50th Anniversary of the
Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb
Saturday, August 19, 2023 (rain date: Sunday, August 20, 2023)
Registration for the 50th running of the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb opens at
9:00 AM on Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Click HERE for your opportunity to “Ride the Rockpile!
Registration for the Early Bird opens April 1, 2023
REGISTRATION– Open reg begins March 1st at 9am
RACE PAGE– for rules, course map, results, and more
FACEBOOK PAGE– for updates
VeloNews calls it a “Ride of a Lifetime.” The 7.6 one-way, all uphill Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb (MWARBH) to the summit of Mt. Washington, which at 6, 288 ft. is the highest peak in the northeastern U. S. is hosted by and benefits Tin Mountain Conservation Center. In fact, it’s Tin Mountain’s largest fund-raising event.
Your registration fee and participation helps provide environmental education programs for students in grades K-12, year-round community-wide nature programs, summer camps, conservation research, as well as naturalist-led field trips and outdoor recreation opportunities. All proceeds support Tin Mountain’s work in promoting an appreciation for the natural world while instilling the principles of environmental stewardship and sustainable lifestyles.
The privately-owned Mt. Washington Auto Road allows bicycles only 2 days a year; during the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb (MWARBH) and during the Early Bird (formerly the practice ride). The MWARBH is a timed race. The Early Bird is a ride – just you and the mountain. The MWARBH is it – your chance to pedal to the summit of Mt. Washington.
Many call the Mt. Washington AutoRoad Bicycle HIllclimb (MWARBH) “the toughest bicycle hill climb in the U.S., if not the world.” Bicycling Magazine, Oct 2019. The MWARBH has received several nicknames including “the ride to the clouds” and “riding the rockpile”. The weather, which contributes to the difficulty of the climb, also offers spectacular sunrises, clouds and views.
Tough? Yes! Impossible? No!
As proven by the thousands of riders who have made it to the summit over the past 48 years!
THE EVENT Just how steep is the course? While not the longest hillclimb, Mt. Washington’s 7.6 mile route features an average grade of 12%, with extended sections of 18%. The last 100 yards reach an amazing 22% grade! As the crowds cheer and cow-bells ring, you’ll sprint the last climb to the finish! While the first riders pass the finish in about one hour, the last riders cross around the three hour mark. All are recognized for the feat of climbing the “Rockpile” and supporting Tin Mountain Conservation Center programs.
All cyclists must wear helmets. We strongly encourage both front and rear lights, especially for the Early Bird, when all riders must be on the road by 6 am. All cyclists, from both events, must arrange for auto transportation back down to the base as riders are not allowed to ride down the auto road. We encourage drivers to bring up dry, warm clothes including hats and gloves as the weather at top can be downright nasty, even during mid-summer. In August of 2007 the hillclimb was cancelled due to steady winds of 72 mph, freezing temperatures, frozen precipitation, and rime ice. Mt. Washington is known for its weather and is the site of the highest surface wind ever recorded by humans at 231 mph in April 1934.
Don’t let that intimidate you. Every year the MWARBH welcomes new riders along with many who participate every year. And, you never know you can unless you try!
Most racers and their families arrive the night before to check-in at the base of Mt. Washington, visit and chat with other riders, and check out competition. On race day over 100 Tin Mountain Conservation Center volunteers and staff converge in the pre-dawn hours to help with everything from parking, set-up, and check-in, to summit parking and timing. Ham radio communications along the route and medical teams help ensure the health and safety of every rider. We appreciate your help in keeping the field clean and even packing out your trash with you – Carry in, Carry out!
Thank you! We look forward to seeing you at the 50th Annual Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb on Saturday, August 19, 2023. Rain date, Sunday, August 20, 2023.
The 3rd Annual Early Bird is scheduled for Sunday, July 16, 2023. This is a smaller, untimed ride to the summit. There isn’t a big tent for lunch or awards, just you and the mountain.
For more information, please visit our RACE PAGE or contact Dawson Winch.
All images by Joe Viger Photography.