PINKHAM NOTCH, New Hampshire ??вЂќ This spring, shape up for summer by skiing New England’s last vestiges of snow at Tuckerman Ravine and Wildcat Mountain, or take an alpine flower tour near the summit of the Northeast’s highest peak, Mt. Washington. The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), the nation’s oldest nonprofit conservation and outdoor recreation organization, is offering a wide variety of lodging specials for guests of all ability levels and interests to experience what is uniquely spring in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
Too often dismissed as “mud season” in New England, spring offers many opportunities to get in shape for summer hiking, backpacking, climbing, and paddling. Runoff from snow and ice melt makes spring the prime time for shorter, lower elevation hikes to see one of the White Mountains many waterfalls gushing at peak flow. Spring also brings the start of whitewater paddling season, and the spring fly hatch is a boon for anglers.
With June comes another annual White Mountains ritual, alpine flower hikes above treeline in the Presidential Range. This once-a-year color show lasts only a few weeks in June and is gone by the time July arrives. An area known as the Alpine Garden on Mt. Washington includes varieties of wildflowers adapted to the extreme conditions of the alpine environment, and they are only found in a small handful of places in the world.
The AMC has created a number of New Hampshire “spring highlights” lodging packages at AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch and Joe Dodge Lodge at Pinkham Notch that make it easy to get outdoors, get in shape for summer, and enjoy these special seasonal attractions.
Tuckerman Ravine Skiing Dreams
April 1??вЂњ June 1, 2006
Join thousands of other skiers and snowboarders for the annual spring pilgrimage to Mt. Washington from late March to late May for some of the steepest backcountry terrain in the United States. To get a jump on the day, there is no better place to stay than Joe Dodge Lodge, located in the White Mountain National Forest at the base of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail and the Gulf of Slides Ski Trail.
For more than 80 years, AMC has opened its doors to backcountry skiers, offering guests essential trip planning and backcountry safety information before they hit the trail. Special Joe Dodge Lodge packages are $51 per person/night for AMC members ($56 non-members), and guests receive a hearty dinner and breakfast, lodging in a shared, two-to-four-person bunkroom, free copy of AMC’s Ultimate Guide to Backcountry Travel, and a coupon for 10 percent off Tuckerman Ravine memorabilia at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, adjacent to Joe Dodge Lodge. Discounted rates are available for children ages 15 and under.
Spring Ski & Stay with Wildcat Ski Area
April 1??вЂњ June 1, 2006
Wildcat Mountain is a great pick for those seeking some of the season’s latest alpine skiing under prime conditions. Go spring skiing on the corn snow, in the sun, down the legendary Wildcat Trail with Mt. Washington as the backdrop. Stay at Joe Dodge Lodge, the closest lodging to Wildcat’s slopes, and take advantage of AMC’s Ski & Stay package. Mid-week adult packages are $69 per person/night for members ($73 non-members) and include dinner, lodging in a shared, two-to four-person bunkroom, buffet breakfast, and a lift ticket at Wildcat Ski Area. Discounted rates are available for children ages 15 and under. Family rooms are also available.
Alpine Flowers in the Presidentials
Take a lodge-to-hut mini-vacation at Joe Dodge Lodge and Lakes of the Clouds hut, located at 5,050 feet just below the summit of Mt. Washington. Visit anytime mid-week during June, or spend the weekend of June 16-18 at Highland Center to observe firsthand the beauty of the once-a-year alpine flower bloom set against the scenic backdrop of the Presidential Range in the White Mountains.
Joe Dodge Lodge and Lakes of the Clouds Hut
Stay anytime mid-week, Sunday through Thursday, from June 1-30 and take a self-guided tour of the Alpine Garden, Monroe Flats, and the summit cone of Mt. Washington. Spend the first night at Joe Dodge Lodge, located at the base of Mt. Washington, before heading up the Mt. Washington Auto Road with a knowledgeable driver who will share the lore of the mountain. Hike down from the summit and explore the Alpine Garden en route to AMC’s highest hut, Lakes of the Clouds Hut, for a second night. Choose from several hiking routes to return to Joe Dodge Lodge the following day. The package is $132 for adult members ($143 non-members) and includes accommodations for two nights, breakfasts, family-style dinners, shuttle up the Auto Road, and a complimentary copy of the 2006 edition of the AMC Field Guide to the New England Alpine Summits. Discounted rates are available for children ages 15 and under.
Highland Center’s Alpine & Wildflowers Weekend, June 16-18, will feature the late-spring alpine flower bloom with guided visits above treeline to the nearby Presidential Range, along with expert presentations on high-altitude flora, educational displays, and photography exhibits. Packages for the weekend start at $133 for adult members ($147 non-members) and include shared room accommodations for two nights, four-course dinners, buffet breakfasts, trail lunch, and a complimentary copy of the 2006 edition of the AMC Field Guide to the New England Alpine Summits. Highland Center guests get free use of equipment from the L.L. Bean gear room and can take part in a variety of walk-on activities. Discounted rates are available for children ages 15 and under. Private rooms are also available. Special
Savings for Active 60+ Travelers
Highland Center guests ages 60 and older who are looking for a lower-impact springtime visit to the White Mountains and have the flexibility of visiting mid-week, Sunday through Thursday, can take advantage of the spring 60+ special being offered March 1-June 30. Double occupancy packages are just $79 per person/night for members ($83 non-members) ??вЂњ a savings of up to 40 percent. Rates include a private room and a four-course dinner, buffet breakfast, trail lunch, daily programs and activities geared toward people of all ages and ability levels, and complimentary use of equipment from the L.L. Bean gear room. Plus, just steps from the lodge, guests have the option of independently exploring a range of shorter hikes to scenic overlooks and waterfalls or taking nature walks around lakes, in addition to enjoying the lodge’s library, Bradford Washburn photography exhibit, and other amenities.
Shape Up for Summer Weekend
May 19-21, 2006
With summer right around the corner, May is the perfect month to start a new fitness routine. The Highland Center is making it easy with its “Shape Up for Summer Weekend.” Enjoy guided hikes and other naturalist-led activities as well as a featured program with a professional trainer on strength training for hikers. A certified yoga instructor is also offering classes each morning that will be challenging for beginners and experts alike. Packages for the weekend start at $128 for adult members ($142 non-members) and include professional trainer and yoga programs, shared room accommodations for two nights, four-course dinners, buffet breakfasts, trail lunch, complimentary AMC guidebook, free use of equipment from the L.L. Bean gear room, and daily Highland Center programming as scheduled. Discounted rates are available for children ages 15 and under. Private rooms are also available.
Rates and Reservations:
For more information, visit www.outdoors.org/lodging/current-specials.cfm or call (603) 466-2727 to book a reservation. All AMC programs and destinations are open to AMC members and non-members, with additional discounts available to members.
For detailed, spring multi-activity itineraries at AMC lodges and huts, visit www.outdoors.org/about/newsroom/destinations-media-kit-spring.cfm.
Founded in 1876, the Appalachian Mountain Club is the oldest conservation and recreation organization in the nation. With 90,000 members in the Northeast and beyond, the nonprofit AMC promotes the protection, enjoyment, and wise use of the mountains, rivers and trails of the Appalachian region. The AMC supports natural resource conservation while encouraging responsible recreation, based on the philosophy that successful, long-term conservation depends upon first-hand enjoyment of the natural environment.