Mount Washington Auto Road, Gorham NH

Support Driver Instructions  



This is not your average road race. You will need to READ and FOLLOW these directions to avoid race day problems. Since the driver is not an entrant in the race, it is the racer’s responsibility to notify their support driver of these rules!




The logistics of racing up Mount Washington REQUIRE that all participants arrange their own rides down the mountain, prior to race day. You do NOT want to arrive at the top of the course and not have someone there to meet you with warm clothes, supplies and a ride down the mountain. These are vital details that cannot be left for race day!

Again, your ride down from the top is your own responsibility. There are more runners needing rides down than drivers looking for runners.  As clearly stated in the registration information, race day is too late to be arranging your ride down. It is not safe to run without having this crucial detail already worked out, and runners asking race officials on the day of the race for assistance with their ride down cause unnessesary stress for all involved.


Parking space at the summit of the mountain is limited; it is the reason we limit the participant field for the event.  Due to the high ratio of runners to parking spots, this event is only possible through racer carpooling and by prearranging your ride down.  For the above reasons, spectating by family and friends of participants (other than support drivers) is inherently discouraged.


Traffic on the Auto Road on race day is limited to vehicles that are transporting a minimum of (2) racers to the base of the mountain following the race. Each race participant receives (1) "Auto Pass" that is attached to their bib (and tears off easily), to be given to the racer’s support driver.   Each vehicle traveling to the summit on race morning will pass through the Toll House and will be turned away or charged, based on the number of Auto Passes the driver of the vehicle presents.  For this reason, it is critical that you provide your driver with your Auto Pass, prior to their arrival at the Toll House.



(0) or (1) Auto Pass NO Passage on the Auto Road
(2) Auto Passes with or without passengers Normal toll fees apply
(3) or more Auto Passes & an empty vehicle FREE Passage - NO toll fees

 Vehicle Restrictions Apply.

Your support vehicle will receive FREE access on the Mt. Washington Auto Road, IF and ONLY IF, the driver of the vehicle presents (3) or more Auto Passes and is NOT transporting any spectators to the summit of the mountain. These rules are necessary to maintain the 1,300 racer field due to limited summit parking and to insure a safe vehicle weight capacity for your down bound trip.  


Vehicle safety restrictions DO apply on race day. Please make sure to review our Vehicle Restrictions page with your support driver, prior to race day. 


Weight Restrictions

Your support driver MUST have adequate space in his/her vehicle to transport the number of racers that corresponds with the number of Auto Passes he/she presents at the Toll House before ascent; if Toll House staff assess that your support driver cannot reasonably accommodate the number of racers (represented by Auto Passes he/she presents) for downbound transport without being overloaded (due to additional spectators and/or cargo contained in the vehicle) they will be turned away in the interest of safety. The safe operating capacity of each vehicle is determined by the estimated weight of passengers and cargo contained therein for the downbound journey after racer pick-up at the summit, NOT the number of available seats or safety belts. Overloaded vehicles (especially those that will be overloaded departing the summit) are a danger to everyone's safety, and will not be granted passage.  Furthermore, hitchhiking (and picking up hitchhikers), is prohibited on the Auto Road; unplanned passengers add weight to your vehicle and put everyone on the Auto Road at risk. Please do not pick-up runners that are hitchhiking!


Vehicle Restrictions

The Auto Road is a steep, mountain road and through the years we have discovered that some makes and/or models are not built for the rigors of decending Mount Washington; you can find additional details regarding these vehicle restrictions here.



The Road OPENS for support drivers at 6:30AM on the day of the race.

Hint: The first cars up the road get the preferred parking spots on the summit and avoid the rush of cars trying to leave for the base before the 8:00AM cut off.

The Road CLOSES promptly at 8:00AM to support drivers. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Recommendation: Drivers should arrive EARLY, secure their racers warm clothing and auto passes and depart for the summit well BEFORE the 8:00AM cutoff.


The summit of Mount Washington is often host to cold or inclement weather and is a full house on race day; it is important to follow these suggestions.

-Drivers must be dressed appropriately for the weather on the summit and have their racers warm clothes close at hand. There is limited shelter on the summit; please be prepared for inclement weather, and to be exposed to the weather if indoor space is not accessible.

-Racers and support drivers should make a plan on where to meet following the finish of the race.

Hint: A summit map is available for download to help arrange a meeting location at the top.

Note: Due to recent changes, the Sherman Adams building should NO longer be considered a place to meet. The building will be closely monitored for overcrowding. If you need to access the Sherman Adams building, please do so, then exit as quickly as possible to allow access for the next racer.

-Drivers should make a list of racers that they are picking up. This is especially important if you have only recently become acquainted.

Hint: Note the racers number so that you can find them as they finish.

-Runners should note the license plate number and vehicle description of their support car if they are unfamiliar with their driver. This will help locate your warm clothes and ride down.

Hint: The back of the race bib is a great place to write details to help you find your ride down.