4 mile of the Cutler River Drainage Area. For a more detailed list of the official backcountry camping rules please refer to the current list of WMNF Backcountry Camping RulesThe AMC is also updating on our News Bulletin with as much information to help you plan your trip. Photo above was taken this morning on the Boot Spur Trail looking at the summit of Mt. Washington. Photo below is on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail with the intersection of the Boott Spur Trail. 

So where can you camp and stay? State parks and campgrounds, campgrounds on private land, AMC huts, Pinkham Notch's Joe Dodge Lodge, the Highland Center, and Cardigan Lodge and Campground are open! The Appalachian Trail is open on state lands, including backcountry shelters and campsites from Carlo Col north and on the Grafton Loop Trail in Maine’s Mahoosuc region.

The main rules to follow if you are backcountry camping are:

200 feet off of the trail 
200 feet away from a water source
1/4 mile from a trail intersection, hut, shelter or trailhead, developed day use site or campground
No camping in the Alpine Zone meaning that trees must be at least 8 feet tall
Always practice Leave No Trace Ethics; pack everything out that you packed in!

This morning I was able to hike to Tuckerman Ravine, then up  the Boott Spur Link to the alpine zone. The foliage is still looking great, lots of orange hues still on the trails and looking into the valleys! All pictures posted were from just a few hours ago. Picture above is from the Boott Spur Trail looking northeast, to the right is from the Boott Spur Trail looking at the summit of Mt. Washington
Keep in mind that the leaves have been falling which can cover up rocks and branches, so make sure to have good footing. The trails are dry right now, making for some great hiking up to the summits!
There is a slight chance of rain tomorrow, so please refer to the Mount Washington Observatory Weather forecast for the latest updates on the summit weather.
Also with the changing of the seasons please make sure to Hike Safe and always bring the 10 Essentials along with you.

Guests with questions or concerns about the status of their reservations should contact AMC Reservations at (603) 466-2727. Anyone with questions about the status of White Mountain trails and shelters should contact the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center front desk at (603) 466-2721. Those with questions concerning the Appalachian Trail should contact the Appalachian Trail Conservancy at (304) 535-6331. 

For any general questions, conditions information, or trail advice, please feel free to contact us here at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center front desk.  We are available by phone at (603) 466-2721 every day from 6:30 AM to 10:00 PM or by email at To make reservations at AMC Lodges and Huts, please call (603)466-2727 available Monday through Saturday 9am-5pm.

Happy Hiking!

Danielle J.
Backcountry Information Specialist
AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center
(603) 466-8116 

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