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New Hampshire

Mount Washington Valley in a nutshell

The Old Man in the Mountain found in Franconia Notch,was one of of New Hampshire's best known natural profiles, and a beautiful drive from Mt. Washington Valley. Unfortunallet on May 3, 2003, the hundreds of tons of Conway granite known as the Old Man of the Mountain collapsed and crashed into the slope below. However, there are a number of other places throughout Mt. Washington Valley where you will find natural rock formations, and scenic overlooks. Enjoy a few of these.

Washington Boulder: The craggy visage of George Washington can be seen on Tin Mine Road in Jackson. Directions: From Rt. 16B, take the first right after Christmas Farm Inn. The profile is about 3/4 mile up on the left.

Lion’s Head: Lion’s Head can be easily seen from the Glen House on Rt. 16 in Jackson where the Mt. Washington Auto Road begins. The lion’s muzzle and mane in profile can be viewed by looking toward the prominent shoulder streaming eastward below the cone of Mt. Washington. Directions: Take Route 16 to the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Rd.

Elephant Head: Elephant Head is at the gateway to Crawford Notch. The profile is clearly visbable through the white lines in the rock, complete with the eye! Directions: From Bretton Woods, head east on Rt. 302. After the Railroad depot, as you reach the height of land, and before the road beings its sharp decent into the Notch, pull over and look up into the cliffs off to your left.

White Horse Ledge: White Horse, the southern ledge off West Side Road, is so named because of a light colored area on its face which resembles a white horse dashing up the cliff. It’s not as obvious as the stone profiles, and is easiest to see in late fall with a dusting of snow. Directions: Best view from West Side Road in North Conway.

Madison Boulder Natural Area: One of the world’s largest glacial erratics is found off a country road in Madison. The Madison Boulder is 37’ high and 83’ long, and is estimated to have moved one and a half miles during the Ice Age in an ice stream. Directions: Between Conway and Madison on Rte. 113, turn west at the sign marking the geological landmark and follow signs, staying right to the parking area. Walk in 100 yads.

Scenic Overlooks Cathedral Ledge: This is the northernmost of the two ledges to the west of North Conway Village. Cathedral Ledge is one of the area’s most distinctive landmarks. The top of the 1150 high ledge offers an unparalleled vantage point to view the Valley below. If you’re lucky, you may be there to see one of the many rock climbers enjoying this face “top out”. Directions: From the light just beyond the Eastern Slope Inn on Rt. 16 in North Conway Village, go left onto River Road. The Cathedral Ledge Road is 1.4 miles along on the left. This 1.7 mile drive to the top ends in a circular turn. Park and walk over to see the view.

The Scenic Vista: A beautiful view, and picture taking opportunity is easily accessible from The Scenic Vista. You’ll look over the Intervale to the ever-changing Mt. Washington. A state-operated information center is located right there too. Directions: Continue north on White Mountain Hwy (Rte. 16) from N. Conway Village about 3 miles.

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Elephant Rock, Crawford Notch, NH
Elephant Rock, Crawford Notch, NH

   
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Source: MWVCC, Marney Ashburne
Last modified: 20050330
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