The Joe Dodge Lodge
Pinkham Notch, N.H.
Finding the best snow at Mount Washington's famed Tuckerman Ravine means getting an early start on the hike to the summit. Staying at the Joe Dodge Lodge at the Appalachian Mountain Club's Pinkham Notch Visitor Center in New Hampshire is a great way to ensure just that.
Tucked at the base of Mount Washington, the lodge offers inexpensive accommodations in pine-paneled bunk and family-style rooms, all with shared baths. The trail to Tuck's begins just outside the back door, where you'll also find numerous backcountry and snowshoeing trails. For those wanting in-bounds adventures, the groomed and bumped runs at Wildcat are just 3/4 of a mile away. Rates include a hot, all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast and a hearty dinner served family-style. Box lunches are also available. Every Wednesday evening an international dinner is served, followed by live entertainment. On one Wednesday last year, a festive steel drum band topped off a Caribbean feast.
Nightlife is quiet but guest lecturers present slide shows and volunteers conduct nature programs, such as stargazing or owl prowls. You can also relive the day's adventures around a fire. (Note: You don't have to be a member of the mountain club to stay or dine at the lodge, but members get the best rates. A one-year membership costs $40.)
Information: The Joe Dodge Lodge, Route 302, Pinkham Notch, N.H.; (603) 466-2727; www.outdoors.org. Non-member rates range from $42-$47 nightly per adult and $26-$31 per child for a bunk with breakfast and dinner. Reservations are recommended for spring weekends.