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Amazing hike. I can't recommend enough that this is ideal for a winter/early spring hike when a few feet of snow-pack will offer amazing views that you wouldn't get any other time of year. Also, great butt-sledding on the way down to and past Avalon.

Hiked on 4/13. It turned out to be a great day. We took the A-Z trail first, and quickly realized snowshoes may have been a better option. The warmer temps had loosened up the trails, and my micro spikes were balling up (guess I still have a few things to learn!). We made do though, and didn’t regret it. I had heard the views on this hike weren’t great, but i beg to differ. Sure, it’s not 360 degrees of above tree line, but when the fog cleared we got some great peeks at the Pemi wilderness, Crawford Notch, and the Presidentials. The Avalon loop was a steep descent in the loose snow, but we made it down quickly. Our total hike was about 7 hours, which included lots of gawking on the overlooks and playing with the jays.

hiking
7 days ago

Very well-marked and beautiful trail. Challenging at some points. Amazing views!! Unfortunately I couldn't quite make it all the way to the firehouse- had a scary ice wall that I just couldn't cross. So close!! Will definitely go back to make it all the way to the top.

Not quite sure why they classify this trail as moderate... it was very icy and when you come down the first summit if you don’t have traction get your butt to the ground and start aiming for grabs!!! Lol it was fun but I wasn’t expecting it to have a certain degree of difficulty... I went with my water bottle, and my car keys... thought I was going for a little stroll... not quite a stroll... but breath taking views for sure!!! I recommend it just remember to take your time! I just started this whole hiking game I can think of at least a few things I could’ve done to better prepare myself

Absolutely beautiful hike. The trail to South Moat Mountain starts out as an easy uphill stroll along a nice wooded trail. Just past the halfway point views begin to show through the thinning trees. 3/4 and the trail turns into open sloped ledge with sporadic trees and vegetation. Shortly after you will emerge onto the summit. The summit a completely open cone with plenty of flat space to roam as you take in the incredible views. I was fortunate to visit here on a day of clear skies and could see Mount Tecumseh one direction and the Presidential Range in the other. Although a relatively short mountain when compared to many it certainly gives you the impression you are standing the summit of a "big league" mountain. Most of the trail is steady uphill but not overly strenuous, the steepest sections are fairly short and well spaced out from one another. I would rate this trail on the higher end of moderate and very well worth the effort. As a very experienced 30 year hiker of The White Mountains, this is my first time here and I must say it is one of the VERY BEST views you could find!!!

By far one of my favorite hikes. Not too challenging amazing 360 views with some shelter on top. Already can’t wait to go again.

Went out for our first ever snowshoe hike, and picked this trail because of the good reputation and great views. We were not disappointed. The snow was perfect for snowshoes. We are somewhat strong hikers, and we were up and down in 4 hours. The trail is not a great challenge, although much of the trail is unspectacular, but it is a full sized mountain. The summit is VERY cool. Its a sharp pinicle that makes you feel you are out in open air. The views of Mt Washington were utterly stunning today (today was EXTREMELY clear with several feet of fresh powder). Be aware that Mt Washington is 19 miles away, so a super crisp view isnt guaranteed. We would've carried on the 0.6 miles to Middle Moat Mt if it weren't for the literally subzero wind chill.

All in all, this is a nice, sometimes uneventful, trail that leads to a wonderful summit.

1 month ago

Beautiful views from the summit. I hiked this in the fall & the colors of the trees were simply amazing. Very well traveled. Passed lots of friendly hikers of various ages.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Excellent hike with some great views, however, the trail was far more technical and challenging than I expected. I would highly recommend snowshoes and hiking poles. I snowshoed clockwise and the first half was moderate so I would recommend doing in and out on that side if you want an easier hike plus it follows along a brook which is nice. If your up for the challenge than the whole loop is excellent, just make sure your prepared.

Great views, last time I hiked here was 34 years ago. I see people like squeezing through ledges now...the paint blazes are in sad shape but the rut in the ground is pretty hard to miss, the snow is well packed down and spikes are highly recommended. Counter clockwise is easier on the knees coming down, I'm an old fart now...

snowshoeing
1 month ago

This hike may have the best views for a relatively short hike of moderate effort. It's a 4.4 mile loop with one small stream crossing at the begining of the trail to Welch. If you want an easy short hike with views take the trail to Welch up a little over one mile to a large ledge with views east to the Sandwich Range. A very busy trail in the summer and weekends.

I didn’t actually intend to climb Chocoura when I went (originally there for the falls) so I was a bit ill-prepared. Like most will say, the views at the top are killer....however. It’s February but for some reason the temps were in the 60’s so I figured it would be a great day to get out. Don’t make that mistake on this trail. The whole mountain was melting causing the trails to become rivers of either slush or solid ice. Even with micro spikes it was incredibly tiring. Many sections of trail looked like solid ice but ended up being 8in of slush. That left me with soaked feet for the whole climb. Definitely plan your trip during nicer weather unless you’re a sucker for pain.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail itself is nothing special, though it is very well-marked and easy to follow. The view from the summit would make fighting your way through 3 miles of thorns and vines worth it, though. I climbed twice last summer, yesterday was my first winter ascent here and spikes are an absolute necessity. It was icy from bottom to top, with several sections of extremely hard, thick ice that showed evidence of people sliding once you got past the ledges. Full crampons wouldn’t be overkill, I brought mine “just in case” and we saw several hikers wearing them. Make the effort to really stamp your spikes in, and if you use poles drive those in as well.

It was a bluebird sky almost all the way up, but clouds started blowing in when we got near the summit. The views were still amazing, my partner was huffing and puffing his way up after 3 months of forced rest from a bad mountain biking wreck and he thought the views were worth the effort. The temp was maybe 5F, with 20+mph winds, so the 15 minutes or so we spent out of the wind in the fire tower after getting our pics were a nice break before the trip down.

Total time spent on the mountain, including breaks, was 6.5 hours. It was a very enjoyable hike, one I won’t have any problem doing again.

Great views but if you want a good workout type hike in the winter this isn’t it. When icy, a lot of the trail is so slow and you need cramp ons. Would be a Great trail to run when not icy. Also not very challenging for a hike. Not much elevation gain, I’d rate it easy, it’s a stretch to call moderate, maybe only when there’s ice.

lost from list added it back.

crazy crispy clear views! Stare down the Kancamagus. Bring some traction.

hiking
3 months ago

This is easily my favorite trail in the Northeast! It's so incredibly beautiful, with plenty of bald faces and slabs to hike up, and forest around to look at. It's fairly strenuous and took us about ~3 hours to complete, round trip. The top is very nice for picnics!

Hiked on 02/01/18.
Hike only took around 3 hours stopping lots to take pictures and drink a cold one. Trail is packed down nicely which made it very easy to hike on. Temperature was cold but no wind and sunny skies which made for incredible views.
Highly recommend this hike it was tons of fun!

we did this last summer. pretty challenging but worth the view

Really fun little rocky climb, especially towards the top! Beautiful views as well. Chocorua reminds us that it doesn't have to be big to be challenging and rewarding.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked on 12/15/17. Weather was cold but little to no wind which made this an ideal winter hiking day.
Decided to go counter clock wise based off of other reviews. The ground surface had about 6-8 inches of snow in some areas, and others greater than a foot, and deep in some spots towards the tops of welch and dickey. We made the mistake of thinking the first false peak was the top of Welch only to realize it was indeed a false peak. It was certainly tough to get traction in some areas where there was nothing to grab onto. Microspikes came in the clutch on the ledges especially ascending towards the top Welch, and to Dickey as well. Top of Welch is beautiful, 360s views of the white mountains.

After Welch we realized there was a short descent to start the ascent on Dickey. Descending in the snow is super tricky as the snow covers up the rocks and roots which adds to complexity of a winter hike. The trail felt like a big zig zag to get to the top going through tight spaces through the big rocks and onwards to the top. The top of Dickey is timeless. Pushing close to 3,000 feet. After Dickey on the descent there is one of of the ledge where you are literally about 15 feet away from a big cliff area, made the hike a little bit more exciting to say the least. The descent felt long, and was tough due to the snow covering up the technical parts of the trail.

Given the conditions of the trail I would only recommend to people who are prepared and are experienced. Snow is tricky to hike in.

I am looking forward to hiking this one again in the spring. Five Stars. Live Free or Die!

Total Time took us 5 hours and 17 minutes to complete the loop at 4.95 miles.

Snowy day good winter conditions. Trail conditions good with broken trail. Icy ledges towards the summits.

Light traction fine.

Great trail, little icy in spots only a couple of ins. of snow. Top has a super 360 degree view.

awesome veiws

Great view from the fire tower at the top! Trail was steep in sections. Nice view points along the way with lots of rock face towards the top. Micro spikes were a must!

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike with some great views. Trail was in great shape wit a little bit of scrambling and slick rock. Great trees colors with many photo ops.

Moderately hard almost all uphill trail to fire tower on top of mountain with great 360 degree views. Great cardiovascular exercise. Families were doing it with young kids but it is a rigorous hike.

Great hike. Some powder up there now. Would rate the rock scramble closer to difficult. Not very friendly for smaller dogs, at least this time of year.

one of my favorite hikes in the valley. The views are worth all the effort.

beautiful day yesterday. trails have 2 or 3 inches of snow. definitely bring your microspikes. whole loop took us about 6.5 hours from start to finish. gray jays were out. Perfect winter hike.

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