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Perfect weather and the view from Starr King was splendid. Wonderful fairly early start made it so the mud was not an issue on the way up. The top is still very snow covered but packed so no post holes. It was in the 40's when we reached the top of Waumbek and in the 60's by the time we got to the bottom of Starr King. Unfortunately the Spring thaw has started so from the time we left the evergreens, through the hardwoods and down to the parking lot was quite slushy, muddy, and slippery. We only met two other men on Monday but when we went by on Sunday the parking lot was filled. It really was a nice weather weekend for getting some climbing in.

hiking
2 days ago

This mountain is gorgeous!! The trail goes for around 4 miles until you get to the base of the mountain with a steep ascent. We went yesterday and the snow has a crazy thick base on the way there-- around 3 feet that was packed and good getting there but as it warmed up on the way back we were falling through like crazy. The ascent was pretty sketchy because of all the snow and we were slipping and some parts were definitely hard to get around. The top section is gorgeous-- walking through a beautiful path with evergreens all around you. We wanted to do the loop but rainbow trail hadnt been done since the snow fell so we had to go back down the way we came. Which was pretty insane-- the steep parts were done with us sliding on our butts or feet, some places with rocks and close to ledges. Pretty much no way not to do this with the current conditions. You pass a hut on the way up that has water (and in our case on the way down). The whole route was 12 miles for us up and back. Definitely not ideal conditions. You basically need microspikes and poles right now as you're on snow the entire time. As it warms up it will get worse for postholing on the way up so it might be better as a summer hike. We used the coordinates from the app to get to the trailhead but we ended up at a parking lot for cross country skiing before we could get there and parked there instead. We took that trail straight until you hit the trees/ trailhead.

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.

Did it on 4/7/18. It was a beautiful day with good sunshine. It had snowed 2-3 inches the previous day and so there was some fresh snow. There is a ledge near the North peak which had some amazing views. We spent around 1.5 hrs on the South peak. It was snowing slightly on the way back. Made for an awesome sight at Lonesome Lake.

About the trail, it's pretty straightforward with a few icy spots. I used microspikes on the way up and snowshoes on the way down.

Time spent hiking, excluding the 1.5hr break was 8hrs.

Gorgeous day up this mountain. All the hard work on the way up lead to a nice pay off. Great views from Starr King and they aren’t bad from the peak either. The jay hawks love the visitors. Did this in spikes today, mashed potatoes on the way out and lots of friendly hikers.

hiking
26 days ago

Nice and Steep right out of the gate. Totally socked in all day so no view but you can tell it would be stunning. Tons of deep snow, hiking in the tree tops. Good day.

Not steep at all (Do Liberty, that is steep). Easy to hike. Trail is well packed but I still recommend snow shoes so you don't destroy the trail. Good views on Starr King, nothing much on Waumbek. Not worth sacrificing a whole day for and getting only one 4000 footer. Glad to scratch this off the list.

It’s a very unique hike, and easy as well but there are NO summit views which is a real bummer but its a good easy hike!

For my first ever backpacking trip, my buddies took me up to the Whiteface loop. I’m an in-ships guy, I’m a collegiate level swimmer, but man did the first climb kick my butt. We climbed to Whiteface but didn’t get there until the sun began to set. We decided to stay on the summit for the night, then hike back down the way we came up. In total it was about 5.5 miles, but the elevation is what I think killed me as a first timer. But SO worth the view in the morning!

A lovely late winter hike! You can park on York Pond Road with no worries about the gate, as of yet, this late in the year. Our ascent was pretty slow with snowshoes, but coming down was easy. Trail is well packed as of this weekend, snowshoes still required.

Solo single-day winter traverse

loved this. don't let your brain trick you into thinking you're almost there. just enjoy the path. after the lake it narrows into the forest before going up Kinsman. there are a couple places going up I would highly recommend turning around and taking in the view. on South kinsman there are two summit looking places. this was a challenging but fun hike. the dogs managed to navigate around the really steep parts both up and down. cramp on for sure but didn't use snow shoes. removed crampons once near the top cause it was so packed down. fun day hike! if you have time check out the kinsman pond while you're up there. it took me 6.5 hours with 40 minutes at the top and alot of "I think my lungs collapsed" breaks up. but so good

Perfect for your first winter 4k. Views from Starr King are AMAZING and will give you the courage you need (or maybe, don't need) to continue on the ridge to Waumbek. Take care when parking your car in the winter though, there's a large lot on Rt. 2 just across from the turn for Starr King Road where you can park! Someone got their car stuck on Starr King Rd. when we were hiking. A great place to see the grey jays, btw.

Strenuous but beautiful hike. Did it on Feb 11, 2018, trails were well packed but relatively warm day and needed showshoes for entire hike, everyone else I saw on the mountain had the same. Word of caution, pulling out in the dark from the Lafayette campground area I accidentally went straight into an unplowed side lot that is restricted to snowmobiles. Called AAA who sent a truck and charged $300 to pull me out since it was technically a snowmobile trail rather than a lot. Driver said he pulls 20 people out a weekend, nice little cash cow for the local tow service. Went back afterward and small posted signs say "No Highway Vehicles Allowed", $300 later I now know what that phrase means....

backpacking
2 months ago

Beast of a trail for backpacking, much more suited for ultralight backpacking or slack packing. Made it halfway to through but forced down after submitting Washington due to weather. Will definitely be going back to complete the rest of the traverse.

Icy when we went, and so avoided the Blueberry Ledge Trail. Made for a much longer out and back!
Will go again to hike the ledge.

Well broken and marked trail. Beautiful in the winter with moderate inclines and stretches of flat terrain

Gorgeous in the winter

trails were packed untill we were .2 miles from the kinsman campsite.
made the nKinsman north summit in knee to neck deep snow...
views on lafayette and franconia ridge + cannon are amazing on the way down from north kinsman

Great hike last Friday in snow storm with some friends. Micro-spikes were needed, didn't put on snowshoes, snow was light and wispy. Stay on packed trail, deep and hidden holes if you step off trail in spots, mostly on hidden bridges. Hut was open, not heated. Great Day.....

Tough trail in the snow! Be prepared for a challenge. Bring snowshoes, traction, layers and plenty of water.

Out of towners, beware, this is a hard climb!!!!

No one here has actually provided any real tangible data, that would benefit, so I have decided to offer up some sage advice.

To start:
- It is December
- It is New Hampshire
- It is rated hard

The first and most important item is the direction you choose to do this hike. We chose the direction starting with the Blueberry Ledge Trail, to the Rollins trail, finishing with the Dicey Mill's Trail (clockwise). If you decide to do the hike, be prepared to use spikes or microspikes. There are sections you will be descending off of rock ledges that cannot be done otherwise, after you ascend the summit. The Blueberry ledge trail is a constant vertical ascent from the start around 1300ft, to the summit around 4000ft.

Second, the direction we went was a two-man operation. I had to push my friend up, so that he could lower a branch as a hand-hold. Unless you are an experienced climber, there is one large section you cannot do yourself.

Third, is hike length. It took us just under 8.5 hours. The ascent section was non-stop, but the backside on Rollins and Dicey are just more time-consuming. Allot the proper amount of time. We made it out of the woods by the time it was dark.

Lastly, is the recommendation on equipment.

- Plenty of water
- Spikes or microspikes (Winter)
- Headlamps
- Walking sticks with picks (Winter)

Overall, a great challenge, but be prepared.

Went hi-cannon to Kingsman ridge to the lookout tower in late November. There were already a few inches of snow that had accumulated, which resulted in some neat views.

The trail to the summit is made up of two separate ascents: the first to the flat area that lonesome lake is on, and the second up to the summit (there is a brief flat spot while you're in the vicinity of lonesome lake). The initial incline is quite step, but the second incline lets up a little, and also affords great views of Franconia notch.

I can see why people who are afraid of heights would be scared by the ladder, but I thought it was pretty neat. It's also nowhere near vertical, more like 30-40 degrees up from horizontal.

The lookout tower is a great place to be, even in sustained 25mph winds (-4 degrees with wind chill when I made it, glad I brought the hard shell layers).

This was an awesome hike! We started off at the wrong trailhead which added an extra 6 miles to the overall hike but it was worth it for the view. We also were blessed with a guide dog that must have lived in one of the houses at the base... he cane along for the 9 hour hike with us!

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.

This was such an epic, fun hike. My gps recorded 10.6 miles for the entire loop. The first 1.3 miles was very icey and slow going with streams to cross on icey logs and rocks, but conditions got better. Better views than I thought and even the snow covered evergreens were breathtaking. Highly recommend this loop, for advanced hikers. Back to the car in 7 hours. We stopped for lunch on Willey with a fantastic view, soaked in the view on Avalon and played on Field and Tom to feed the grey jays and enjoy the views

SNOW! It is official the trails are covered in snow. I wasn't exactly prepared (mentally) for the snow and ice on the trail. Luckily I had layers and cheap crampons ( I will be investing in some better ones). I have never been on a snow hike but this was manageable. Actually more difficult on the way down than up especially when we hit some of the steep ice slabs. I have no idea what this trail looks like not covered in snow but I would imagine it being a fairly wet trail. I actually found the views at North Kinsman better than south. Less obstruction on North even though it isn't a 360. It was a great day barely any wind and decent views throughout. Bring layers and traction!

Nice little hike. Easier than most N.H. 48 4K’s. Nice view at the top of Mt. Starr king. No views at Waumbek.

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