Thru-Hiker's Guide to America

Cohos Trail Weather
By E. Schlimmer

Excerpted from Thru Hiker's Guide to America by E. Schlimmer

When temperatures are in the sixties in Boston or in the coastal city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, you can figure it’s about half as warm to the north in the White Mountains. There’s usually a dramatic difference in temperature, snowpack, and wind speed between the sheltered valleys of the Whites (let alone a coastal city) and the wind-torn summits high above. After all, Mount Washington is only three miles from a section of the CT. Mount Washington, among other summits in the Presidentials has seen snow fall in every month, has recorded winds in excess of a hundred miles per hour every month, and reportedly recorded a wind speed in excess of 230 miles per hour in April 1934. If this reading was correct, then Mount Washington measured the highest wind speed ever recorded on the surface of the Earth.

Luckily one doesn’t have to worry too much about being blown off the CT. Only small stretches of the CT reach above tree line, and these are in the southern sections. However, it’s important to remember that ambient temperature drops approximately 3.5° for every thousand feet of elevation gain. In addition, the larger ranges, such as the Presidentials and the nearby Carter Range, influence weather patterns.

Regarding temperature, the Cohos Trail tied the Arizona and the Ice Age trails for having the widest temperature range. Between July’s average high and January’s average low (as found in nearby settlements), the CT’s temperature range was 85°. In Glen, New Hampshire, the average high in July was 80°, and the average low in January was –5° in Pittsburg).

Article © McGraw-Hill. All rights reserved.


Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »