National Geographic : 1961 Aug
Sunset's misty gold lights the trail for climbers approaching Lakes of the Clouds Hut ment of the mountain country of Massachu setts, New Hampshire, and Maine. In addition to the seven huts open during the summer and the base camp at Pinkham Notch, AMC also operates a ski shelter in world-famous Tuckerman Ravine and un manned lean-tos and cabins throughout the White Mountains. The club's magazine, Ap palachia, has become a storehouse of infor mation for climbers and nature lovers. Hikers Roam a Mountain Playground The White Mountains lie as though flung at random over some 1,300 square miles of northern New Hampshire, largely in the White Mountain National Forest. Actually they comprise several ranges, divided by gaps, or "notches"; dominating them are the treeless summits of the famous Presidential Range. Towering over all at 6,288 feet stands 208 Mount Washington, loftiest in the Northeast (foldout, pages 202-4, and map, page 210).* Modern highways snake through such fa mous notches as Pinkham, Crawford, and Franconia. Some 1,700 miles of footpaths, fire trails, and timber roads thread this cor dial wilderness. A devoted band of AMC outdoorsmen and women has built and now maintains 354 miles of trail here. Such accessibility has drawn millions of hikers, skiers, fishermen, campers, and climb ers to the region, making it, all things con sidered, the most popular mountain play ground in the United States. It was not always so. I first visited the White Mountains in the 1920's, when most of New Hampshire's roads were narrow and winding, many of them dirt. *See "Mountains Top Off New England," by F. Bar rows Colton, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, May, 1951.