As the only legal campsite on the eastern slopes of Mt. Washington, the Hermit Lake Shelters have a lot to offer. Whether you’re planning a summer summit of Mt. Washington or some springtime skiing on Tuckerman Ravine, this AMC operated U.S. Forest Service facility provides your launch pad to adventure.
Electric car charging station
No dogs over night
For those seeking a rustic outdoors experience on the Northeast’s highest peak, Hermit Lakes Shelters can’t be beat. Located 2.4 miles up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail from the AMC’s Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, the shelters provide majestic views of the Tuckerman Ravine bowl and convenient access to the summit of Mt. Washington, as well as many other trails.
Spend the night in a three-sided shelter, four-sided shelter, or at a tent platform. A caretaker is on duty at the cabin year-round, mornings and evenings, to assist hikers and educate them about the unique alpine environment of Mt. Washington and Pinkham Notch.
The Hermit Lake Shelters are located in the backcountry. Guests should be ready to prepare and cook their own meals at their shelter or tent site using a backpacking stove. Fees are per person per night. Sites are first come first served and tickets should be purchased at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. For those arriving from the Presidential Range, fees are collected by the caretaker onsite.
5 three-sided shelters, 3 four-sided shelters, 3 tent platforms for a total accommodation of 86 people.
Year-round, on-duty caretaker
Weather forecast, seasonal avalanche report, and hiker register available in Caretaker Cabin lobby.
Emergency supplies and 10 Essentials available for sale at Cabin when staffed.
Dry wells at each site for dishwashing only
Potable water is available from a hand-pump located 500 ft. up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail in the summer. In the winter, guests may have to treat, filter, or boil water from the Cutler River.
Flush toilets are open in the summer. Outhouses are available in winter, spring, and fall.
Shuttle Stop and the EV Charging station are both located at the trail head at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.
Official organized youth and camp groups may reservespace prior to arrival by calling 603-466-2727.
Tuckerman Ravine Trail (4.2 mi): The Tuckerman Ravine Trail goes from the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center all the way to the summit of Mt. Washington, and is probably the mountain’s most popular route of ascent. From Pinkham Notch Visitors Center, the trails follows a tractor road past the Crystal Cascade waterfall and up to Hermit Lake and the floor of Tuckerman Ravine. From there to the top of the Tuckerman Ravine headwall, the trail is a steady climb but not excessively steep. The trail’s final section ascends the cone of Mt. Washington steeply over fragments of rock.
Lions Head Trail (1.6 mi): An alternate route up Mount Washington that starts and ends on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, the Lions Head Trail, has much to offer in its own right. The trail diverges from the Tuckerman Ravine Trail .1 below Hermit Lake and climbs a steep ridge to several impressive views of the valley below. The trail then rejoins the Tuckerman Ravine Trail about 600 feet below the Mt. Washington summit.
Mt. Washington Summit
AMC backcountry shelters are only accessible by foot. The most direct and easiest way to the Hermit Lake Shelters from the parking area at AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center is the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. This 2.8 mile hike follows a tractor road past views of the Crystal Cascade waterfall. From there, hikers continue up to Hermit Lake and the floor of Tuckerman Ravine.
Tickets for shelter or tentsite space can be purchased in person for a fee at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, on a first come, first served basis. Campers are limited to a maximum of seven consecutive nights, and pets are not allowed to stay overnight.