The race has a three-day format, with practice runs on half of the mountain on Friday and Saturday morning. The practice location on either the lower half or the upper half of the mountain depends on the weather.
On race day, Sunday August 15, each competitor makes two full runs of the technical, steep, and winding mountain road — once in the morning, and once in the afternoon. The field of 80 cars leave the starting line one minute apart from each other to tackle the 7.6 mile Auto Road.
The Auto Road is the oldest man-made attraction in the United States, and is driven by approximately 50k recreational vehicles each year. It typically takes a car and driver about 30 minutes to reach the summit — this race is a rare chance to see extreme drivers test their mettle on this extraordinary terrain.
Also known as the “Climb to the Clouds”, the Mt. Washington Hillclimb is the oldest automotive Hillclimb in North America. First run in July 1904, it took place seven years before the first 500 mile race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and twelve years prior to the inaugural Pikes Peak Hillclimb in Colorado. The Climb to the Clouds was run sporadically from 1904-1961, then not again until 1990 when it was run consistently until 2001.
Following a ten-year hiatus, the Mt. Washington Hillclimb returned in 2011 in support of the 150th anniversary celebration of the Mt. Washington Auto Road, which first opened on August 8, 1861. Since the 2011 event, the Hillclimb has taken place in 2014 and 2017.
The current record for the race was set at the last Climb to the Clouds event in July 2017 by Travis Pastrana at a blistering 5 minutes and 44 seconds. For anyone who has driven the road this is an almost unfathomable feat!
With plenty of action from start to finish, spectators of this race will enjoy thrilling race action and views on the steep, curvy, and picturesque Mt. Washington Auto Road.