Unless mentioned explicitly, information on this site applies to the normal hiking season, which extends roughly from Memorial Day to Columbus Day. Conditions in winter, and in the potentially equally dangerous late fall and early spring, are very different and require a completely different approach. Mid spring (mid April to Memorial Day approximately) is Mud Season, when there is a mixture of mud at lower elevations and melting snow at higher elevations, it leads to unpleasant hiking and to damaging erosion of trails.

The Routes

Each page below has a link to an online map, notes on any huts or backcountry camping facilities in the area, plus suggested routes to each of the 4,000 footers in the area. If you are familiar with the area you may find the routes faster by using the links provided on the list of 4000 footer peaks.

Notes on the Routes

I describe the various routes that are commonly used to bag the peaks, omitting those that are substantially longer or more difficult than the standard routes, or that are simply less often used. The fact that a trail is not mentioned here does not imply that it is unsuitable.

All trails are described in the White Mountain Guide, and the decision of which one suits you best is, of course, yours to make. Should you have any questions, direct them to one of the bulletin boards described under General Information.

Almost all the NH peaks can be reached in a comfortable day, and backpacking is rarely required. The routes to the Bonds, Owlshead and Isolation are long enough that some may want to do them as overnights, so I have described potential campsites. The higher peaks in the Presidential range are not far from the trailheads, but the elevation gain makes up for that, here I have described both camping and hut based alternatives.

These notes are written on the assumption that you have a guidebook and a set of maps, so no directions are given to trailheads, and the trails are not described.

Distances, elevation gains and book time are given for all routes. The abbreviations "ow", "rt" and "lp" are used for "one way", "round trip" and "loop" respectively. The term "loop" is applied to any trip in which different trails are used for the ascent and descent, whether or not the start and end points are the same. I have been careful to note when the start and end points are different and to say whether or not it is possible to walk between them (as must be done with only one car).