Alpine Zone Preservation
By The White Mountain National Forest and New Hampshire Fish and Game

The White Mountain National Forest contains over 8 square miles of alpine zone, the largest alpine area east of the Rocky Mountains.

Alpine is defined as the area where trees are 8 feet tall or less. In the White Mountains, this occurs at a surprisingly low elevation because of the harsh weather.

Although rugged and wild feeling, alpine areas can be fragile and easily damaged. Some alpine flowers can take up to 25 years to flower for the first time - and one hiker's bootprint can destroy that plant forever.

If you venture above treeline on Mt. Washington on one of the many hiking trails, by car or railroad, use extra care. Admire the delicate flowers struggling to grow in high winds and constant cold, but please: stay on marked trails or carefully step from rock to rock. The Alpine Zone is a tough place to grow!

Protect the Alpine Zone
  • Please: Don't be a tundra trampler! Stay on the trail or step carefully from rock to rock, avoiding any plants.
  • Camp below treeline, or only where snow is 2 or more feet deep.
  • Use a backpacking stove. Wood fires are not allowed above treeline.

Alpine plants on Rumford's Whitecap Mountain (photo by Webmaster)


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