Have You Taken a Dip in the Clouds at the Highest Lake in New Hampshire?
Imagine swimming in the clouds.
No, not flying in a plane. I mean actually swimming in a lake that is so high up in the sky that you are literally intertwined in clouds.
You can do that in New Hampshire at the Lakes of the Clouds.
The Lakes of the Clouds are multiple bodies of water (with two larger lakes) located between Mount Washington and Mount Monroe.
Because the lakes are 5,000 feet above sea level, it is common to be swimming in the clouds, hence the name.
We're not gonna sugar-coat it – these lakes are difficult to get to. You have to climb nearly six miles along some of the most difficult hiking terrain in New Hampshire just to get there. But the difficulty makes the reward so much better.
An estimated 250,000 people reach Mount Washington every year (by hiking or by train). With New England's population being around 15 million, only 1% of New Englanders actually see these beautiful lakes in person each year.
If you end up hiking to the Lakes of the Clouds, you may want to stop in the Appalachian Mountain Hut. "The full-service Hut is operated in the summer and into the fall," according to a Weirs Times article. It has bunkrooms and accommodates 90 guests, and day hikers are welcome to fill their water bottles and use their bathrooms.
The actual hike up, like I said, is tough. According to the AllTrails description of the Lakes of the Clouds via Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail:
Enjoy this 5.8-mile out-and-back trail near Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Generally considered a challenging route...
Hikers can start from the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail or at the base station if you want to cut off some distance. You will hike uphill through the forest eventually reaching tree line and the Lakes of the Clouds Hut. The hut is open during the summer season and hikers are welcome to stop by, but reservations to stay must be made through the AMC ahead of time.
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