Top Ten Extreme Destinations

Some people push life to the limits, seeking out locations from the pages of Guinness World Records like they are a packing to-do list. These ten destinations represent the most extreme climates in the world and offer unparalleled stories once you land back on home turf.
By Jodi Helmer
Mount Washington, New Hampshire
Thick clouds cover the base of the White Mountains, home to Mount Washington. (Tony Sweet/Digital Vision)

Cloudiest: Mount Washington, New Hampshire
Mount Washington isn't just the windiest destination in the United States, it's also the cloudiest. Cloud cover surrounds the 6,288-foot peak an average of 244 days each year. Most of the time, it's so thick that it obscures the view of the summit.

The clouds have become the stuff of legend around those parts: A newspaper called Among the Clouds was published at the summit each summer from 1877 to 1917, and the Appalachian Mountain Club named one of its thru-hiking huts in White Mountain National Forest "Lakes of the Clouds Hut."

First started in 1904, Mount Washington Hillclimb's Climb to the Clouds is one of America's oldest motorsport events. Contestants traverse the 7.6-mile Washington Auto Road, racing to be the first to reach the 6,288-foot summit. The winding gravel road with steep tree-lined drop-offs is one of the ultimate challenges for fans of the sport. In 2010, driver Travis Pastrana broke the record with a six minute, 20.47-second ascent.


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