Savage weather and vicious wind (strongest gust: 231 mph) can turn a dayhike here into a hypothermic death march ; winter whiteouts can make cairn-hopping impossible. But don’t be daunted—just come prepared. Know how to follow the route if conditions deteriorate, and don’t skimp on layers and raingear. You’ll switchback up 1,500 feet and scramble over boulder gardens on this 3.8-mile route. If the road is open, you’ll see tourists on top, but rest easy: You can’t overestimate the satisfaction of climbing what others drive. INFO No permits. (603) 356-2137; mountwashington.org. Trip data: backpacker.com/hikes/59657
1. Hermit Lake 0317495E 4903294N; mile 2.2
Check weather report at cabin before ascending above treeline.