Table of Contents

These notes are written to help you compare the various routes that are commonly used to hike to the peaks. They 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 in any detail. I have omitted hikes that are substantially longer or more difficult than the standard ones, or that are simply less often used. The fact that a trail is not mentioned here does not imply that it is unsuitable.

Mountain Weather Forecast

The Recreation Report for New Hampshire and Western Maine gives a two day forecast for higher elevations (separate forecasts for elevations of 2,500 to 4,000 feet and for above 4,000 feet). There is also a point forecast for Mount Passaconaway.

Online Maps

If you do not have a printed map handy you may want to look at a TopoZone map of Mounts Whiteface and Passaconnaway, or at one of the Tripyramids.


There are no huts in this area, and the Wonalancet Outdoor Club's shelters have been entirely removed. The following is an official WMNF announcement:

As of this Friday, June 7, 2002, Camp Shehadi, Camp Rich, and Camp Heermance will be entirely removed from the Sandwich Range Wilderness Area. The only remaining structure will be an outhouse at the former Camp Rich site near the junction of the Rollins and Dicey's Mill Trails. No permanent shelter will be available within the Sandwich Range Wilderness. In keeping with current backcountry camping regulations for this Wilderness, camping will be allowed on the hardened areas at the former Heermance and Rich sites, however we will be in the process of revegetating the Shehadi site (at the Kate Sleeper/Rollins Trails junction) to discourage camping at this location.

The Tripyramids

The classic approach is from Waterville Valley by the Mt. Tripyramid Trail, going up the North Slide and down the South Slide (lp: 11.0 miles, 3,000 feet, 7:00). Many will find the North Slide, with its steep rock slabs and exposure, unappealing at all times. All should avoid it when wet or icy. Under those conditions the going up by the Scaur Ridge and Pine Bend Brook trails and down by the Mt. Tripyramid Trail (lp: 12.1 miles, 3,000 feet, 7:30) is safer.

They can also be approached from the Kanc, taking the Sabbaday Brook Trail to the col between North and Middle Tripyramid, then doing each (South Tripyramid is not on the list because of an inadequate col) (rt: 11.4 miles, 3,200 feet, 7:20). The grades are reasonable and the footing good along most of the trail, but there is a very steep and very rough section leading up to the ridge. There are many brook crossings, some may be difficult at high water.

Another approach from the Kanc is to take the Pine Bend Brook trail to the summit of North Tripyramid, then follow the Mt. Tripyramid Trail to Middle Tripyramid, returning by the same route (rt: 9.6 miles, 3,450 feet, 6:30). Like all trails on Mt. Tripyramid it has rough and steep sections.

To summarize, here are the distances, elevation gains and book times of the various possible routes to the Tripyramids:

Routes to Tripyramids
Route Distance Elevation Gain Book Time
Mt. Tripyramid Trail 11.0 3,000 7:00
Mt. Tripyramid, Scaur Ridge and Pine Bend Brook trails 12.1 3,000 7:30
Sabbaday Brook Trail 11.4 3,200 7:20
Pine Bend Brook 9.6 3,450 6:30

Mount Whiteface

The standard approach is by the Blueberry Ledge Trail to the south summit ledges, then along the Rollins Trail to the (unmarked) summit (rt: 8.4 miles, 2,900, 5:40). There are some ledges that require scrambling, they are dangerous when wet or icy. A second route from the south is the Flat Mountain Pond and McCrillis trails (NOT the McCrillis path!) to the south ledges, again following the Rollins trail to the summit (rt: 10.4 miles, 3,050 feet, 6:45). The bridge across the Whiteface River on the Flat Mountain pond trail has been removed, the crossing may be difficult at high water.

Mt. Whiteface can also be approached from the north by the Downes Brook, Kate Sleeper and Rollins trails (rt: 12.4 miles, 2,700 feet, 7:35). Turn left on the Rollins trail for the true summit (no views), right for the south ledges with good views to the south.

East Sleeper

For those interested in the NE Hundred Highest peaks, East Sleeper is easily combined with Whiteface. From the Rollins Trail south of the summit of Mount Whiteface it is 1.7 miles (each way) to the summit of East Sleeper, with about 400 feet of elevation gain on the way to East Sleeper and about 500 feet on the way back. This gives a total of 11.8 miles and 3,800 feet of elevation gain for both peaks (book time 7:50).

East Sleeper adds only 0.8 miles from the junction of the Downes Brook and Kate Sleeper trails for those coming from the Kanc, with 400 feet of elevation gain. The total distance for both peaks is 14.0 miles with 3,100 feet (book time 8:35).

Mount Passaconaway

In spite of the great number of trails on the southern slopes of Mt. Passaconaway almost all peakbaggers coming from the south go up Dicey's Mill Trail (rt: 9.2 miles, 2,950 feet, 6:05). The trail has mostly easy grades and the footing is good.

Mt. Passaconaway can also be approached from the Kanc by the Oliverian Brook, Passaconaway Cutoff, Square Ledge and Walden trails (rt: 10.2 miles, 2,800 feet, 6:30).

Mount Whiteface and Mount Passaconaway

A common way of doing both Mt. Whiteface and Mt. Passaconaway in the same trip is to go up the Bluberry Ledges trail, then take the Rollins Trail to its junction with the Dicey's Mill Trail. The continue up Dicey's Mill Trail to the summit of Mt. Passaconaway, and descend by that trail (lp: 11.9 miles; 3,800 feet; 7:50). Note that this involves 750 vertical feet going up Mount Passaconnaway from the end of the Rollins Trail.

To summarize, here are the distances, elevation gains and book times of the various possible routes to Mount Whiteface and Mount Passaconaway:

Routes to Mount Whiteface and Mount Passaconaway
Route Distance Elevation Gain Book Time
Mt. Whiteface by Blueberry Ledges 8.4 2,900 5:40
Whiteface & E. Sleeper by Blueberry Ledges 11.8 3,800 7:50
Mt. Whiteface by Flat Mtn. Pond and McCrillis 10.4 3,050 6:45
Mt. Whiteface by Downes Brook 12.4 2,700 7:35
Whiteface & E. Sleeper by Downes Brook 14.0 3,100 8:35
Mt. Passaconaway by Dicey's Mill 9.2 2,950 6:05
Mt. Passaconaway by Oliverian Brook 10.2 2,800 6:30
Both by Blueberry ledges, Rollins and Dicey's Mill Trails 11.9 3,800 7:50