Click for rough maps of route 16 through Pinkham and Crawford Notch and the Kancamagus Highway . Scenic Drives are wonderful for Autumn leaf peepers, a leisurely day of antiquing, boutiquing and picnicing or a great excursion to break up the drive while you're on your way to the next stop! Make sure you see all there is to see during your drive through our majestic Valley! It's worth it to pull over for Mt. Washington Valley's waterfalls and covered bridges!
The Mt. Washington Valley carves its way through part of the 800,000 acres of White Mountain National Forest. These lifelines of pavement twist and turn through Pinkham Notch, taking you to Gorham and Jefferson, where some of the best recreation and attractions live, such as Great Glen Trails and the Mt Washington Auto Road, Santa's Village, Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel and Raft NH, Moose Tours, Wildcat Mountain, with not only great Alpine Skiing, but ziplines in the summer and more! Pinkham Notch can loop back and connect with Crawford Notch at 3 points, route 16 in Gorham, the junction of route 2 and 115 in Jefferson and route 3 in Lancaster. It all just depends on how leisurely you want your scenic drive to be!
Take another approach and drive through Crawford Notch, taking you up to Bretton Woods with some of the best vertical drop in skiing at Bretton Woods Ski Resort and on your way visit the historic hotel, the Omni Mt. Washington Resort. Take a ride up Mt. Washington On The Cog Railway, the oldest Cog or "Rack" railway in the world, allowing you to see views out to the Atlantic Ocean on a clear day. For a faster way to climb down the mountain, take a Canopy Tour at Bretton Woods, with 9 zip lines and 2 repelling stations. Don't pass the Willey House without stopping in and saying "hello" and learning the story behind the saying "that gives me the willeys!" Further up Crawford Notch brings you up to Twin Mountain and route 93 taking you up through Bethlehem and eventually Vermont and Canada.
If you want to blend in with the locals or really impress them, take a drive through the Kancamagus Highway - and pronounce it correctly! Many think it's said Kanc-ah-mang-kis, but that's a common mistake! Don't be fooled, there is no second "N" and is simply stated, Kanc-ah-mah-gus Highway! There are two routes you can take, the Conway to the Kanc route is all about short views, gorges and waterfalls. The Bartlett to Bear Notch route holds wide scenic vistas and big mountains. Either way you take, you will find great hikes and swimming holes. Be aware that the Bear Notch route is closed in the Winter, but rest assured, that just opens the door for great snowshoeing and Nordic Skiing trails! If you continue on the Kanc you will eventually hit route 93 and Franconia Notch State Park.