Great trail! Didn't go super prepared with crampons and poles, which I do recommend bringing if you're looking for more smooth sailing and less slip and slide moments. Beautiful view. Very windy and cold at top, so we couldn't stay for long. Took a little over three hours to use the White Dot trail both up and down.
Took my family on this hike in August of 2016. We had a late start (1 pm) but were easily back to the car by 5/6 pm with a nice stay at the summit. We took the popular White Dot Trail to the summit and the White Cross trail on the return trip. It had been nearly 20 years when I last ascended (still had the map from them in one of my backpacks). The White Dot trail was definitely a steep scramble. It was my kids first hike and they definitely worked a little harder than they expected. The summit was crowded which was expected. Beautiful 360 views however. Side note: Fourth of July night hikes up are a treat with the full view of fireworks from Boston to Manchester and around. The White Cross trail was less step overall with a few pitches. Mostly the trails were marked with rock and roots and obstacles which made it hard to get into a good rhythm on the descent. Overall, a close mountain with different options and a nice view for a reward. Not my favorite hike on those trails. Need to try a different approach (although longer) next trip.
I wasn't able to make it to the summit so I did this alternative. My pack was just too heavy with the camera equipment at 45 lbs for a fall day hike on high traffic trail. Near the top my boots did not provide enough grip on the crumbling granite.